Hinduism - Lesson 6

Key Themes in the Upanishadic Vision (Part 2)

Brahman is the ultimate reality of the universe. Our atman is encrusted with karma and stuck on the wheel of Samsara. A Hindu's goal, in the process of being reincarnated through thousands of lifetimes, is to rid themselves of karma so they can achieve moksa, oneness with Brahman.

Lesson 6
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Key Themes in the Upanishadic Vision (Part 2)

B. Ten Key Themes in the Upanishadic Vision

2. Atman and antaryamin - “one who dwells within” “internal controller”

3. Tat Twam Asi

a. thou art that (Chandogya 6.8.7)

b. the Transmission - “I am Brahman” (Brihad-Aranyaka 1.5.17) “aham Brahman”

4. Samsara

a. Realm of the individual cycle of life and rebirth

b. transmigration of souls (re-incarnation)

c. Four ages or Yuga of Samsara

1. Krta Yuga (golden age) 1.7 million years

2. Tretra Yuga 1.2 million years

3. Dvapara Yuga 864,000 years

4. Kali Yuga (dark age) 432,000 years

  • Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world and one of the oldest. It is about 12% of the world population and about 95% are in India. Hinduism is difficult to define. There is evidence of civilization in the Indus valley as early as 2800 BC. The sacred literature that is the basis for Hinduism was created and developed over hundreds of years. It was originally transmitted orally and was eventually written down.

  • Introduction to fundamental ideas and literature that are basic to the Hindu religion. The first lecture given for this class is not available at this time. This lecture begins on the class outline at II, C.

  • Discussion of the influence that the Vedic tradition has on Hinduism. 

  • Mahavakyas is made up of two words meaning, “great utterances.” The creation stories are a collection of different stories with various themes. The world is created by a divine figure dismembering themself and their body becomes the world. The caste system has a racial element to it based on some of the creation narratives in the RgVeda.

  • The Upanishads are one strand of the Vedas. Brahman refers to the all-pervading reality in the Upanishads, not the Brahmin caste. The question throughout the Upanishads is, “Who or what is Brahman?”

  • Brahman is the ultimate reality of the universe. Our atman is encrusted with karma and stuck on the wheel of Samsara. A Hindu's goal, in the process of being reincarnated through thousands of lifetimes, is to rid themselves of karma so they can achieve moksa, oneness with Brahman.

  • Maya is the ability of the gods to create the world and give it the appearance they choose, thereby concealing the true nature of Brahman. Karma is the principle that what you sow, you alone reap.

  • A Hindu must work off their karma to be released from the wheel of Samsara and achieve moksa when their atman becomes one with Brahman. Yoga was developed as a way to achieve the goals of the Samkhya philosophy. Hindus see God as a material cause of the universe, not an efficient cause.

  • The Mahavakyas are “great sayings” that give you insights into core teachings of Hinduism. The Brehed Aranyaka Upanishad shows that Hindus believe that diversity can come through oneness and not be an “other.”

  • Sankara says that Brahman is unknowable and we can't perceive any of his qualities. The rope-snake metaphor is often used by Hindus to discuss the difference between perception and reality.

  • Hindu writers often use metaphors to illustrate and teach the essentials of the Hindu philosophy. In their writings, they refer to these metaphors in a way that assumes that you know and understand them.

  • The purpose of this lecture is to see the structure of Hinduism at a glance. Hinduism operates and a philosophical level and a popular level. Hinduism attempts to resolve the relationship between knowledge, works and devotion. The four stages of life and the caste system determine much of cultural structure of Hinduism. Hindus worship many Gods.

  • The three major dissent movements that area a challenge Hinduism are Buddhism, Janism and materialism. Hinduism is adept at absorbing other movements. Buddhism claims that there is a teaching that makes it possible for you to reach the state of Nirvana which is liberation from all suffering. The founder of Buddhism is Siddhartha Gautama. The content of his teaching is the four noble truths and the eight-fold path.

  • The key insight of the Upanishads is the identification of atman with Brahman. Buddhists deny both atman and Brahman.

  • The Bhakti marga is branch of Hinduism that emphasizes a spiritual journey undertaken by a devotee that will culminate in a state of union with God or mutual indwelling of the deity and the bhakta.

  • The Hindu gods have identifying characteristics that make them easy to recognize when you see them in temples or other settings. The Trimrti are the three major gods of India which are Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. Brahma is not often visually represented, so Vishnu and Shiva are seen the most. Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer. Vishnu has 10 incarnations or avatars. These are partial incarnations and don’t represent the fullness of Vishnu.

  • The Siva icon always has the presence of the Trishal, which is a sacred weapon of destruction. There is also the nag (cobra), damaru (drum), third eye, Ganges river flowing out of his head. The dancing Siva has a damaru in one hand and a flame of fire in the other that represents creation and destruction of the world. He also has dreadlocks and the trunk of an elephant.  The third eye of siva is what Hindu women have on their forehead. The Siva Lingum is the most dominant icon in north India.

  • The Brahminical branch teaches that works and devotion lead to true knowledge (Upanishadic vision, tat twam asi). Bhaktis say that knowledge and works should lead to devotion.

  • The Ramayana is an epic account of India. It is the story or epic of Rama and Sita, and is the origin of the tradition of Suti. Mahabharata is the epic of India. It’s the longest collection of poems in the world. The Bhagavad-Gita  is the most important part of the Mahabharata. It talks about both the dharma of caste and the dharma of denial and renunciation.

  • Gurus integrate different parts of the marga system. Paramahamsa Ramakrishna declared the unity of all religions. He claimed to have visions of Hindu gods and Jesus Christ and Mohammed and that all religions lead to the same ultimate reality, sat chit ananda. Swami Vivekananda was the most well-known follower of Ramadrishna and brought his message to the western world. He accepts tat twam asi, the great insight of the Upanishads, but thinks that everyone, not just Brahmans can perceive that unity. (The last point of the lecture was cut short due to a technical limitation.)

    You may download the text of Vivekananda's speech by clicking on the Handouts link in the upper left corner.

  • These are nine of the major holidays celebrated in India. Sankara has been called India’s greatest philosopher. Sankara emphasized universals and Ramanuja emphasized the particulars, similar to Plato and Aristotle in Western thought. Sankara has greater status as a philosopher, but Ramanuja has had a great influence on how the masses practice Hinduism.

    The chart Dr. Tennent refers to near the end of the lecture is the “Three Vehicle Structure of Hinduism,” which is labeled Lecture 6 in the complete class outline pdf document on the class page.

  • Brahmabandhav Upadhyay was an upper jati Brahman teacher who converted to Catholicism. He attempts to explain Christianity by using Advadic motifs. Brahmabandhav is an example of how a Brahman can address the Brahminical community using a Brahminical line of reasoning.

  • There are opportunities for preaching the gospel and planting churches, but there are significant challenges. There is a difference between being unreached and being unevangelized. Homogenus unit principle is one factor that makes it difficult for the gospel to spread in India. It’s important to send people to unreached groups and use a strategy that is effective for those groups.

In-depth survey of philosophical and popular Hinduism’s historical and theological themes. Exposure to current strategies being used to bring the gospel to Hindus and how Christian theology is being formulated in the Indian context.

Dr. Tennent occasionally uses pictures of Hindu gods or other visual resources in his lectures. You can download a document with these pictures by clicking on the Hindu Deity Pictures link. 



Dr. Timothy Tennent
Key Themes in the Upanishadic Vision (Part 2)
Lesson Transcript


Did you have a question? Too early or no joke? Yeah, well, I always. On time for the Indians to speak. I know you're from the non Hindu. Hindu. Do we have our own individual? We unless we realize that we are Brahmin, we cannot be all of this. That's right. So is that. So we have a union with Brahman. So unless we are unless we get that Mukti, we cannot be united. That's right. We cannot. So when we are released from this, the cycle of life, we become Yes, we become Brahman. If we are in the cycle of life. What we are right now, you're under a massive illusion. You're under. You're in what they call a vidya. You're under ignorance. You are ignorance. You believe you have individual separate existence. So we can have that can be Atma admin is the essence that you have this beneath all of this, but it's underneath all the layers of personality and individual consciousness and your knowledge of self all is underneath all of that. If the meat eater become the tiger or lion or the gunman, we don't even need to develop the vegetables at all. So what you've got. Well, that that's the reason the Brahmans claim that there are Brahmans, because they have refrained from eating meat. And of course, there are Brahmans who do eat meat. You probably know that. But they ignore all of that red meat to me. That's right. But. But according to their theology, the reason I should there as a shooter is because they have violated these dietary laws according to this whole process, which we haven't gotten to yet, with the next thing or the next line of Moksha, but only a Brahman male can escape the wheel of samsara according to this.


All right. Now we're giving you kind of the basic standard Brahmin, uncle Hindu. This is a mineral Hindu as we're giving you. Now there's going to be descent descent movements that challenge the role of the Brahmans to say all this. And there's other ways this will be permeated. But the basic what's so amazing is no one really argues with the basic problem of samsara, karma, escape and moksha. But the rabbinical view is that until you unless and until you become a Brahman male, you cannot escape the will of some. Sara. The only way to be reborn as a Brahman male is through careful adherence to your Dharma. So even if you are a shoe drop and you're called to clean toilets, you should clean toilets with all your heart. And this is this is a way they reinforce ethical action and obedience in their society. You should be a good toilet cleaner. This is why in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna comes down, has a conversation with Arjuna. Arjuna is feeling reluctance about killing his uncles and his cousin. They're facing this battle whole thing open on the field of battle. And Arjuna says, I don't want to go over there and kill them because that's my family over there. What does Krishna say to him? You're a patriot. Because you're a patriot means you're a warrior. You've been made to be a warrior. The only way to fulfill your Dharma is to be a warrior. You must kill or you cannot escape. And he says, Besides, all those are bodies over there. All you do with killing bodies. You can't kill the ottoman. They're going to be migrated. You can't kill them. The real them is the ottoman. So go over there and slam. So finally he says, okay, Will.


Well, that's a very crude summary of the Geeta, but that's essentially the storyline of it. So you'll be reading that. But it's all about your Dharma. You keep your Dharma, do your duty and improve your karma and you can be released in the will of samsara. That's why the Brahmins are trying to control it so that they are at the top of this game and they're about to jump off. Everybody else has got to serve them and do what they say so they can get to their position on the wheel. What is a day in a night? Is it one cycle or a day? And a night is the kalpa, which is this 8 million years? This is a four day is 4 million. The night is 4 million. But that's this is only a minor delusion. The fall, day and night, I mean, the whole thing together, a thousand cycles is like the big day of Brahman. And a thousand cycles is a big night. So everything has a minor and a major. So the individual resolutions, the minor solution and the big mega dissolution as both as the first day and nights. All right. And then the other periods. The contract. Yeah. Do any of their writings like stories of happenings during those periods? No. The stories were revealed, then revealed here, but they often refer to events and things that happen in these stages. They do. So they often talk about the great age. When this warrior did this was a warrior did that. Oh, yeah. They they have all kinds of stories about what happened at different earlier Hugos but not in different not in a previous pre does this dissolution. So this is all one of these cycles right. So if we'll say you're in the 888 cycle of this, you're still on the 888 cycle of this.


Not what happened on the 87th. Because once you do that, you'll get into Shruti. So Smriti only occurs in this cycle. And so Shruti is about things that transcend all of this. So in that sense, that's different. Okay? Yes. I told you that they were prepared to answer questions. So everybody's on board and we go on. So it's all right. Or maybe he just get disillusioned. And what happens? The people that. Well, that's what I was saying, that the again, you don't have this individual, John Ottman, but it is true that the Ottman, the all the potentiality of the universe lies latent inside a Brahman. So when it's remitted out, which I realize is speaking a segment of Brahman, because that's that's how they describe it. But when it's remitted out, then all of that Ottman is a once again re embodied. Now, there's no individual consciousness according to this particular political score we're looking at Now, later on, there's other schools. One of these schools I mentioned, I mentioned these seven major schools. We're looking at Vedanta. One of these is called Sabka Azam k h y A which does believe that your individual consciousness continues in all of this. So in that case, they would have the horrible realization that at some point you would be conscious of being re-admitted and starting all over again after what is it, let's say three and 15 quadrillion years. Okay, let's move down to Maya and see if we can make a little progress on some of the questions you may have. And in relation to Maya. Maya is a rather illusory term or elusive term, I should say. I shouldn't say illusory loser. That's part of the problem with this term. And I have here problems in the history uses in translation of the term.


It is very, very difficult indeed to translate this word into English. I used to use a textbook in this class by David Kinsley, who flat out defines Maya as, quote, illusion or appearance. I simply do not believe that is a proper translation of the term, and I don't know what to do about it, because most textbooks usually go kind of in that direction. And it is certainly in that direction. There are certain Indian thinkers who who do go that way. But actually most of the Indian scholars who today say that Maya is illusory or is illusion are scholars who study Hinduism in the West and go back to India. So if you go back to the early Vedic period and you read the Vedas, there's no question that Maya AB in those period, nobody does this point in the early period, the word Maya does not have any to do with illusion. So in the earliest period, Maya refers to the ability of the gods to create the world essentially, and give it an appearance that they choose. So they power to create a real universe. It doesn't talk about a world that's illusory or whatever, but it does have the possibility that the gods can make it appear in various ways. John Brockington, in his well-known book, Sacred Thread, which is another textbook than the one that you have. But he says, and I quote, The view of the world as illusory has never been actually true of Hinduism as a whole. But only a few small schools of thought. Well, thought. So what happens is the word Maya eventually becomes used in the sense of the ability of the gods to conceal how things really are. Now, once you get into the idea of concealment, you start getting closer to the idea of illusion.


If you're saying that, you know, you see this table as a table, but really it's something else, then you're getting closer to the idea of illusion. What we definitely have in the apartment, it's the openness shards, is the idea that the phenomenal world, the phenomenal world is the world of our senses cannot be identified. Whether they're going up that we can definitely say in the punch shards that if the world of our senses, the phenomenal world cannot be identified with no good Brahmin. So that is to say we cannot rely upon our senses to give us accurate information about God or ultimate reality. And therefore, questions are going to be raised in a knock on effect. If we cannot speak authoritatively about God who is near goona our ultimate reality, then can we speak with authority about anything? Can we talk about the world with a certainty? Can we talk about our bodies with certainty? And how can we be certain about anything that we see around us? If we cannot have any certain knowledge about God? This is actually if you're interested in philosophy, this is a very critical insight into the role of ontology in philosophical thought. Because if you abandon a basic ontology like that, God is the basis of everything. And so once you deny that paradigm, that great ontological paradigm of God, it rattles all the way to the top, because then you have to doubt everything, because there's no foundation for anything. Now, a sense of what happens in Hinduism, can anything less than ultimately real still be real? This begins to be addressed, and I have this actually as one of your inflection points in the area of contingent being number four. I have here. If God is personal relations that limit God because it makes that creation necessary, not merely contingent.


Let me explain what I mean by that. If you say that only Brahman is real. If we say Brahman is ultimate reality and we say that the world is not Brahman, this is essentially what we have in the equation. Brahman equals ultimate reality. Therefore, the world is not Brahman. That means the world is not ultimate reality. Now, if the world is not ultimate reality, does that mean that the world equals illusion? Now, that is the jump that I don't think one can necessarily make. Maybe you can make it. Maybe it's true, but you cannot absolutely say it's true. What you simply are saying, the world is not all of the reality. So could the world equal a certain level of reality? Little Ah, but just not big are reality. If that's true, then the world has a contingent existence that is a dependent existence, whereas ultimate reality, of course, as necessary existence, non contingent existence. So this is kind of the line along which this whole discussion occurs really. Maya is somewhere in this point and it's difficult to actually nail this down. In fact, what I argue in my own book on this subject is that if you actually and I went through all of the upon shards and all of the major philosophers who comment only upon shards at the point about Maya. And what I basically discovered was that the philosophers, when they talk about the world, they obviously use metaphors. And these metaphors point to this reality of Maya. So what they end up doing is they and we'll look at this more later on, we get to the philosophers, but essentially you have this term Maya, and they use different metaphors to describe Maya. One of these metaphors talk about allusion, but it's only one of a whole range of metaphors which points to this reality.


So if you go over here and camp out on this particular metaphors, only you get yourself in trouble, basically. So you have to actually look at all of the different categories of metaphors to get a full picture of this. Mr.. They had this principle in India in hermeneutics that they call what is the term for it? It's a Sanskrit term. It's it's basically as called around the tea. Now run the tea means is the name of a star in the Great Bear constellation. It's a very dim sort, what we call the Big Dipper. It's a very dim star and the average person cannot find it. So what they do is when you take a child outside and you say, can you see our unity? And the child, of course, is, no, I can't see it. So that the master who really knows the stars says, Well, can you see that bright star there? Yeah, I can see that. Can you see that Bright Star theory? I see. Then how about that? Bryce stood there and said, okay, our unity is right in the middle of those three stars. Oh, yeah. And now I see it. So the idea is that you use you use brighter stars to point to dimmer stars by implication, in Hindu philosophy, whenever they say something. Is there something? Is that one is the other? They're actually talking about kind of the surrounding stars and they're pointing to a mystery that transcends all of them. So because of that, it's difficult because Hindus don't talk in propositional terms. All we do like this is this. This is that. It's always kind of like pointing to something that you can't quite put your finger on. So this has happened with the word Maya.


So a maya I'm defining here as a false way of looking at the world due to ignorance. We're not really going to say more than that. It could be more, more dramatic. And it could be that the world is illusory, but it is at least a false way to look at the world that is attributing to the world ultimate reality, when in fact it doesn't have alternate reality. So due to our ignorance and our superimposition as a term, they love to use ideas, so they call it superimposition of reality upon it. Then your senses can think that it has a reality that it does not actually have. So if you go outside and you see a tree and you say that's a tree and you believe that that tree has reality. Okay. The Hindus are saying essentially that's the basic problem with the human race, is that we have imposed on our entire universe of existence all kinds of ideas of reality. So we think we have individual existence, for example, we think we have self. And so part of our problem is that we've got to break free from that. So as long as you keep reaffirming yourself, you're furthering crossing yourself into karma, you're embedded in will samsara and you'll be reborn and reborn and reborn. You've got to break out of this and see reality as it really is, or see ultimate reality as it really is. And that is a big part of this discussion. So you have Vijay, which means ignorance of the true nature of reality at just mean superimposition of a false view of reality on that which we encounter with our senses. And finally, when it comes to the world, people often ask, Well, if the world is not really real, then why in the world was it career in the first place? Why did this bar create it? And again, the phosphors the punch shards regularly invoke the term Lila.


Lila means sport or play God that need to create the universe. He just wanted it for the fun of it. He he wanted to just do it. So he did it. They get the analogy of a king who goes out in the forest to hunt tigers. It's good in the analogy. The king goes out and he loves to go in the forest to hunt tigers. It's not because he needs to eat any meat because all his needs are met. He's the king. They'll bring him all the meat he wants, but he enjoys hunting in the same way. The creation of the world is Lila. It's sport. It's play. It's something that he just wanted to do. So this creates, you know, obviously another weakness in the ontology of the universe, because in the Christian worldview instills the whole world with great cosmic purpose. You know, the we're involved in a great drama that really matters. In Hinduism, there is no fundamental cause that undergirds this great human experience. And so you have Lila, is it's not just a minor doctrine. It's very prevalent in the writings of of Hindu writers. And therefore, it creates less sense of purpose. And I think and that's why he will say that India's life denying. What they mean by that is simply that you don't have an undergirding purpose, even though some people are very successful and wealthy and some people are poor and impoverished. The whole structure of the Hindu religion is based on a purposeless universe, and that becomes a problematic for the whole worldview in terms of how you instill people with drive and meaning to their life and existence. Yes, to the gods on the cycle of. Are they totally removed from that or are they somehow intertwined with all The popular gods of Hinduism are a part of this? Maya They're part of this less than ultimately, ultimately real.


At least according to the biomedical strain we're looking at right now. The Rama Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva, Hanuman, you know, Ganesh, all of these gods are part of the illusion. The only breaks you have from this begin to be descent movements that begin to argue for a personal cause, except a description of God. So, for example, with the Harikrishna movement, which you've heard about, the Krishna movement wants to argue that you have the popular gods, which is so good of Brahman. You get above that, you have near goona Brahman, but you're going to Brahman actually is a reflection of the supreme personality of God, which is Krishna. So Krishna is the supreme reality, absolute reality for the Harikrishna for the whole ISKCON movement. So they would argue that Krishna is not in the same category as Rama, for example, or Vishnu or whoever. So those are some different ways as talked about in other movements. But according to at Vedic kind of standard, mainstream Hinduism, all of the gods, including Krishna, are all part of the illusion and have no ultimate reality. So when the wheel starts over, you have completely different gods or you have the same gods. It's a good question. And that actually Shankara addressed that question to his followers that questions asked him by one of his students. And he says that Brahma has the ability to, if he chooses to to re emanate the same gods that have the same form, including the Vedic gods of Indra and all those if he chooses to. So there's no and that's a. Doesn't have to be haphazard. That shows some purpose, which I've actually pointed out in my own writings. I think it's very interesting that that he argues that point, because to me it's be consistent.


You would think he would have answered that there's no correlation between the God between the big corpus. But he doesn't say that. He says that if God chose to. That could be or elimination of the same God back again so that you think about the implications of that. We don't actually get into that much in this class. Those kind of implications. But interesting. How can you use Maya in a sentence? Like what? How does it function? Maya functions the mountain. We should view Maya as like a huge cloud is over your your body. And this cloud is affecting the way you see things. And so Maya keeps you from seeing what is ultimately real. So you're being captured in this cloud of confusion slash illusion. If you want to go that way, that basically says you think the world has certain existences that it doesn't actually have. And so you puts great stock in the reality of the world. By the way, this same big debate goes on in Buddhism. So this all of this struggle is fundamental to both Hindu and Buddhist worldviews. As different as they are, they are all stuck with the same thing or the reality of the world, the nature of the world, nature of ultimate reality. All of this is is very important in the discussions of Hinduism and Buddhism. So now what about that cloud? So. Oh, you mean a Brahmin? I'm sorry. Is that how they see you teach? Come up with something, right? Or they believe there are ways they can get above the cloud. And for example, if you had a particular school of thought that said through meditation and through studying this particular Brahman and releasing certain kinds of mental power, then you can be lifted above this and see things clearly.


They are. I mean, it's not like getting a plane, but yeah, how can you trust that if you can't trust your senses? How can you trust that you have the keys to understanding? Again, we're talking about how do you deal with this in terms of, you know, how can you trust it? Obviously, from my point of view, as a Christian, the whole thing is untrustworthy at its fundamental level because there's no this is a big sham by the Brahmans, really. This whole thing is a big confidence scheme to keep six I mean, it's 8% of all of India, but it's only 4.5% of Hindus. So you don't four and a half percent of the Hindu world controls everything. It's a lot of power. So the Brahmans have the ability not only to maintain control, but to keep it. And the way they keep control is keep everybody fighting that somebody else. They're great at dividing everybody. So they claim that they have special knowledge of the society through putting them in positions of power reinforces that they must know something that we don't know, and they're claiming they have the power over this. So the only way to break out of your ignorance is to play their game. And their game says, You stay under us, you learn from us. We are the teachers in this society. And so it works. I mean, that's maybe a little cynical, but that's the way it works. Problem in real life. Well, the Brummies are very well aware of their power in India, and they've they're protective of the power. There's no question that many, many Brahmins sincerely believe all of this and believe that they really do have these insights and they believe that they really are.


When they die, they can go into Moksha. They believe that there's no question there are sincere Brahmans out there by the millions. But the question is whether or not is there any substantial reason to believe that the Brahmins are teaching what is true? And just obviously, as a Christian, I'm totally unconvinced. If you ever have read any of the works of Vishal Mangal, what he was just picking up here recently came up to Peabody and spoke a few weeks ago and he'll be back, I think, next semester. But Vishal Megawati has spent much of his life. He's an acclaimed Indian writer and has written many, many books. In a way only an Indian can do, exposing the incredible abuses of the Brahmans and how they've really have robbed the society. I mean, it used to be, for example, that the Brahmins owned all of the land. When any became a independent nation, the government seized all this land from the Brahmans and went to give it to other people to help redistribute wealth. And the Brahmins have never really gotten over that. And they're very upset about that. They're desperate to reclaim their control. And they had I mean, I would say the control they have today in 2003 compared to what they had in 1903 or 1803, all the way back is dramatically diminished. So the Brahmans are like an animal in the corner. I mean, everything today is about extolling the power of the Dalits, finding ways to empower the people, you know, give them seats in Congress, give them place in the university. All of these things threaten the Brahmins. So they're upset. And that's partly why when I go to India, you know, there's so much animosity by these Brahmins against Christians because they see everybody as a threat to them right now.


And the fact that Christians are being converted in large numbers is a threat to them and they are losing power they've had for centuries. And this does not apply to northeast. You don't have this structure in Northeast, but for the vast majority of India, this is a huge reality, especially in the north where we work. What's the power structure like in the southern part of India? There's a lot of Christians down there, but I mean, the Hindus that are little caste, you know, because they're farther south, they're Brahmins that go down there to give orders and stuff like that. Yeah, they're Brahmins now. They're Brahmins all over the whole country. And so the when the Aryans came, migrated down, they eventually migrated all the way down to the very tip of India. So the migrations continued. So the fact that the Davidians were pushed, the original Davidians were pushed, means you do have a lot of low caste Indians or non caste in South India, but they're also all over India. So because of population changes, you've got Brahmins everywhere, you have outcasts everywhere. So there's no problem. There's plenty of Brahmins to go around. Yes, there's no anger for any reality or truth. So would you say within Hinduism the Brahmans become the standard for truth or reality merit rotation? Well, Brahman is the anchor of reality in the Hindu ontology because the Buddhist eventually will will break from that. But the Hindus essentially believe that at the base of all of the universe is Brahman. You're right, though the Brahmins mediate that, and because they mediate that, then they control things because they're they're the only access to Brahman is to following their their scheme. Now you realize the Punisher gods represents the meditations of the Brahmins.


All right. I mean, it's pretty obvious, I guess. These are Brahmins meditating, the original Aryans or Patriots and the Aryans with the Warriors. So you have a process. We don't know how it happened, where the priestly class eventually, once they the warriors came, settled down there themselves over the rest of the class. I mean, the Warriors are still upper class, upper caste, but essentially the two sides controlled by a relatively small group of priests. So they punish as represent the main corpus of the meditations of Brahmins. So naturally, it's going to feed into their whole power structure. We're going to look, as we develop this, how major descent things happen to challenge this, both within Hinduism eventually breaking free like Buddhism and Jainism. But right now we're trying to give this at least main picture, and then we can look at how things break from it. The sixth and I guess we'll we'll close. But this one is the word for karma, which literally means act or deed. Act or deed. This is the immutable law of cause and effect. It's one of the great eternal principles in the Eastern world. And this is just as important in Buddhism as in Hinduism. Everybody regards it like as immutable. It is the ultimate sowing and reaping. What you sow is what you reap. Now, it's interesting that we in the in Christianity, we have a concept of sowing and reap. What you sow is what you reap. This is actually even more profound than that in the sense that it's not only what you sow is what you reap, what you sow, you alone reap. If you enjoy the distinction, what you sow, you alone reap. So your actions will affect your karma and your rebirth.


Your actions can in no way influence or affect someone else. This is especially true all the way through to the 19th century. The missionaries arrive in India and then till the 19th 20th century, the Hindus begin to address ethical considerations in a way that is really alien to the medical system. So Hindus would say, for example, if I'm okay, I'm married to Julie. We'll say every Friday I get paid by the seminary. I go immediately with my check, cash, a check, and I drink myself to oblivion every weekend with alcohol. I crawl home and collapse on the floor. I've gambled my money away. My children are destitute. My wife is in suffering and pain in the karmic world of karma. There is no relationship whatsoever between my suffering and my wife or children suffering. So the idea that my alcoholism, my gambling or whatever is causing my vicariously, my wife and children to suffer is absolutely impossible with karma. That would say what you sow, someone else reaps, and that's impossible in Hinduism. What you so you alone rape. So we have a concept of sovereign raping that's individual and corporate. So we believe Adam sinned. That has corporate realities for all of us. Of course it's true. You send you have consequences. That has consequences for your family. If someone in this school were to go and do some horrible deed, it would affect all of us. That is a mentality that is largely absent from the Hindu mind, apart from later influences. So Karma states that every action is the effect of a cause, and it is in turn the cause of an effect. So everything you do either further embeds you on the will of samsara or helps to liberate you from the bonds of samsara and ignorance and superimposition.


So whatever you are doing, it's because of your previous karma and all the acts that you're doing now creates more karma. One of the famous stories along this line is when the people comes to the master and he says, Tell me why is it that some people are rich, some are poor, Why are some Brahmins, some shoulders? Why are some kings some slaves? Why are some wealthy? Some poor? All these different things. Rich, poor, fat, skinny. And all this. And the guy response and said, Well, tell me, why is a tree different from a bush? Why is a bush different from a flower? Why is a Florida from grass? Why do we have differences in creation? And the person says, well, because of seeds. Obviously the seed of an oak tree will produce an oak, a seed of a thorny brownish brier. And the guy says, Well, that's how it is with people. They had different seeds, different seed was different people. Your karma is your seed. So if you have bad karma based on the laws of Manu and other writings, you do things you shouldn't do. You break the medical codes essentially. Then you'll be reborn back in the negatives that your seed changes. Your seed becomes corrupted. And you, Margaret, in another existence, you simply have you could view karma as moral baggage. This is moral baggage that you carry with you wherever you go from one lifetime to enough a next. You, by virtue of your life, you're working off your bad karma in this lifetime. But a karma can accumulate because it will say you have a lifespan of this long. You go into the life with x amount of karma. During the course this life, you're working off that karma because you are born as a shoe.


So maybe you are satisfied so that karmic debt. But the real question is you're also maybe accumulating more karmic debt based on things that you're doing this life. So when you get to the end of your life, the real question is have you worked off more than you've gained? Because when you get a new life, you don't start a new slate. You start with the accumulated karma. That's it's an encrusted over. It could be thousands of lifetimes. So there are people that are in very from the biomedical point of view, very dire situations, whereas the fact that you're a Brahman male means that you have already passed through all of that and you are at the point where you're ready to. Once you satisfied the karma of this lifetime, you're going to be released. There are even Brahmins who say that I have already settled all my karma and therefore it is impossible for me to accumulate any bad karma at this point. There are many Brahmans that this is the ultimate political trick. They'll say, okay, at this point I have satisfied all my karma of previous lifetimes. I have satisfied all the karma I've accumulated in this life of this point. All the baggage is taken care of. And so because of that, I'm now ready. Once I die, I will go into Moksha. So what they do is they say because of that, then no more karma can no longer touch me anymore. So I can now eat meat. I can have sex here. I want to have sex with. I can do all kinds of things that are really, really horrible because now I'm free from all of that. This comes out especially in the piranhas, this literature, the piranhas. You have a lot of this that comes out where the Brahmins will do all kinds of horrible misdeeds, and they'll be caught in the act by somebody.


And they will explain it by saying, Oh, I'm free from karma, I can't touch you anymore. Even Krishna. I hate to say it, They expel the Krishna. He says this. The most famous story is when Krishna goes into the down the river bank one day and these women are bathing. Any women are famous for bathing, but every day is for the Western world. First learned about daily bathing was from the Indians, by the way. Europeans in practice daily bathing. So he go down the riverbank and they were the ladies bathing. So he immediately gathered all their clothes and he goes on the train, he hides up there, and they, of course, come out of the banks to get their clothes. The clothes is gone. He goes, Ha ha ha, I have your clothes. And so the women are like this, you and actually covering their naked bodies. And they're saying, this is terrible, this is mean. You shouldn't do this. And he says, I have your clothes. Come get them. And as all you know, where they're trying to get to where he is and he says, oh, you must show your Your honor, your allegiance to me as as Krishna. And so you must put your hands on your head. And so they eventually have to do this, get their clothes back. But according to Krishna, this experience of seeing all the naked ladies, the no way affects him because he is free from this. And all of this just goes right past him. He's free from these desires, even Krishna. Yes. So let be bad karma for the women. Even though Krishna was the one that is that bad, There's nothing that Christian could do that caused the woman to have increase or decrease in her karma.


But everything a woman or man or anybody else does creates or has the potential to create karma. And karma of course, embed you in some sorrow. So if, for example, a woman exposing herself to a man I don't even know, I'm not sure if there's any laws in that or not, but it would just say hypothetically, that a woman exposing herself naked to a man creates bad karma. Then that would happen to this woman regardless of the cause of it, because they don't have this cause and effect, you know, kind of thing that that would be present in traditional Western ethics. We will come back to this next time to talk about three different kinds of karma and we'll finish up all ten of these next class period. Lord willing.