Hinduism - Lesson 8

Key Themes in the Upanishadic Vision (Part 4)

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.

Lesson 8
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Key Themes in the Upanishadic Vision (Part 4)

6. Karma (cont)

b. Kinds of karma

7. Moksa

a. Release from the bonds of karma/samsara

8. Monism

a. One ultimate principle of existence or being

b. Nirguna Brahman is the only ultimate reality

9. Yoga

a. Yoga as an orthodox school of Hindu philosophy

b. Yoga as a pathway (marga) towards liberation

c. Ōm/breath/mantra

d. Definition of Samkhya

10. Sat Cit Ananda

a. Three affirmations are that Brahman is Being/Concsiousness/Bliss [Tim’s pseudonym - prameraj darmahnanda - king of love, bliss of truth]

b. Trinitarian concept in Absolute Being (nirguna)[Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva]

  • 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 4)

Lesson Transcript


Now there's two more things that are going to help all the Panasonic vision come into your understanding. One is by looking at them, Havok is, which we'll do this time and next time. And the other is looking at the key metaphors. I found that for my experience teaching this class is that once we get to the metaphors, the students finally understand all these concepts the way the Indians do. Because the Indians generally communicate these things through not esoteric explanations, but through common metaphors and picture word pictures. The word Maha means great, by the way. Now you understand why they called Gandhi. Mahatma. Now you know, because Mahatma, of course, is not a not his personal name. His. That was a title I gave him. And the reason is because Maha Mohammed's great Atma Othman soul, great soul. So this Maha is very important. It comes in to everything. And so in the same way, Maha Great VOC is the word for speech. Maha VOC is means great utterances, great sayings of the upon a. Now, this is not any official list from any Hindu organization or whatever. This is just my assessment of what I believe are the top ten or so 13 passages in the upon shards that come up most frequently in the discussions. And so I would say that it would really be difficult to discuss Hinduism without being aware of these Upanishads, these passages. It's like it's like someone saying, you know, okay, there's John 316 there's a certain amount, there's first 20 and 13, you know, there's first Corinthians 15. I keep out Romans eight.


There are certain passages which we know are exceptionally important in Christian discourse. People are always quoting John 316 or whatever. And so if someone doesn't know a thing about the New Testament, you can at least show them, okay, you've got to at least know the Beatitudes or something, or at least Old Testament. The Ten Commandments. Ten Commandments would be a Maha Vakil of the Old Testament. These are the great utterances that kind of give definition to the texts. And so that's kind of what this is from my point of view. In the opening shots, though, you're going to be reading the whole thing. So what we'll do is I'm going to have someone read the prayer and Yaka passage. This is a little lengthy passage, but we have time to look at this one. So if you want to read that and then we'll make some comments about it and we'll just kind of go through these one by one. I think it'd be helpful to read these out loud in class. So who will read the first Maharajah? Okay, great. Thank you. In the beginning, this world was only itself in the shape of the person looking around and saw nothing else than the self who first said I am. Therefore, I wrote the name of I. Therefore, even to this day when one is addressed, he says, First this is high and then speaks whatever other name you may have. Because before all this people are in all the peoples. Therefore, he is a person even knows this girl he burns up in the bushes to be before he was afraid. Therefore, one who's alone is afraid. This one then thought to himself, since there is nothing else than myself, what am I afraid? There, upon this fear barely passed away.


For what? Should he have been afraid? Assuredly. It is from the second that fear arises. Even early had no delight. Therefore, he who is alone, has no delight. He desired of. Second, he became as large as a woman and a man in close embrace because that self to fall into two parts from this or as husband and wife. Therefore as. But now while we are used to say this body is one of one one half of oneself, like one of two halves of a split. Therefore this space is filled by a wife. It became united with her from that. Human beings were produced. She thought, How can he unite with me after having produced me from himself? Well, let me hide myself. She became a coward. The other became a all and was united with her. And from that house report, the one became a the other stallion. The one image she asked the other? Yes. I was inside with her. And from that one have animals. Which one? The one became. She goes, the other ego. The one became a you. The other became a man and was united with her. And from that goats and sheep. Or for this Indian, he produced everything. Whatever exists, it bears down to the hands. Okay. That's from the Ramana. Attachment to. They had it on the OCCA. And it is obviously a very important passage because once you get past kind of the incestuous theme of it on the surface, which of course is the shocking part of all of the Hindu literature, it can be very evil on that level. But when you get down below it, it's this is the Hindu way of dealing with the problem of diversity. That's what this whole thing is about, is struggling with what is the relationship of the the many and the one.


How do you reconcile monism with multiplicity? The Punisher attacks demonstrates that diversity can come from oneness and not be an other. This is typical of a number of passages in the punches shots which wrestle with this one in the minute and a half. Here we actually give us out. To have a little hand out for you is to help you through this. And what I've done is with each of these upon a shard past it, we're looking through, I have kind of a very simple summary. What is the key thought and what is the key theological development in the passage from a theological point of view for us as Christians? And so I thought this might help you and you can add a lot more to it. So this gives you at least some things to think about as you read these past gorillas and you read the passage, you may Who was it said to me the other day you read one upon a side. You read them all. Rome, Roman. It was you that was. That was you. Well, that's so deeply disturbing. No, I haven't gotten over that yet. This material is very varied and rich. And I know it's not like reading the Book of John or something, you know? I mean, this some of this is really wild stuff, but part of missionary work is getting inside the thought process of somebody else. And so what happens is every culture has subtext that govern the way he'll think, interpret material or to put new ideas. In anthropology, we call this the paradigms. There's all kinds of paradigms already present when you walk into a room. So if you're not familiar with the kind of the cultural discourse, then it's very, very difficult to penetrate into someone's worldview.


And I argue in my other class, I don't think it's important. I don't think it's possible to actually address someone's worldview. You can only address the paradigms that make up the worldview. So you cannot talk in highfalutin language about the Christian worldview, the Hindu worldview, without realizing it does in fact involve building blocks like this. And you have to kind of penetrate down into that. And even though it's not easy, it's part of the sacrificial work that Christians must do because we haven't done a very good job connecting the gospel in India. We've done a horrible job, in fact. And so here is India that's had the gospel a lot longer and has been in the Western world, the Gospels in present India since the first century. And we've been so miserably failing at communicating the gospel there. So I think the reason is we have never we've worked so hard on our own discourse, but we've not really taken time to learn their discourse. Once you learn their discourse, then you begin to begin to see how to better communicate. So we have to go look into all this. So the key thought is the continuity between Brahman and creation. Obviously, the upon shards are very, very committed to monism as a rule. So because Vedanta means the end of the Vedas, right? The punished is the last part of it. So the Vedanta is focused on the Punisher, so they're the ones that have exalted this particular set of documents. The opponent shards to the point of saying, know, this is the quintessential Hinduism. So it's not unusual to find the opponents shards wrestling with the tension of the one in the many. How do you reconcile the fact that there's one essence, but yet there's all this diversity of experience from a cosmological point of view, creation point of view.


There is the key theological development of what what later Aquinas would make the distinction between efficient and material cause. It goes back to Aristotle, but it's something that's developed theologically, especially in Thomson. What does that mean? What that means is if we say God is the material cause of the universe, that means that you can have monism because the universe is made out of the substance of God's essence in nature. This is like a. Theme, which is simply this is a form of that is a theme where, you know, parts of God become the universe. That is material cause of the universe. That's not the Christian position. The Christian position is that God is the official cause of the universe. So it's like saying that a carpenter builds a house, a carpenter takes lumber, and he builds a house. The carpenter is the efficient cause of the house. The carpenter is not the material cause of the house, because the carpenter does not in any way. His essence is not in any way present in the House. He's simply the efficient cause of it. And so that's a huge theological distinction, because in Hinduism, they whenever they say God is the creator of the universe, what we mean by that and what they mean by that are two different things. Because whenever a Westerner hears an Indian say, as they will God create the universe, we assume that means that God there's an efficient cause of it, that God is the first cause. As a personal creator, He created the universe other than himself. He's spoken as just as whatever. Wow. We didn't know Hindus believe that. But actually, what they mean by that is that the universe is the material result of God's dismemberment, which in itself is part of the second Brahman.


So therefore, someone could say they believe in creation, but still be monastic and still not believe in a personal creator. And so therefore, it's it's very, very careful. We talk about the universe in the cosmology with Hindus, because the definition of terms could be very, very different. And I think the efficient material distinction, which is not really debated hotly in India, told 18th 19th century, is nevertheless very important. One, because that really is what lies at the root of a lot of the problems in the discussion. They want to embrace it as a material, not just efficient. Let's continue our behaviors of the opponent. The. The second one is from the to the real upon the shard. And this is quoted so often in the subsequent writings of all the Hindu writers, especially the philosophers. Perhaps someone could read this for us, even just reading some of the back before having to form a stay with all this. Whatever you having created it into it and having entered it and became both the actual and the beyond, the defined and the undefined, the found and the nonstandard, the intelligent and the not. And even. As the real deal became whatever there is here, that is what they call it. What do you think that explains? It's great. This, upon assured this text, first of all, does underscore a lot of the themes we learned earlier about austerity and the creation of heat number. I told you how if you denied yourself and created austerity that you could perform create spiritual power. So this person, this supreme soul, this is a Perugia figure. He performs austerity. Okay. This is a from a secular Brahmin, and that is the basis of creation. So once again, you understand creation through the austerity.


Once the creation is emerging, he enters into it. Okay. So this is the whole conception of the identification of Brahmin with Ottoman. You have put here in phenomenological language, understand a mystery which transcends it, cosmic homology that the essence of the universe is the same as the essence of all of the individual aspects of creation. Having entered it, he became both the actual and the bigger and the beyond. The phrase let me become many is quoted just almost ad nauseum. I mean, this is constantly being quoted. Let me become many. It calls to mind the entire Punjab or this text, the Punjab shots. And the idea is that again, the relationship of the one to the many. How can the world be so full of so much multiplicity and yet be rooted in the one reality? Well, because the reality of God, the essence of God has entered into the whole of creation and is found, you know, in every part actual beyond define and define it, just ways of pointing out that it is nothing that is not a manifestation of the one reality as the real. This this should be like capital are real ultimately, but as the good its little are real as the real. He became whatever there is here, that is what they call the real. So again, the idea everything that is is ultimately the reality, ultimate reality at its essence level because he's entered into it. So the key thought once again, the relation between the one in the Mini and the key that the logical development is there's one reality and yet the obvious multiplicity of the universe. So as you might imagine in the in the Hindu philosophy, there's been a lot of discussion about how do you reconcile the multiplicity, the world and the variegated realities of the world of our experience.


And the idea that all of this is ultimately one, the thought. Tomasi Whole conception is essentially reflected in this as well. Thoughts or comments about this is a now like clear, clear as mud. Yes. So I'm like, what is. He created. He stepped into it. He created it. But it's like the your image, you know? Lifeless mass has no animation to it. And so the this the supreme self enters into and animates everything that is. So it's as if you have like Ezekiel's bones. They're all put together but there's no life in them. And then he Brie calls for the spirit and enters the the life of the being. So in the same way, they're saying that there is a creation which essentially when they say creation, please remember this is not ex nihilo. This is the rearrangement of existing matter. So they essentially this process figure rearranges existing matter into the current status. What we call the world has been re emanated out as matter. Then once it's re is fashion and formed, then he enters into it 100%, not 100%. That's true. But he his life enters into it and animates it all. Once it's animated, then everything that exist now has this Ottman which animates what we are. And that Ottman is Brahman by virtue of cosmic ideology. I'm sorry, Go ahead. Finishing with an animated. During this UGA. It does, but ultimately through Moksha and through the dissolution of the of the whole paranoiac kind of conception of the universe, it all eventually come back. One of the phrases you found repeatedly is, you know that everything is going eventually come back, come back, come back. So this is a temporary temporal kind of description then. God. But throughout the time it comes to finding out.


I'll. Is that right? You're holding your head like you're in serious pain. Okay. All right, Roman. You are a Western man. All right? You think of the way you think as a Western. You're very logical. All right. You're assuming a dichotomy between good and evil. So you're saying in your mind that there's this tension and contradiction between good and evil? Okay. Sure. I'm going to take that Etch-A-Sketch. Shake it. All right. All right. Going to start drawing new lines. Okay. The new line is that ultimately good and evil are transcended. So evil. I mean, all of this becomes the Buddhist big debate with the whole Hindus. All right? Which we will look at when I get back from India. The idea that there is a fundamental reality of evil that opposes God's reality is rejected. Therefore the Ottoman animates everything and the ottoman is untouched by evil. The Ottomans untouched by evil, even though it is encrusted with degradation of karma, which does produce all kinds of evil. But in their mentality, existence is a form of evil. Not just Hitler, but Mother Teresa. It's all ultimate expression of a manifestation of karma that ultimate should be done away with. It's all negative if there is no that thing. Because that just those distinctions exist at the level of the dots that we like shown up. They don't exist. Let our devices go. So at the highest level and at the highest level, those things don't exist. Then the practical level, all these things exist. So they would say to you, Go higher, Roman, go higher. You go take off the ladder a little higher and eventually get above the clouds and talk to us. See, this is the upon us. That's pretty heavy stuff.


I mean, this this is serious reflection by Hindu people on the banks of the Ganges River. And they're watching the river flow by, you know, think about the river, the way things flow. Things are always different. You know, you don't put your foot in the same river twice, and yet it's always the same. You know, they look at the cycles of the monsoons and everything seems to come back again every year. It goes to the same level again. They're saying, okay, if you have monsoon rains that come every year, they flood and you have the dry season. Okay. Everything seems to be cyclical. Could this be a cosmic homology? Could this be a picture of the whole universe? They're always trying to extrapolate. And something that goes beyond explains the big picture. So when you when we ten American Westerners, thinkers, especially Roman, like to analyze things and the Western thinking says, as you analyze things and get into this detailed analysis, then, you know, we put these in categories to explain things. They're trying to find a way to transcend those categories. That's essentially and it does. It is it's very difficult, I agree, because ultimately we do believe fundamental difference in good and evil. But the Hindus are not accepting our presuppositions. So is this where some of the idea of the hidden pantheism is really and this since he's he's a the enters into a 100, but not 100%. So he's entered into it, but not 100%. Right. And we go back to the Vedic idea that he's not 100% into it. But, you know, one of the interesting thing is to ask, is God in creation or is creation in God? And that becomes a debate among the philosophers, because Shankara says essentially God is in everything.


Ramanujan says, everything is in God. And that becomes a dispute. But we'll look at that later. We're not quite ready for that yet. A discussion. Take me back the first day of class and tell us again how to turn the Western side up. I can find this work. Well, what I did say, I don't know just that. But I would say that I did say there was no kind of like slow ramp, you know, that leads into this pool. There's just a kind of a steep cliff. I just don't jump in. So when you first jump in, there's like we jump in the massively cold water. There's that initial just equilibrium, you know, and panic even. And you have to just stay there a while and then you'll begin to acclimate. Once you acclimate and once you get the full structure of it, Shankar is not some stupid fool because these guys are brilliant thinkers, all right? So they eventually connect the dots at a certain level. I mean, even C.S. Lewis said, if I want a Christian, I'll be a Hindu. You know, he was saying that as worldviews go, the worldview makes sense at a certain level. And once you accept their presuppositions now, part of it could be my own poor job in explaining it. But I think part of it, I'm sure, is that that part of it is also the fact that we're still looking at a building half built. So once we began to get all this filled out, especially like that, the the different analogies, I think it'll make more sense. And when we connect together and you, the water start feeling normal again. Okay, let's go on to the third one. I might have recommended this one because I just know this.


You're going to love it from the header in Yako about how many jobs that are developing. And when you get to Virginia Volke, you can just say vice if you want. Okay. Got to go on. Ask them how many guns are there. He is in accord with the following indication that not as many are as are mentioned in the debate with him according to the schedules, namely 303 and 3000. Yes, he said. But how many guys are there? 33. Yes, he said. But how many guns are there in the six? Yes, he said, But how many Got some of the different? Not three. Yes, he said. But how many guns are there? Yes, he said. But how many guns are. There was no marker, wasn't it? Yes, he said. But how many cards are there usually larger ones? Yes, said. Said, which are those 303,003. He. They are. But the manifestations that there are only 33 boats. Which are these three the eight busses we 11 route us regress and then 12 and you have this these are 31. Indra and Roger, I was up at the OC, but here we are at what must appear to be a remarkable thing. But this is classic a moment in Upanishads, If you understand this upon the Shard, a lot of things will begin to fall into place because there's two things that are happening here simultaneously, and both are very important for the Upanishads. On one hand, the basic point is that the multiplicity of gods is a manifestation of one. Well, let's just for now, say one God. We'll discuss how this three and 33 thing comes into it. But essentially that one, God can manifest it in a multiplicity of other deities. So essentially, all these.


DAVIES All these gods are lower levels of expression of something which is ultimately above at all. There's a very famous story in Hinduism about a man I think I mentioned a book where a man who goes around and counts all the gods. I mention that in the book. So he goes around, he spends his whole life counting the gods. He goes, every village. He asked, Gods you worship here and in India, typically you have certain national gods are worshiped everywhere. You have certain gods that are very important in different regions of India. And then you have occupational gods that are over. Every conceivable occupation has a god. So if you're a street sweeper, if you are a leather worker, if you are a, you know, a rural or a king, it doesn't matter is gods that preside over any occupation you do well, that stretches up to millions right there. And then you have family deities that are over. Your particular family or clan have clan deities, you have occupational deities, regional deities, national deities. Then you have all the Vedic deities and all the rest. So when you put all this together, it comes out to there's various estimations, but it count. One of the most historic figures is 330 million gods. Okay, so this guy comes up with this number that there are 330 million gods worshiped an Indian. He has these huge books that list all these names out. So it is finally he's at his deathbed and they come to him and they say to him, they said, Tell us, teacher, you spent your whole life going over to all the villages in India. How many gods are worshiped in India? And he says, one. And he has a book of 330 million different gods.


He says, one, This is the Indian version of theism, that there are maybe multiplicity of manifestations, but they all reflect back to the one. So that is part of the theology of the US, where he's trying to break into the idea that there's one God that has many manifestations. And finally it comes out to that. If if you go down to the first main paragraph, I mean, it's so great the way toys with you gets down, you know, six, three, two, and then rather than one, which you expect one and a half, the guy's really toying with you here. Okay? He's he's so slow about coming to this final statement. Okay. There's one K, So if it stopped there, in many ways, it would make a lot simpler, right? Because it's okay. He's basically saying that there's one God that is manifested in multiplicity of manifestations into ultimately millions, but it goes on and ends up with this thing about the 33 gods and these three different pantheons of the Vedic gods. Now, what is so important about that is that this shows the very powerful tension that the Upanishads are in, because on one hand the upon Assads are powerfully wanting to introduce new theology, essentially new a new conception that these guys are trying to find a way to unite India into something that's coherent because it is contradictory and you do have all these contradictory belief systems. So. They're trying to find a way to say, okay, can we trump all of these divisions and is something that is coherent and reified essentially into a religion and that or at least they punish, I think, vision at least. So the opponents charge are trying to trump out all of these gods. But the Punisher gods cannot overtly contradict the Vedas, the Rig Veda, because if they do, then it'll show discontinuity.


So you have an appendix. The upon shards, of course, are appendices to the Vedas, so you can have the appendices eventually just blatantly contradict the Vedas. So he essentially on one hand introduces the new theology and it is frankly new the fact that one God is a manifestation of the many and the only thing you get this debate is maybe the written idea, but then he will not stop there. So he goes back and says they were the infestations of them, but they are only 33 gods. That is orthodox Vedic theology. I think we mentioned that. Did we in the Vedic discussion of 33 gods, That's important. No, we discussed that in the in that handout earlier. But if you forgot that, remember that. And then he actually articulates the three pantheons of the Vedic system as well as Indra Prajapati. So the result is you have a new theology and a affirmation of Vedic continuity that's affirmed. And that's that's a very important kind of thing to be aware of. That happens throughout the upon shards. Okay. Yes. So you get any schools that are like purists that reject the conscience. You have the LDS Church and the Reformed LDS Church. You definitely do. There's a very fast movement called in India. They call the area Samaj, the Society of the Aryans, and instead of the guy name DIAMANDA, and he advocated that all the truth of the universe is present in the Vedas. Even technical scientific knowledge is all latent innovators. Everything that can be known in the world is found invaders and the upon a shard should be rejected as a later lower amendment to the Vedas. So they're like a back to the latest thing and there's a strong following and there's a number of philosophies and groups in India that do believe that the Vedas is the source of all true knowledge.


Are you getting on the top? One of the popular variants? Arya Samaj is belong to? I mean it has chapters all over India. People. Indians belong to it. This is not just some school that's taught in universities. This is a movement. In fact is. I was down in Saharanpur, which is just below Dehradun. It's right here Saharanpur okay, we have some work down there in Saharanpur So this, that where that people move, it's happening. These people that pick up dead bodies, these scavengers, 12 villages have responded to the gospel. So I was down there preaching a year or so ago and I was on a sabbatical, which is now a couple of years ago. I was having supper one night with the mission professor, retired at Princeton, I mean Yale University. And so we're talking and he said he mentioned I knew he worked in India and no where. So I said, Where did you work in India? He said, Saharanpur. I said, Saharanpur. And he says, No, no, no, no, no, no. It's not what? Not where you think. He thought I was saying he thought I had heard some import because everybody in a certain poor I said, no, no, no, no, I know some poor, but I know Saharanpur. He said, You do because no one ever heard of Saharanpur. It's just a small place. I see. Yeah, I'm in all the time. He said, Well, I worked at this seminary there. I've never been back for like 40 years. And he said, I'd love to know what's what's happened. So I said, Well, I'll be there in just a few months and I'll go and take pictures of the other place where you taught. He's like about 85 years old, this man.


So I went back, went Saharanpur, and I told one of our colleagues, I mean, Daniel must say, Yes, sir, take me out to the old them always got proletarians out of work out here. Oh, yeah, I know where it is, he said, but he won't be happy. It's been taken over by the ARIA semis, so went out there and what was once a Christian seminary Presbyterian seminary has now gone into disrepute and has fallen into the hands of the area. Surmise is they're training these people that are, you know, back to the Vedas and they go all over India. Promoting this back to the Vedas idea and it's actually a very popular thing. So this is not just esoteric, it's happening right south of where we are in Dehradun is where they train a lot of these people. And this thinking, yeah. Is that to say that these three are manifestations of this one? Yes. The 33 as well as the others, as well as the millions. Ultimately, all of the Vedic gods are now viewed as a manifestation of the one. Ultimately, that's true. That point is not explicitly made here, but that's theologically what is drawn from this. But they're because they're wanting to they don't want to deny that the Vedas had 33 gods. You do that, you're heretic, you know, they want to get beyond that. And this is how they get beyond it right here. Would it be safe to say that the Hindu view of God is that He is so big that you can't wrap your mind around him if he's only manifested in one, two, three. You're right. Say it's getting better. Daniel, is that really that level of. Personality. Those things can be made transactional. Right.


It's a difficult question because on one hand, we haven't discussed the devotional development yet. That's later on the course. But there is no doubt that many Hindus will worship a particular God without the asking the question, how does this fit into this philosophical framework? Of course. But if you were to take 10,000 Hindus at random in India, I would say the vast, vast majority of them, thousands of them, would very quickly affirm that the true God is transcends our names or our descriptions about that God, that there are many, many gods. And though you may choose to worship one, to be devoted to one doesn't deny the fact that there are others and that these somehow are manifestations of some ultimate reality that transcends all of this activity. I mean, that was that's very widely believed in India. So even though they may not understand this passage, what's going on here theologically? I think the basic bottom line of it is very well known and believe is kind of in the world view of Indians that this kind of pluralistic absorption of many and the one is just part of the Indian worldview. So I don't think it's necessarily, as you know, one of these we're having to deal with here is the fact that we're trying to explain some of the conceptual frameworks, which I know it's hard for us to get our head around. Well, how can a guy, an average village, get his head around it? But these truths are taught through stories, through the piranhas, through the Mahabharata, through Maya Ramayana, through some of the metaphors that we'll look at later on in this course today, or maybe when I get back. So it's actually very well seated in the Hindu mind as a general principle.


So within that be written that there was at any rate, it would be maybe the theological tie, and that's why I mentioned it earlier in the course that Rita probably devolves ultimately into the concept of Brahman. That's a possibility. We don't know that. But that's a certainly that Rita is there and that does leave open at least a little space for the development of this. We don't know if that happened or not. Let's go number four then. You are. Do you have this? Will do it in before for us. Now that this is. And now. Like the. Ow, Ow, Ow, ow, Ow! Citations. That our all life. All right. This is found in material that are five versus one. Well, that basically underscores what I've been saying all along. How many gods are there? They're all they're all identified, one with another. Everything in the universe is a reflection of the one reality. Gods, the sun, the moon, the earth, the heavens. Everything is also a manifestation of the one one God. Known by many names. A multiplicity of human beings. Yet ultimately all one in Ottoman Ottoman is Brahman. This is kind of standard upon historic praise that you find trying to reconcile the one in the many. It's very, very important. And they do this ultimate through cosmic homology is if you understand the essence of the moon, essence, the food. The essence of food is the essence of the universe. There's no distinction there, as in a Western cosmology or Christian cosmology. Okay. Number five. This is the well-known one I mentioned earlier to you. It starts out with the arm that we talk about so much already. Verse one. So there the idea, and I try to cut out the Sanskrit verses there, but you can see even the transliteration there on there was that the K2 Aranya.


His father said to him, Live the life of a religious student. Verily, my dear, there is no one in our family who is unlearned in the Vedas, who is a Brahmin only by birth. That's a big thing in the in the Punjab. It's a big debate about whether you are a Brahmin because of your birth, which is the whole thing is hereditary or whether you're a true Brahmin if you are a student of the Vedas. And so they're trying to distinguish themselves by saying if you study the Vedas you are a true brown. I think the upon a shahid's even presses the envelope a bit further at certain points by raising the question of whether or not a sutra could be effectively a Brahman through study and learning. Now I think this is because the, as you know, the Qatari, as were the warriors, they were on top of the whole system and they eventually get put in number two spot and the priest get on top. So there apparently there's some struggling going on between the Qatari and the the Brahmans that occasionally kind of mirrors through this. But that's another point. He then, having become a pupil at the age of 12, a term when he was 24 years of age, having studied all the Vedas, greatly conceited, thinking himself, well-read and arrogant. His father didn't let them do that. The K2, since you are now so greatly considered, thank yourself. Well read and arrogant. Do you ask for that instruction by which the end hearable becomes heard, then perceivable becomes perceived, the unknowable becomes known. How venerable, sir can there be such teaching? Just as my dear by one quart of clay, all that is made of clay becomes known. The modification being only a name arising from speech.


While the truth is that it is just clay, just as my dear, my one nugget of gold, all that is made of gold becomes known. The modification being only a name arising in speech. While the truth is that it is just gold. Just as my dear buy one pair of nail scissors, all that is made of iron becomes known. The modification mean only a name arising from speech, while the truth is that it is just iron. Thus, my dear, is that teaching Verily, those venerable men do not not know this. For if they known it, why would they not have told it to me? Sir, please tell me that. So be it, my dear, said he. Now this shows a lot of tension going on between the Vedic knowledge and the upon Masonic vision. These guys are pushing the envelope. They are trying to introduce new thought into the veins of Indians, and they're trying to find a way to get beyond the Vedic teaching without all, you know, played out contradicting it because of ethnic teaching. You have personal gods and it's very much like you find in tribal religion all over the world. So he begins to talk about looking beyond the manifestation. So they love this image of the clay. You have a lump of clay, you make it into a pot, you make into a cup, you make it more play into a plate and we call it plate cup pot. But actually it's not cup plate pot. It's all just clay. Get beyond the the manifestation. Look at the essence. It's just clay. Clay is what produces pots and all the things that we use clay for. Same with gold. We look at this and we say, this is a ring because we say, that's what.


That's what we call this, a ring or a necklace or whatever else maybe of gold in this room. But he's saying, look beyond the way it's been shaped and formed and look at what lies behind it. So in the same way he's saying the universe can be apprehended best if you look beyond the manifestations and look what is the essence behind it. This ultimate is true for the Vedic gods. You weren't even worshiping 33 gods of the Vedic pantheons. But beyond it, there is the one. There is Brahman. Ultimately, you're getting a Brahman. If you look beyond everything in life multiplicity, we've already saw this. The one, the many. He's pressing this by showing that everything is just modifications of some other essence. So by cosmic homology, if a clay pot, a clay bowl, a clay cup is a modification, only that and the essence is clay. Then why would that be true for the whole universe? Why wouldn't the sun and the moon be merely modifications that we observe? But behind the sun, behind the moon, there is this essence. This is the basic point Doctors teaching concern the oneness of the self. There is only one self that's behind everything. How is that? Well, we're making progress. I just think they put a lot of emphasis on. You know, the Cosby Bill Cosby call homology biology as interpreted through the senses. You know, you look at this and so you see the universe. But. There's no way this. So in my mind, ultimately, your senses are a part of this illusion. They're looking at the illusion in order to gain insight to the entire universe. Mm hmm. As long as you understand illusion there as being simply less than ultimately real and not illusion meaning a delusion, then you're accurate.


But they're not prepared to say that what you're experiencing is not real. They believe in the senses. They believe their senses actually see things. And they. They can't take in information. They just don't believe. They believe that by looking in a clay pot, you could actually be fooled by your senses. If you think it's a clay pot and you don't realize that ultimately that clay pot is only real at a certain level, that behind the clay pot there's cleanness. And until you see the cleanness, you can never really know the clay pot. That's really the point they're making more than the reliability of the senses. Yes. We talk about the pot shots as far as origin. Yes. If you go back to the original handout, number one, you can see that I have data that punish gods as between 603 hundred B.C.. There are some some varying dates, 100 or 100 years either direction. But essentially that's the the time we're talking about 300 years before Christ as the authorship then is the five or is it like we can point to certain? No, because this is Shruti. You remember that they believe this is simply what a guru heard that was eternally resonant in the universe. So they don't place emphasis on authorship because that means to origin in time. So with the Shruti material, they really downplay which guru it was because it is actually passed down through a community of Brahmins and through oral tradition and then eventually written down. This Section 300 is just when they were composed orally, is never written down in this time period. So there's no text. It's written down even at 300 B.C. It isn't until long after Christ that you're going to find the material begins to be written down.


So we're at 300 years yet before we get any text. And even much of that for it gets down in the form that we have now as the day started. I'm not sure it's a good question. I don't know exactly when the Vedas, the Vedas about how Christ is written down to, but whether there's a tradition because they go back to 600 B.C., you're referring to some. He does write the rig, some of other group probably. I don't know for sure, but I would my guess would be they would all appear about the same time. Would they punish shards in terms of actually the written version of it? I'm not absolutely positive about that. It think become more clear backwards questions that are going on. Hmm. Were any of the like the script that's being found you said it like Vedic traditions or something or the script has been very inconclusive, actually. But we found archeological evidence of like gods stories, not stories, but gods like statues of God idols. And then they had these symbols like the swastika. I mentioned that the actual text has been trying to create any kind of storyline. It's not been there. They haven't found anything. There's nothing written that would be helpful. The language have been very difficult to crack. Why the amendments to the voters then? If the voters are debating this, why the amendment of why they're punished? That's right, because they believe these gurus believe that they are expounding on the truth of the Vedas. They believe this is all exposition and the bananas are clearly in that commentary category. But what have they put the Vermont as they're so esoteric? The only if you stay with that teacher could you understand it. So they punished to the first time that you going to have what they think are actually explicit teaching of the essence of the Vedas.


So what are you saying? The injury about the whole illusion stuff. So it's samsara, this cycle of illusion and of suffering, you know, of our lives. That's not WGN. So it's not saying that our sensory experiences are unreal. It's saying that it's just a shadow of the reality of the true essence. Right? You're in the big leagues. He was hit a home run. Rachel, in fact, has. Would you please take over this lecture now? That's great. That's exactly. Yeah, We're making progress here. Do I? If the apology shots are screwed. Right? How come the area Samaj wants to do away with that is not that they want to do away with it. They don't believe that it's the clearest exposition of this reality. They don't really deny the of punish is actually they denying the teachers of the Punisher shots. So what's happened is the teachers, the great philosophers of India are expounding on this punish gods, particularly the Brahma sutras. That's a text that expounds on they punish shards. So they think that's basically led us down the path. So what I'm doing, I'm giving this exposition. We're looking at the point of shards. I'm giving you kind of an exposition of it based on traditional Hindu teaching. They're denying that exposition. So they're not so much denying this text as they are exposition of it. So they're trying to say, go back to the Vedas and they they present what they say the Vedas are monotheistic. They argue that, for example, like, Hello, how is that possible without the Panasonic explanation of it, they No, no, no, no. They believe it's a personal God and all this. So they have their own kind of bizarre at times teaching of the other Vedas or the Vedic, some hidden the material, but they're not actually denying the opponent shots per say.


They just don't focus on it. In popular culture, you often hear about someone being like bad karma or good karma or whatever. So but the way you seem to describe it, it seems that there is no such thing as like good karma. You want to get rid of you all. Bad karma is like Department of Redundancy department. That is a common western thing. Good cop bad karma is not actually accurate. You do have that in Jainism. And so it is component of that. But you don't have it in Hinduism. You just want to let it all come. That karma is bad, that it isn't the same. But Buddhism is the same with some qualifications. Okay. The next one is pretty much the same thing. Maybe even minimal. Go forth. If you look down at the third paragraph of our first beginning. In the beginning, my dear, this was being alone. One without a second. So you'll say in the beginning this was non being alone one only without a second from that nonbeing being was produced. Okay, we'll come back to this. But essentially this is raising the question of what is the origin of being. And if you argue this as being nonbeing in the Buddhist, I have a big qu here because they believe at the ultimate point there nonbeing. What this is probably talking about is manifestation non manifestation. We tend to read back into it Western categories. So this is largely in Hindu circles anyway, discussed as the manifestation of the negative Brahman into the multiplicity. The whole thing we discussed already before on several occasions, maybe many may I grow forth it set forth fire that far thought May I be many? May I grow forward its in forth water.


Therefore, whenever a person grieves or perspire as water is produced from the fire, from the heat. Again, in that amazing even the sweating of a body where you get hot and you produce water, they say even that's cosmic cosmology. That must be some way of unlocking the whole universe. So in this must be the whole of the emanation of all the water. All the fire must come from a single source, does it? Doesn't Your body. Body produces heat and water. Oh, no, no. So this kind of thing is brought together a lot. We'll have to come back to the being or nonbeing another time. I was hoping to get through all these today, but didn't happen. Please meditate upon them right now. You upon the shards. You have two weeks to get all caught up when you're reading and I have other reading established. Please dedicate time to this class while I'm gone in a week and I will be thinking about you, praying for you. Please pray for me and we'll see you in a few weeks.