Archive for the ‘Hinduism’ Category

in Nepal widows are considered to be social pariahs who are despised, insulted and abused. It makes no difference if the husband died from natural causes or was killed fighting in a war. Their widows are cursed

November 13, 2009

For those who think Christianity has oppressed women:

You would expect a woman who has been widowed to be afforded sympathy from her family and friends at the very least. But in Nepal widows are considered to be social pariahs who are despised, insulted and abused. It makes no difference if the husband died from natural causes or was killed fighting in a war. Their widows are cursed. (In)… this disturbing situation…the women’s own family will be angry with them for being a financial burden (there’s little chance of remarrying). One man openly admits he is so irritated with his 13-year-old daughter who was widowed a year ago that he beats her and treats her as a slave. The in-laws are just as cruel, considering widows to be bad luck and holding them responsible for the death of their son. No wonder married women pray that their husbands will live a long time… one Hindu religious leader…explains that the widows are being punished for a sin in a previous life. He even suggests that the traditional practice of sati (where the wife throws herself on her husband’s funeral pyre) should be resurrected.

TV Times review of Channel 4’s Unreported World, broadcast 13/11/9

I used to wonder what on earth drove women in India to want to throw themselves on their husbands funeral pyre. But there was the carrot and the stick. The carrot was the (delusional) hope of a better reincarnation; the stick was the kind of social exclusion this programme narrates. Why, the poor widow reasoned, should I live in this body and suffer from even those closest to me, when I can perhaps achieve moksha (liberation from the cycle of existence) or at least a better go next time around? Ideas have consequences.

Even the most tolerant pluralist has difficulties with that aspect of Hinduism, which justifies slavery by insistence in a fixed social order

November 10, 2009

Even the most tolerant pluralist has difficulties with that aspect of Hinduism, which justifies slavery by insistence in a fixed social order. Were the British wrong to stop the forcible burning alive of a widow on her late husband’s funeral pyre?

Michael Green

I have been striving to attain moksha

September 21, 2009

What I want to achieve, what I have been striving and pining to achieve these thirty years, is self- realization, to see God face to face, to attain moksha.*

Gandhi

* moksha is the Hindu idea of escape/release from the wheel of rebirth/reincarnation and to attain mystical union with God/Brahman.

People are driven to act by their worldview.

Not prepared to condemn child sacrifice

September 17, 2009

D.Z. Phillips is…not prepared to condemn child sacrifice in some remote tribe, simply because he does not properly appreciate what such a practice might mean to that tribe.

D.A.Carson, Gagging of God, 2002, p.148

This is the consistent result of religious pluralism because God’s moral character cannot be known with any certainty given the great diversity of religious belief in the world. It would be arbitrary to condemn child sacrifice because it may be a ‘local expression’ of the religious impulse behind all religions. This is the consequence of rejecting the revelation of the one true God.

If you doubt this, think of this (typical) statement by a religious pluralist:

The same God is worshipped by all.  The differences of conception and approach are determined by local colouring and social adaptations. All manifestations belong to the Supreme.

Radhakrishnan’s commentary on the Bhagavad Gita

I believe with my whole soul that the God of the Koran is also the God of Bhagavad Gita

September 17, 2009

My whole soul rebels against the idea that Hinduism and Islam represent two antagonistic cultures and doctrines. To assent to such a doctrine is for me a denial of God, for I believe with my whole soul that the God of the Koran is also the God of Bhagavad Gita.

M.K.Gandhi, in Rediscovering Gandhi, Yogesh Chadha, pp.368-9

…which is irrational since the conceptions of God in those two books are mutually exclusive. If ‘God’ is the God of both books then all the parts of the two traditions that are mutually exclusive must be removed – and who could trust what remains?

The God of the Koran abhors images, but for the Hindu Brahman is worshipped through images and representations and incarnations. But God has no partners and certainly never even once became incarnate as ANY muslim will quickly tell you according to his holy book. Perhaps Gandhi’s god was schizophrenic – poor thing.

The Gospel preserves indigenous culture

September 10, 2009

When we take the measure of Christian missionary involvement in translation work, we discover a new frontier of the modern world. More than 1,800 languages have been employed in translating the Scriptures. In many significant cases, these languages received their first breath of life from Christian interest. This is true whether we are speaking of Calvin and the birth of modern French, Luther and German, Tyndale and English, Robert de Nobili or William Carey and the Indian vernaculars, Miles Brunson and Assamese, Johannes Christaller and Akan in Ghana, Moffat and Sichuana in Botswana, Ajayi Crowther and Yoruba in Nigeria, and Krapf and Swahili in East Africa, to take a random list from many examples. A glance at the world map shows that the spread of Christian renewal overlaps significantly with the development of the vernacular. There is scarcely a language or culture of any significance that does not have some portion of Christian materials available in translation.

It is important to spell out what is the particular, specific Christian understanding of culture in the context of other world religions. It is clear that in their different ways Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism have a different status for culture, or at any rate regard the culture of origin as the universal paradigm. In so far as Buddhism conceives an ultimate reality which transcends human words, culture is of transitory value. For Islam, Judaism, and Hinduism, the founding culture becomes itself the sacral mode of encountering ultimate reality. Consequently, Arabic, Hebrew, and Sanskrit have become inseparable from the truth as seen by adherents of these religions. It follows from this that translating scriptures for canonical purposes in these religions is considered invalid, for the tones and sounds cannot be reproduced in other languages. Of these three religions, only Islam has emerged as a major missionary religion, with converts spread across innumerable cultural frontiers. It is, therefore, right to compare Christianity with Islam on this issue of translation. One fact is clear, namely, that the missionary success of Islam has never been fueled, or followed, by the translation of the sacred Qur’an for the purposes of salat, the prescribed five daily prayers. Since approximately 75% of the world’s 850 million Muslims are non-Arabic speaking, this implies a major downgrading of the mother tongues of these Muslims in the decisive acts of faith and devotion. For these non-Arab Muslims, Arabic is also the exclusive mode of religious orthodoxy.

Lamin Sanneh source

Hinduism

October 1, 2008

In the myriad postulations by Hinduism there are numerous contradictions, a fact admitted by even some of its leading proponents. If the law of noncontradiction applies to reality and Hinduism is plagued by contradiction, then I concluded that, as a system, Hinduism is false. To this very day, Hinduism lives with a titanic struggle between its two poles of theism (a belief in a personal deity) and monism (a belief in an impersonal, absolute reality). In fact, more and more, Hindus are prone to offer Hinduism not as a religion but as a culture because of its admixture of so many contrary strands.

Ravi Zacharias, Can Man Live Without God?