Interfaith Dialogue Hindu Jewish

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Sun May 10 17:45:57 UTC 2009

 Interfaith Dialogue
 "Equality Based On The Soul"
 Historically Christian and Muslim faiths have their roots in

 so at their core concepts about the soul, creation and God are all
the same.

 *I would like to address certain linguistic and philosophical
similarities common to both Jews and Hindus, which may open up a
broader discussion.*

 1. Names of God, 

 a. The most holy of all names of God for a Jew is KNA or KANA,
Rabbi's have slapped my face when I have said this name out loud.

 This is considered to be the most intimate name for God in the Old
Testament. Where it is translated, "I am a jealous God, have no other
gods before you", the literal Hebrew translation is, "My name is EL
KNA (KANA), have no other gods before you."

 This name expands to KRE ShTN as Rabbi Aryeh Kapln,in Meditation and
the Kabbalah explains 

 "On Monday, you must intertwine the associated name "KRE ShTN""

 b, From a Vedic (Hindu) view point, Kana is also an affectionate
name of Krishna, The pronunciation used above "KRE ShTN" is very
similar to the way south Indians pronounce Krishna.

 2. Abraham and Brahma: Very few know that there are two Abrahams in
Jewish philosophy

 a. There is a description of how the universe was in chaos until
Abraham appeared. It is said, "Over the whole, there hovered Tohu
(chaos) and as long as Tohu dominated, the whole world was not in
being or existence. When did that key open the gates and make the
world fruitful? 

 It was when Abraham appeared." [Genesis II 4] As explained in the
introduction to the Zohar The Soncino Press LTD--London New York

 There is also this reference one needs to ponder It is said, "Angels
are supposed to have no back and four faces, so always to be able to
behold God."

 [Talmud, cf. Ezek i. 6] 

 b. In the First Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam, there is a long
description of how Brahma created the planets, stars etc. It is well
known that the Brahma of this universe has 4 heads.

 3. DEMIGODS AND ANGELS have the same function in both trations.

 a. The Midrash teaches, "There is no blade of grass that does not
have a constellation (Mazal) over it, telling it to grow." [Sefer
Yetzirah 4.6] 

 "As commentaries explain, 'God's providence works through the
angels, but the angels, in turn, work through the stars and planets.
As some authorities put it, the angels are, in a sense, like souls to
the stars. Thus, for example, some sources speak of the stars as
having intelligence, but the commentaries note that this is actually
speaking of the angels that are associated with them.'" [Sefer
Yetrzirah 4.6]

 b. The Vedic conception is that there are many specially empowered
demigods who help manage the affairs of the universe including the
planets of our solar system. 

 The controlling demigods, although not eternal them selves, function
within various posts that exist as long as the universe exists. For
example, one of the principle demigods is Lord Indra. Indra is the
name of the post, but the particular demigod who occupies that post
during a given period has his own personal name. Just like President
of the United States is a post, but there have been many presidents
throughout history.

 4. Durga in the Bible?

 a. "He summoned to issue from the side of Darkness a kind of female
moon, which rules over the night, and is associated with Adonai, the
Lord of all the earth. In his days, the moon was magnified and
reached her fullness. A thousand mountains rose before her, and she
blew them away with a puff. A thousand mighty rivers flowed before
her, and she swallowed them at a draught. Her nails reached out in a
thousand and seventy directions and her hands in twenty-four
thousand, so that nothing could escape her. Thousands of bucklers
clung to her hair. From between her feet went forth a youth who
stretched from one end of the world to the other with sixty clubs of

 b. The Vedas describe the ghastly form of Goddess Kali, another name
for the Goddess Durga. There is a reference of Goddess Kali in the
Srimad-Bhagavatam in the history of Jada Bharata, when she manifested
herself to protect him. It is stated, "Intolerant of the offenses
committed, the infuriated goddess Kali flashed her eyes and displayed
her fierce, curved teeth. Her reddish eyes glowed, and she displayed
her fearsome features. She assumed a frightening body, as if she were
prepared to destroy the entire creation. Leaping violently from the
altar, she

 immediately decapitated all the rogues and thieves with the very
sword with which they had intended to kill Jada Bharata. She then
began to drink the hot blood that flowed from the necks of the
beheaded rogues and thieves, as if this blood were liquor.


 a. "The Most Recondite is beyond cognition, but reveals of Himself a
tenuous and veiled brightness shining only along a narrow path which
extends from Him, and this is the brightness that irradiates all.
This is the starting point of all esoteric mysteries, itself being
unknowable." [Zohar IV 146b]

 b. The Absolute Truth is expressed as Brahman, Paramatma, and
Bhagavän." [Srimad Bhagavatam.1.2.11] Brahman refers to the
impersonal all-pervasive spirit.

 That is the same as the brahmajyoti, the effulgence of the Lord.


 a. It is said that a personality named Metatron cooperates with God
to teach the young. While God devotes the last three hours of the day
to this work, Metatron is in charge during the remainder of the day.
(A.Z. 3b) [Everyman's Talmud, II, III] Regarding the revolving sword
or flaming sword that revolves, it is said "the manner in which the
sword rotates depends on the readiness of the individual attempting
to enter. If he is worthy, it becomes the mirror through which he
perceives, while if he is not worthy, he is burned out and cut off by
the fire of this sword. The one who oversees the sword, preventing the
unworthy from entering, is the angel Metatron." [Meditation and
Kabbalah p 80 Chapter 4, Teachings of Rabbi Abraham Abulafia]

 "Metatron is therefore not a proper name at all but a designation
for the whole category of celestial powers performing a mission."

 [Origins of the Kabbalah, III, 6]

 b. In the creative process,it is from Maha-Vishnu that all of the
universes emanate, Sudarshan Cakra (flaming sword that revolves)
controlled by Visnu similarly punishes and grants liberation.
"Without illumination,nothing can be seen, especially in this
material world.

 The illumination in this world emanates from the effulgence of
Sudarshan, the original vision of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

 The illuminating principles of the sun, the moon and fire emanate
from Sudarshan. 

 Similarly, illumination by knowledge also comes from Sudarshan."
[Srimad Bhag. 9.5.7, Purport]

 Also there is a series of Visnu expansions each with a chakra.


 a. When the soul is about to descend to this world, it first goes
down to the terrestrial Garden of Eden and sees there the glory of
the souls of the righteous, and then goes down to Gehinnom and sees
the wicked who cry "Woe, woe", and find no compassion. That holy form
(God) stands by him until he emerges into the world, after which it
keeps him company and grows up with him." [The Zohar 43b] [KI TAZRIA

 b. In the Bhagavad-gita "Yet in this body there is another, a
transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who
exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the
Supersoul, Paramatma." [Bg. 13.23] 


 a. In Judaism, knowledge is also passed from the rabbi to his
students, but not everyone is qualified to become a student. "As a
matter of law, the sages state that these mysteries 'cannot even be
taught to a single individual, unless he is wise enough to understand
with his own knowledge.' Even in such a case, the complete tradition
was only given over to the head of the group, and he would then only
instruct those whom he saw fit. Only individuals

 possessing the highest qualities of scholarship and piety would be
admitted to the circle of initiates." [Introduction to the Bahir,
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan]

 It is also stated that "One who reaches the highest level cannot
reveal it to anyone. All he can do is give over the keys, so that the
enlightened individual

 can open the gates which are sealed to exclude the unworthy." 

 [Meditation and Kabbalah, p 79]

 b. In Vedic culture, although a guru would speak to whoever wanted
to learn the Vedic science, he was traditionally very selective whom
he would initiate as his disciple. He would only accept those persons
who qualified themselves by humble submission and service. Lord
Krishna states in the Bhagavad-gita, "Just try to learn the truth by
approaching a spiritual master, inquire from him submissively and
render service unto him. The self-realized soul can impart knowledge
unto you because he has seen the truth."


 a. The current Hebrew year is 5767. In this calendar, the year in
which Adam was created is counted as year one. If we then count the
Biblical genealogies from the time of Adam, we find that over 5,000
years have elapsed since the time he was formed. However, the
Kabbalists clearly say that other human beings existed before Adam,
and this is even supported in scripture  The fifth
cycle was the one that brought life, and this took

 place around two and a half billion years ago. Around 974
generations before Adam, or some 25,000 years ago, man developed all
of the physical and mental capabilities that we possess today...but
he still lacked the divine soul that would make him a spiritual
being. God then created Adam, the first true human being with a soul,
'and He blew in his nostrils a soul of life'. [Genesis 2.7] [Sefer
Yetzirah 4.15]

 b. The Vedic calendar states that Kali-yuga lasts 432,000 years, out
of which we have passed about 5,000 years. 

 10.The Ecstasy of Chanting The Names Of God

 a. People who have dedicated their lives to the service of God may
at times feel unlimited joy or ecstasy while engaged in prayer. It is
said, "Permute the letters back and forth, and in this manner, you
will reach the first level. As a result of the activity and your
concentration on the letters, your mind will become bound to them.
The hairs on your head will stand on end and tremble. Your lifeblood
is in your heart, and regarding this it is written,

 "the blood is the soul" [Deuteronomy 12:23]. It is likewise written,
"The blood in the soul will atone" [Leviticus 17:11]. This blood
within you will begin to vibrate because of the permutations that
loosen it. Your entire body will then begin to tremble, and all your
limbs will be seized with shuddering. You will experience the terror
of God and will be enveloped with fear of Him. You will then feel as
if an additional spirit is within you, arousing you and

 strengthening you, passing through your entire body and giving you
leisure. It will seem as you have been anointed with perfumed oil,
from head to foot. You will rejoice and have great pleasure. You will
experience ecstasy and trembling--ecstasy for the soul, and trembling
for the body. 

 [Meditation and Kabbalah, Treasury of the Hidden Eden p85-86]

 b. The stage of bhava, love of God, is manifested by eight
transcendental symptoms, namely inertness, perspiration, standing of
hairs on end, failing in the voice, trembling, paleness of the body,
tears in the eyes, and finally trance. [Srimad Bhag. 2:3:24 Purport]


 a.The Jewish scriptures describe a vision of God. "His head is a
treasure of fine gold. His locks are hanging, black like the raven."
In both Talmudic and Kabbalistic traditions, one of the
interpretations is that it relates to a vision of God; "when He is
visualized in battle, He is seen as a young man with black hair."
[Sefer Yetzirah Ch 6.1]

 b.The Vedas refer to the form of the Lord. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam
it is stated, "the Lord is super excellently beautiful on account of
His open and merciful smile and His sidelong glance upon His
devotees. His black hair is curly, and His garments, waving in the
wind, appear like flying saffron pollen from lotus flowers. His
glittering earrings, shining helmet, bangles, garland, ankle bells,
waist belt and various other bodily ornaments

 combine with the conch shell, disc, club, and lotus flower to
increase the natural beauty of the Kaustubha pearl on His chest."
[Srimad Bhag. 2.24.47-48]

 Thank You
 William Glick
 williamglick at <mailto:williamglick at>

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