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OH GOD, NOW, MORE CONTRADICTIONS. AND IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU

Who is the True Supreme God ?

 

The following text is the e-mail exchange between me and one Mr. Elias D'Costa.  He, in search of Truth about God and Isms, happened to surf through these pages. He sent in some queries and raised some doubts about Vedic Scripts. In all fairness, I just give below the exchange of mails, without editing or modifying the contents. You may be the judge of these contents right & wrongs :

 

His first e-mail :
Dear Sir,

I was browsing your website with great interest. You have done an excellent job of giving information about Hinduism in Today's World.

I am been constantly seeking for truth, and therefore I am looking for the one True Universal God, where I can praise, worship and honor the True living God.

Can you please tell me which is the one True Universal God?

Some times you have
- Lord Vishnu
- Lord Shiva
- Lord Brahma
- Lord Shri Mahavishnu
- Lord Srimann Naaraayana (Creator of the Universe)
- Lord Shri Lakshmi Nrisimha

Looking forward for a reply

Thanking you

Elias

 

My reply :

Dear MR. D'Costa,

At the very outset I thank you very much for your interest shown on the subject. I just give below a brief explanation about the Lord.

Srimann Naaraayana, who is the creator of this Universe is known as Sri Vishnu or Sri Mahavishnu. According to Veda the religious scripts on Hinduism, the Lord has taken nine Avatar so far (Birth in ten different postures) to rectify the anomalies in the society and to save the Earth from the then impending Calamities and to remove the evils from this Earth. 


One Birth of the Lord is pending known as "Kalki" avataar(form) and it will take about another 4,26,898 years to come. (The present part is of Kali Yuga comprising 4,32,000 years and we are in the first quarter having so far crossed 5102 years only).

Lord Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha was one such Birth in the form of Lion faced Human, who just appeared by breaking open from a Pillar. This birth was for the sole Individual named Prahlada, who was ardent disciple of Srimann Naaraayana, to save the Child from his father King Hiranyakasibu, who was a non believer of God and considered himself as Supreme to everyone.

Hiranyakasibu, the ruler forced his citizens to worship him only (the King) and none was allowed to worship any God. But his son Prahlada broke this rule to pray the Universal Lord Srimann Naaraayana. When his father King knew about this, he was challenged to prove that the Lord Srimann Naaraayana existed. The condition he put was, if there was a Creator of Universe existed,  he Should not appear in Human form or as animal, he should not appear during day time or night, he should not carry any weapon, he should not walk in just from the entrances. These were all such
difficult task for any one to fulfill.

The Lord Srimann Naaraayana took this challenge, as the confident Prahlada prayed, Lord Srimann Naaraayana took the avatar as Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha - the posture is that of Lion faced Human with Long Hard and sharp nails stronger than a Lion 's paw, appeared between the day and the night i.e. sun set (neither during day or night but the junction time known as Sandhya), thus fulfilling the King's all challenges and saved His disciple Prahlada. He then tore the Kind's body two pieces apart and settled peace
everywhere.

This Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha form of birth was just His answer only for the sake of a single human soul's prayer. So vast majority of Srivaishnavites (who worship the Lord Vishnu or Sri Mahavishnu) worship this form of Lord.

The Hindu scripts of Veda states, Lord Mahavishnu created the Brahmma through His Naval and appointed Brahmma to create the Universe. Brahmma created the Shiva and made Him as a destroyer. Then the Rishis, Munis (saints and sages) with the paraphernalia of the Brahmma Logam, (Eternal), Bhoologam (Earth) etc were created by Brahmma. Thus The creator is Srimann Naaraayana - The Mahavishnu, who is also the preserver and Lord Shiva as destroyer.
This is called Tri-Murthy or Three faces of the Lord.

You may please surf in my web site on Srivaishnavam practices the URL https://www.trsiyengar.com and you will find the rational behind the Hindu's practices.

Thanks again for going through this lengthy mail, you are most welcome to send in your questions. I shall be grateful to you if you could please sign in my Guest Book, so that other surfers too get some valuable suggestions.


With best wishes for a Happy, prosperous and peaceful life to come ahead,

TRS Iyengar

Dec. 14, 2002 10.00 AM (Indian Standard Time)

 

TRS Iyengar 

I am glad that you are using the Vedic Scripture to verify your philosophy. But you haven't given me any scripture reference.

In seeking Truth, I like to discuss with you on the following topics
1) Origin / Creation of Universe
2) Nature of God
3) Origin, nature, and meaning of Man
4) Salvation of Man
5) Ultimate Destiny of Man

Following is the discussion on Topic 1 (Origin /Creation of Universe)

Contradiction 1:
-----------------
You mention in your opening letter "Srimann Naaraayana, who is the creator of this Universe is known as Sri Vishnu or Sri Mahavishnu."

In another words Lord Mahavishnu is the creator of this Universe. But,

Later in the closing you mention, "Lord Mahavishnu created the Brahmma through His Naval and appointed Brahmma to create the Universe. Brahmma created the Shiva and made Him as a destroyer. Then the Rishis, Munis (saints and sages) with the paraphernalia of the Brahmma Logam, (Eternal), Bhoologam (Earth) etc were created by Brahmma."

Here I find Brahmma is the creator of this Universe, because he is appointed to create Universe, Shiva, Rishis, Munis, Brahmma Logam, and Earth etc.

Contradiction 2:
-----------------
In the Svetavatar Upanishad chapter 3 we find Rudra is Ishwara, Ishwara is the creator (Svetavatara 3: 4 " He, the creator and supporter of the gods, Rudra, the great seer, the lord of all, he who formerly gave birth to Hiranyagarbha, may he endow us with good thoughts")

(Svetavatara 3:7 "Those who know beyond this the High Brahman, the vast, hidden in the bodies of all creatures, and alone enveloping everything, as the Lord, they become immortal")

In the Svetavatar Upanishad chapter 4 it tells us the description of Ishwara as Supreme Brahman and Creator.
(Svetavatar Upanishad 4: 12 "He, the creator and supporter of the gods, Rudra, the great seer, the lord of all, who saw Hiranyagarbha being born, may he endow us with good thoughts.") (Svetavatar Upanishad 4:13. "He who is the sovereign of the gods, he in whom all the worlds rest, he who rules over all two footed and four-footed beings,
to that god let us sacrifice an oblation.")

Contradiction 3:
----------------
In the Rig Veda, a Rishi says, (The wise call Him by different names, they call Him Agni, Yama or Matarswa) According to this mantra, God bears different names, but the confusion emerges when the very gods- Agni, Yama and
Matarswa are projected as independent gods. When the Rig Veda has given independent identity to the above mentioned gods, what is the significance of this mantra?

Moreover, nowhere in the Vedas, Agni is called by the name of Yama or vice--versa. Thus, this mantra serves no useful end; it only creates confusion. This is not the only mantra, which creates contradiction. 

The Rig Veda (2/1/3-7) calls Agni by the names of Indra, Vishnu, Brahma, Varun, Mitra, Aryaman, Tvastar, Rudra, Pusan, Savitar and Bhag. Thus, this verse also adds to the confusion. If Agni is also Brahma, Vishnu and Indra, why are they accorded with separate godly identity and status? This mantra also suggests that Agni commands more influence as compared to Brahma, Vishnu and Indra. Therefore Agni is a true Universal God.

Contradiction 4:
----------------
Mahabharata (Adiparva, 66/36) says that Aditi gave birth to twelve sons, and Vishnu was the youngest of them. Indra was also one of them. Thus, Vishnu was the younger brother of Indra.

According to Shiva Purana (21, 30-59), Shiva with his wife Parvati wished to produce a child by performing intercourse with Parvati. Resultantly, Vishnu was born. When the light is shed on his being mortal, How is Vishnu a Universal God ?

The Shatpath Brahmin (14/1/17) says that Vishnu was killed with an arrow.

Maitrayani Samhita (4/5/9) and the Panchavish Brahmin also accept the fact relating to Vishnu's death.
How can we worship a Dead God?

The question thus arises, how can a person who is bound by the chains of birth and death create the universe as popularly held in Hinduism? On what ground do
the Puranas' claim to prove that all the incarnations, described in Hindu scriptures, belong to Vishnu?

Contradiction 5:
------------------
In the Taitirya Samit -( 'Prajapati' is described as the creator of gods and demons, while the Rig Veda (10/72/2) describes Brahmanaspati as the creator of
gods. Again the Taitirya Samit) (1/6/9/1; 2/l/21) projects 'Prajapati' as the creator of Yagya and human beings while the Rigveda (1/96/2) says that Agni
created human beings. That is why Agni is called the father of human beings.

But Agni has himself been depicted in Rig Veda as taking birth as living creatures. It is also mentioned in the Taitirya Samit(1/5/9/7) that 'Prajapati' created animals; and having the desire to create people he (3/1/1/1) observed penance.

Now there is again a question to be answered by the Taitirya Samit, (it is known that it will not); if 'Prajapati' was Swambhu and the creator, why did
he observe penance? If he did, he did to whom? This obviously suggests that there was someone who was superior to 'Prajapati', or like others, 'Prajapati'
too was a creation of a religious fallacy and described as a god.

The Vedic scripture presented have contradictory views; it serves only to misguide the people about the creator of the universe.

Contradiction 6:
----------------
In the Bhagavad-Gita 10: 13-15 " Arjuna said: "O Krishna, I believe all that you have told me to be true. O Lord, neither the celestial controllers nor the demons comprehend your glory. (10.14) O Creator and Lord of all beings, God of
all celestial rulers, the Supreme person, and Lord of the universe, no one understands you. You alone know yourself." (10.15)

Based on Bhagavad-Gita, Swami Bhaktivedanta and The Gaudiya Vaishnav school, claim Lord Krishna is Himself the Supreme God, and not merely an incarnation of another deity (Refer http://www.asitis.com/foreword.html)

Contradiction 7:
-----------------
Sai Baba Claims He is the True, walking, talking, living God, who is currently living on the earth, and performing miracles.

In all Hinduism has about 330 million gods
(http://uwacadweb.uwyo.edu/religionet/er/hinduism/HCOSMOS.HTM )
(http://www.islamzine.com/ideologies/hinduism/hindu6.html)
(The Compact Guide to World Religions by Dean C Halverson)

Well TRS Iyengar you still have to tell me who is the True Universal God?

Is it - 'Prajapati', Agni, Indra, Vishnu, Soma, Mitra, Varun, Shakti, Krishna or anyone else? All of them are described in the Vedas as the creator. Who the real Creator is still continues to be a riddle to be resolved by those who
believe in Hinduism.

Does all this not leave the impression that the Vedic scriptures are books
written by men about God which is filled with no clear statements on who really created the Universe.

Conclusion:
-------------
-------------
The Hindu Trimurti consists of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Hindus ordinarily refer to Brahma as the -Creator, Vishnu as the -Preserver and Shiva as the -Destroyer. However, Shaivites (followers of Shiva) insist that Shiva is the primal person and source of the universe. Vaisnavites (worshippers of Vishnu) believe that he is the Creator-God and relate him to
the omnipresent, primeval waters believed to exist before the creation of the world.

Basic to Hinduism is the belief that the creation came from a primordial substance referred to as prakriti. Many teachers in Hinduism propose a pantheistic, monistic view of creation (-that the universe, with its substance, laws and phenomena, is actually God in manifestation and that all things in the universe are of one essential substance. This monistic view is termed Advaita) a concept that also insists the natural creation is not real. It is an illusion, perpetrated by God (a condition called Maya).

In Hindu cosmogony, there is no absolute beginning point assigned to the creation of the universe. Instead, there are an infinite number of cycles of creation and dissolution. The creation stories are understood to mean the periodic emanations of God into the form of the material universe.
Furthermore, the word for creation in Sanskrit is srishti. It does not imply creating something out of nothing; it rather means the transformation of a subtle or spiritual substance into a physical or material one. So the more proper description might be that the universe is the (projection of the Supreme Being,) not an act of creation.
(Ref: Bansi Pandit, The Hindu Mind (Glen Ellyn, Illinois: B & V Enterprise
1991)      

 

Dear Mr. D'Costa,

Indeed it is very interesting to go through the contradictions!. No doubt, these exist not only in everyones mind but in Veda too.

Before we enter into these matter, just let us simply ask one question that every one needs an answer. What is the meaning of life, birth and death ? Is it just a cycle that caused by nature or does it imply any reactions to the past and future? (before we are born and after our death) ?

Is there any life after death? Does it exist and apply for every creature on this Universe? Practically, those who have seen, never spoke about it and those who speak about these never seen it. (This is according to the Vaishnavite Azhwars Divya Prabhandam phrase in Tamil)

Lord Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Gita (this in itself is with many more contradictions), that He Himself is everything. And this script is widely accepted by every sect and sub-sect of Hindu faiths/followers. Further more, Bhagavad-Gita is essence of the four Veda known as Rig, YAJUR, Saama & Adharvana.

Lord Sri Krishna Himself declared that He is the one for Saama Veda. Saama Veda is in poetic form and sung with Raaga. Does this mean that He is not in favour of other Veda or He just recommends only Sama Veda to all? 

I do agree, there are contradictions aplenty even within one
chapter to other in any specific Upanishad. It is the
interpretations and individual understanding that matters. The splinter groups within Hindu religion are, no doubt, a creation of the confused lots.

To state that Sri Krishna or Srimann Naaraayana is Supreme to other Demy & Semi Gods is - one small conclusive evidence in every Vedic scripts - viz.: a surrender note. This is recited (by all the Brahmans from Dwaitham/ Adwaitham & VISHISHTAATHVAITHAM) at the end of their daily prayers & after finishing each and every rituals, all the Brahmans used to offer their Karma to Sri Krishna, who is known with 1008 Names. (This even the Shaivites who worship Shiva, recites at the end of each and every rituals!).


Dwaitham, Adwaitham and VISHISHTAATHVAITHAM - are the three major groups formed within the Brahman society. But at the end of each performance, rituals and routines, all the three sects including the Shaivites, offer the benefits to Lord Sri Krishna with two different slokhas, which are common to all. (Versus rough translation):

(A)

If I had erred in my offerings, whether in Mantra
(recital of Slokhas), Tanrta (in practice) or in Bhakti (in my devotion), Oh Lord, please Pardon me and accept these offerings, the benefits of it belong to 

You, Sri Krishna. This is the rough translation of the following slokha or versus.

(Mantra heenam, kriyaa heenam, Bhakti heenam,
uthaasana: yaththu thamthu mayaa deva, paripoornam thathasthuthe.
Praayachithaani, aseshaani, thapapa karma aathmakaanivai, yaani desham aseshaanam, sarvam Sri Krishna anusmaranam param).

(B)

Whatever just I did perform & Spoke/recited, (including the daily prayer, any special puja etc) the Heart & mind as power, the entire benefits of which I dedicate to the Lord Srimann Naaraayana.

(Kaayenu Vaacha, manase Indriyairva,
Bhuddiyaathmanava, prakruthe: svabhaavaath. Karomi yathyath sakalam parasmai Naaraayanaayethi samarpayaami).

Thus irrespective of the Sects and Sub sects including the
Shaivites, they begin their rituals with "Achyuthaaya
Nama:" (the first of the 1008 names of Lord Sri Mahavishnu)
and finish it with above offering the same to Lord Krishna. Is it not in itself a proof that all the divisions within the Brahmans accepted Lord Sri Krishna as Supreme?

I agree there are millions of Gods and demy Gods in this sub
continent. Yes, you name a subject; you will find a God in that name in one or other corner of this land called Bharat 
i.e. India. Alas! All the human creations.

About Religion, to the best of my knowledge, what I learnt from the olden scripts and also through ages, generations and experience, I found that Hinduism is by far the flexible one for everyone to follow of on own. No compulsions, no forces or pressures. Here one is free to adhere or leave it if he/she doesn't like.,

For the sake of knowledge, I did read the other religious books, to some extent, but firmly settled with Hinduism, maybe it is because I was born in the Community. But what I Could I sum up in few line is the following paragraph:

 

" Shiva or Vishnu? Who is great? Who stands tall? What
qualitative difference is going to happen by knowing who's
greater than whom? 

 

It's a very childish idea. Greatness and other concepts have killed the sensitivity in man. He does not bother about real things, whereas he is ready to argue about the things which he doesn't know really, he just collected the bookish knowledge and started arguing about this. 

Wonder how people could accept the concept of God without really had the inquisitiveness to know about it. They think it is the cheapest thing in the world! But you have to put yourself at stake! That's why it is dangerous to accept mere theologies any religion, be it Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Jainism or any other you name it. 

Now, here I agree with Shri. Bansi Pandit (Ref: Bansi Pandit, The Hindu Mind (Glen Ellyn, Illinois: B & V Enterprise). His theory is most acceptable one than others views.

People are carrying the corpses instead of real-life experiences. Thousands of people killed all over the worldvery day in the name of dictates from any religion. Hatred and enmity spread venom amongst each other.  Does this world need such of these religions really ?  

If the world drops the so-called religions, then the world would have a different dimension of living. People would take responsibility for what they are doing they will not simply dump it on the ' one above '. Then the real freedom happens. Freedom leads to responsibility, Joy and  Happiness"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

In my personal opinion, religions are creations of the society, which wanted to have full control on the growing populace. To make sense and also to discipline them, they made several conditions put forth for the commons. Veda is immortal. But the interpretations by many people at different stages manipulated the entire value of the Subjects. That is the fact one will come to conclusion. 

The great known saints who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries are more enlightened ones on Religion. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda is a few to mention. And about Sri Krishna mission (ISKON) I am not making any comments. The Bhakti is there but with some mixtures of west and east. Surely not traditional way of worship.

About Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the less said the better. He has some magical powers. This any magician can do. He just cannot claim to be an avatar. Lord Himself need not boast his own image! But I appreciate his efforts in doing a lot of social works such as building hospitals, free treatment, educational institutions, water and irrigation projects etc. He too preaches non-violence and love etc.

I am not a scholar nor I claim any religious status for me. I am a layman with ordinary qualities. I am not preaching/ propagating Srivaishnavam culture. My aim and intentions are just to publicize the inner meaning of rituals performed by Srivaishnavites and make them understand what they do. I never mentioned any Vedic reliance, slokha or versus from any Upanishad.

I know this letter does not give you any reply to your search. Yet, it is a small way of clarification as a layman I can extend. If the world drops the isms & Religion, then we can see a more different dimensions in life! That is the TRUTH.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thank you very much for your patience to go through this lengthy  mail and
I remain,
truly yours,
TRS Iyengar

Dec. 21, 2002

==========================================

This is not concluded. I shall post the replies I receive from the person concerned, with whom I am corresponding now. Please send in your comments and supportive materials. I shall publish same in these pages for readers clarifications.  Or you may E-mail to Mr. D'casta at :  elias_dcosta@usa.net  and communicate directly for giving your views. Thanks,

TRS Iyengar       April, 21, 2003.

 

This contradiction is getting too colourful.......

rainbowline.gif

Let many other person too join in this exchanges.

To my above mail the following reply was received by me from Mr. D'Costa on the 20th Jan :

 

QUOTE

TRS Iyengar,

Thank You for the New Year Wishes. I also like to wish you a very blessed and prosperous New Year 2003.

I could not reply earlier, because I was on vacation.

I am glad that you recognize the contradictions in the Hindu Vedic Scriptures. In the course of history, Hinduism has spawned four other religious movements that have since become world religions: Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Bahaism.

Buddhism was born rejecting Hinduism. When Siddhartha Gautama Buddha (563 - 483 BC) saw suffering, sickness, pain and death. And when he was convicted by the ascetic. He rejected Hinduism on two counts.
1) He did not accept the caste system and
2) He did not accept the Vedas as the revelation from God.

You quote:
-I agree there are millions of Gods and demy Gods in this sub continent.
Yes, you name a subject; you will find a God in that name in one or other corner of this land called Bharat - i.e India. Alas! All the human creations

Response:
You agree that all the Gods in Hinduism are mans creation and imagination.

It is interesting that Dr Radha Krishnan, one time President of India, who was a professor at Oxford University and holding a Chairman in eastern philosophy at Oxford university a devout Hindu, said the problem with the Hindu Philosophy is that it has opened its arms so wide that when she finally starts to close them, it will strangle it self. He understood the problem.

You quote:


-I found that Hinduism is by far the flexible one for everyone to follow of on own. No compulsions, no forces or pressures. Here one is free to adhere or leave it if he/she doesn't like

Response:
Well TRS Iyengar,  because of major contradictions in Hinduism, there is no moral standard, creed, or belief and that is why all Hindus believe, that all paths finally lead to one God. But is this True? Hinduism claims many Gods and is a Pantheism in its world view. Islam, Christianity and Judaism claims one God and is a Monotheism, Buddhism and Confucianism claim there is no God.

I like you to refer to this excellent web site, where he compares 11 major religions and cults, and brings out the Truth. www.thetruelight.net

Islam has Impersonal God and claims there is one God called -Allah, who has no son. And Jesus is just a mere Prophet, who did not die on the cross, but was taken to heaven.

Christianity claims a personal God, which is a one God of Trinity (God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit). Jesus being the Son of God was crucified on the cross, for the sins of the whole world, so that mankind may have hope of eternal life.

Paul, who met Jesus on the way to Damascus, writes two letters to Timothy who is a pastor in Ephesus, who admits he is a sinner himself, and if you believe you will have eternal life. (1Timothy 1:15-16 -Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners--of whom I am the worst. (16)But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life)

In this passage John the Baptist who is the cousin of Jesus, proclaims that Jesus is the one who will take away the sin of the world remember the key word -world (John 1:29 -The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look,
the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!)

What is considered as blasphemous in Islam (Jesus as Son of God, death on cross), is the most important teaching in the Bible. If Jesus did not die on the cross, the New Testament teachings of 27 books is in vain. (Remember the Bible is not mythical, it is historical, references to people and places did
exist) Outside of Jesus death and resurrection there is no other hope for mankind where our sins can be forgiven. Jesus was the only person in the world who was without sin, and therefore God the father accepted Jesus death on the cross as a perfect human sacrifice for the whole world.

Orthodox Judaism claims a personal God (God the Father as in Christianity), with no means of idolatry, and associating anybody as son ship or equal to God as blasphemous.

When a system is internal contradictory and, when you see a system, which is externally contradictory, all of them cannot be true. Only one of them can be true. It is possible that none of the religions are true. All religions fundamentally differ in the nature of origin of universe, origin and nature of man, sin, morality and destiny.

If Christianity is true, all the other religions are false. If Islam is true, all the other religions are false. If Hinduism is true, all the other religions are false. 

Truth by definition is exclusive, it does not include everything. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. (Truth for everyone, everywhere, at all times)

Example:
1) New Delhi is the capital of India. It is possible I might say Singapore as the capital of India, or you might say Calcutta is the capital of India. There is an absolute truth no matter what my evidence or lack of evidence.

2) The Truth statement 7 + 3 = 10 is not just true for mathematics majors, nor is it true only in a mathematics classroom. It is true for everyone, everywhere, at all places.

3) Truth about Signal lights, Red means stop, yellow means slow down, Green means go. It is true for everyone, everywhere, at all places.

In regards to the reference of your friends web site, I have read it with great interest on SriVaishnavam philosophy- Vishishtadvaita. The sad thing is, there is no reference to the vedic scriptures. Anybody can create their own philosophy. I find some major contradictions, my point is not to criticize in what you believe.

I will reply to you in my next e-mail
Jan 19, 2003

UUNQUOTE


The following is text I received from Mr. SRINIVASAN. R, [(Retired Civil-Engineer) Connecticut. U.S.A. (Ex. Founder-Secretary, Sri Ramanuja Bhakthajana Sabha, & Sri Venkateswara Temple (Newly constructed) Chennai. India ] After a long time, I just got my first supportive theory, to provide reasonable and convincing reply to Mr. D'costa. However, the other community members may join and give their opinion in this regard. This is only to strengthen the Human bondage, and NO God will divide the human race into any unpleasant fight. It is an argument, a point one can prove to the relevance.  I have not edited or modified the text and presenting as was received in my Mail box: I stand by my version, in the whole of Sanathana Dharma,  Visishtadvaitdam which is followed by the Srivaishnava & Srivaishnavam is the most authentic with Religious scriptures giving important only the Supreme Soul known as "Srimannarayana".

With due Respect  to Every Religion and personal regards to every reader -  

TRS Iyengar

QUOTE

Dear Mr. D'Costa, 

Glad to note your inquisitiveness on the Basic-Human-quest, and your KEEN 

INTEREST IN the so called HINDUISM. Well I appreciate your such a rare Zeal which is essential and Vital for every man . even the Mankind as a whole ... in the interest of HIS / THEIR OWN WELL-BEING here on this MUNDANE-EARTH.... as well as FURTHER ON. I think we the followers of this Great Religion, have a moral duty to reply to your Wise-Questions as also clarify your doubts. 

My Reply to your points... as well as on Mr. TRS Iyengar's....... will follow.

In seeking Truth.......... 

Primarily,..... we have to keep in mind that the Subject RELIGION... IS A SUBTLE TOPIC.... to be analyzed LOGICALLY and Concluded MORALLY.  Deep Logical approach on any Subject goes endless and finally NOWHERE.... How? 

A small illustration can make it clear.... A Beggar seeks alms from a Lady, saying... 

"Oh! Mother,... Please Give me Food" 

The Lady replied.... "Well.... Your seeking food, is nothing Wrong.... but How can you address me as YOUR MOTHER?... Am I the Wife of your Father or did I give birth to you?.... I consider your addressing me so, as an insult to me." 

"No Madam, I did not mean so....  As much as my Mother or equal to my Mother... I honour you" 

"Whatever you might have meant or say as the point of argument on the other side.... my point is, does your mention so,.. not mean .. as your Father's Wife or Not?" 

Can anybody convince this Lady so obstinate on her own Inferences and Self-centered Contentions and Surmises? So especially on such subtle subjects, the Logical-approach should be resorted to only for basic-analysis and gathering the data towards Truth... but our Conclusions should be based on Moral-approach only. 

So to say... we have to ANALYSE BY BRAIN .... But  UNDERSTAND  and  REALIZE BY HEART. I hope you agree. 

Basically the name of this Great VEDIC-RELIGION  is not HINDUISM... but ...."SANATHANA-DHARMA".... to mean the ETERNAL- DIVINE-COMMANDMENT /... RIGHTEOUS PATH.... So to say... this Religious Order is COMMON TO THE WHOLE HUMANITY.... for ever and ever.... WITHOUT ANY BOUNDS OF TIME.   As a proof of this statement, any unbiased Observer or Seeker of Truth, can find the Basic-Doctrines of each and every other International religions, concur with that of this Vedic-Religion in one or the other part. To be more specific, almost all the Basic-Doctrines of the Divine-Gospels of the Holy-Bible, Holy-Koran, Holy Dhamma-pada... and the like, are the different parts of  Hinduism. So to say HINDUISM IS A COMBINATION OR MOSAIC-PATTERN or the COMPOSITE-FORM of several Great Religions. And also we must note that Hinduism alone accommodates with even ATHEISM (Non-faith in God), and allows an Atheist too, to call himself as the Hindu or the Follower of the Vedic-Faith, whereas all other Religious-Heads and the Disciples discord an Atheist. 

So there is no wonder.... the similar difference of Principles between Islam, Christianity and the like Religions are carried over to this COMPOSITE-FORM of all the International-Religious-Doctrines too... but ultimately Hinduism does not stop with it. It clarifies on the pros and Cons of all such differences.... and FINALLY LEAVES IT TO THE CHOICE OF THE MAN, THE GOD-SEEKER...  Nobody is compelled to follow a specific part of these Gospels...or Divine-Commandments or the Holy-Stipulations but choose one amongst the Several Options of  Various Divine- Paths...in his own interest of Meaningful-Existence worthy as the Supreme-Creature as Man and Advancement towards the Goal and Purpose of his Birth. 

Rather... Hinduism is the ONLY RELIGION OFFERING ABUNDANT FREEDOM to the Seeker of God and His Divine-Path.. Offering various and divergent Options. although some are inter-contradictory. But these Varieties are meant only for a Commoner or Layman. but an Enlightened Soul has been drawn towards the deeper understanding of the Higher plane of God and Applied-Pursuit. by the Vedas and such other authentic Hindu-Scriptures. By means of deeper in-depth study, we can find... Hinduism leads the Man to the Highest Degree of BROAD-MINDEDNESS and LARGE-HEARTEDNESS coupled with UNIVERSAL-LOVE. 

One more important factor in Hinduism, unlike the other Great Religions is that there are several Man-made Supplements and Insertions in the name of Puranas and Stories so as to suit the Divergent-Interpreter's own personal contentions....taking advantage of the abundant Freedom this Religion offers. These Post-Scriptures not only create confusion in the minds of a Stranger and even a Common-Seeker-Hindu but also contradictory to the very basic principles and Theory of  the Vedas and the authentic and Original Puranas. Besides one will wonder and confused to find that  these subsequent man-made Puranas are inter-contradictory. How? 

Shiva-puranam says that the Lord Shiva is the Supreme-God... and that the Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma... went in search of Shiva's Feet and Head but failed. 

Whereas Devi-Bhagawatham says ... the Lordess Parwathi transcends as Rajeswari and She is the Supreme God over Her husband Lord Shiva and Her Brother Vishnu. 

And Skanda-puranam says that the Lord Skanda (Kaarthik /  Muruha / Subrahmanya)  is the Supreme.... and the Lords Shiva and Brahma could not explain the Meaning on the Holy Pranava-Mantra "Ohm".... and Lord Murha had to teach them... making both these Gods worship this Boy Kaarthik..... and so on and so forth. 

These branches of Hinduism have been subsequently created by some dividual-Religious-Sectarian-Leaders... No doubt True-Devotees... May be God-sent Prophets .... to make their own new following-groups as the SUPPLEMENTARY-SECTS.... Perhaps these are the God's Leela (Play)... to make every section of  Mankind follow some path towards God.... even though Inter-contradictory. 

But a devout Hindu will not waste his  time in criticising or commenting on the other Intra-faiths within their same Religion. Because we are ignorant on these factors as also not qualified to comment or evaluate them. A Common-seeker or a New-Entrant to this Great Vedic-Religion.... should not apply his mind towards all such subsequent creations, but only the Basic-Vedic Sense and the Authentic 18 Puranas which only are universally accepted by one and all the Hindus.... being the True-original without any intra-contradictions or inconsistency.

 Besides, in the medieval age, just prior to Sri Sankaracharya and Sri Ramanujacharya, the terminologies of the Holy Scriptures have been either mis-interpreted or wrongly understood by the scholars of those days, leading to perverted Practices and Teachings. 

For example, it was the practice to offer the Sheep-flesh (as Bali-dhan) in the Agni-Kundam (Yaga-Fire), by the Hindu-Brahmins and when questioned by Sri Sankaracharya, they showed him the Terminology in the Yajur-Veda as . "Ajam aavaayayaami". meaning the word "AJA" as the SHEEP". The Acharya pointed out that even though the word has also the meaning as "Sheep".. Under this context of Yaga, it should not be contended so but by another meaning of the same word as." Birthless. i.e., "Grain-Husk"(Paddy without Rice-grain within at the Growth-stage itself). Similar wrong Religious practices of some ignorants of subsequent days was got corrected by the Enlightened (Jnani) Acharyas. There are some cases even now where the wrong practices and mis- interpretations are being still followed ignorantly, for want of acquaintance of the contemporary performers with the already existing authentic clarifications of the Great Acharyas. 

Further it is wrong to say that the Hindus are worshipping 33000 forms of Gods. No. Not at all. The Scriptures have nowhere prescribed so. No doubt the Scriptures declare that in the Deva-loka there are 33000 Devas, ruled by the King Indra. But these Devas are not worshipped as Deities or Gods . Devas functions are only to carry out the instructions of their King Indra towards the functions of Nature like Fire, Wind, Rain, earthly growths like plantations etc. No doubt Vedas praise Indra as one of the Gods and such prayer is confined to only Veda-chanting and NOT as a worshipful deity in any Temple. 

Even for the so called important Life-powers named Agni, Vayu, Prithvi, Varuna and the like there are no Deity-form of worship in any temple. In reply to your point on the word "ISHWARA", I must clarify, according to the language as also according to  Vedas Upanishads and such other Holy scriptures, the word "Ishwara" is a common terminology to mean as "GOD" to mean any and all the Vedic Deities. It may also be applied in combination also as Venkateswara, Vigneswara, Saneeswara, and so on. Whereas Sri Ramanujacharya has profusely used this Term "ISHWARA" meaning as the Supreme-Narayana only INVARIABLY.. in all through his works. His Philosophical-Prophecy of VISISHTADWAITHAM itself is based on CHITH- ACHITH- ISHWARA Thathvam ... where too the word "Ishwara" denotes Sriman-Narayana only. 

While Vedas and other Divine-Scriptures including the Bhagavad-Gita clearly pinpoint as to who is the Supreme -God,... it also shows various paths towards other Gods like Sri Vinayaka, Shiva, Durga and so on as well... and talks high of each and every God, directing to worship any one or more of them, giving wide options for the Seeker.. And all these paths will fetch the equal degree of Result, since the Giver is one and the same Maha-Vishnu through different God-forms or Deities of individual choice, suiting to the Seeker's Quality (Gunas), ensuring abundant FLEXIBILITY AND FREEDOM for the Seeker-Devotee, the Man. 

But wherever the factor of Supremacy amongst all the Vedic-Gods arises... unequivocally and invariably all the Divine-Scriptures assertively declare as to who is that one Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent Supreme-God.  According to the authentic 18 Puranas, as well as in the Epics (or the Ancient Indian-History) like Ramayana and Mahabharatha, it is abundantly clarified without any Intra-contradiction or Confusion on the Supreme God and the Divine-path for  the Mankind to follow. 

What is that assertive and in ambiguous VEDIC-DECLARATION?.... 

That SUPREME GOD  is... UNDOUBTEDLY.... MAHA-VISHNU.... or .... "NARAYANA"... 

How ?.... Where is the Proof?...... Veda.... Purusha-Sooktham (the Most important  part of Veda chanted by all the Hindus without exception).... 

Quotations.... 

"Narayana-para-brahma-thathvam Narayana-paraha"   =  

Lord Narayana is the Supreme-God above all the other Gods and His Philosophy is the Ruling one over all other Vedic-philosophies. 

"Narayana-paro-dhyathaa... Dhyanam Narayana-paraha"  = 

Lord Narayana  is the Supreme-Deity to be worshipped and meditated upon by even all the other Gods.

 "Narayana-paro-Jyothir...Athman Narayana-paraha"   = 

 Amongst all the Divine-Jyothis (Holy-flames) of various forms of Gods (like Sri Vinayaka,Shiva, Brahma, Subrahmanya... and so on)... Narayana-Jyothi is the Omnipotent and Supreme-Commandant. 

"Yacha-kinchith Jagath-Sharvam... Drusyathe Srooyathepi vaa... Anthar-bahischa thathsarvam Vyapya Narayana Sthithaha" =  

Whichever or whatever space even the smallest place of accomodation, SEEN . or HEARD (within a tiniest SOUND as well as the least space VISUAL) in all such locations in the Universe. Internally or Externally in all totality. prevalent is the Supreme-Soul Narayana FIRMLY and eternally. (with No Beginning or End)

 "Vedaahametham purusham mahaantham Aadithya-varnam thamasasthu paare" =

(Supreme-God says) . "Know Me only the Supreme-God-Power, the Greatest of all the Super-Human Powers. appearing to the Universe in the Form of SUN (Called as Prathyaksha-Narayana). surpassing every other Power in the whole Universe 

"Sarvaani Roopani Vichithya dhheeraha. Naamaani Krithva abhivadhanya daasthe Dhhatha" 

I the Supreme Creator created various shapes of Gods (Deities), gave them different Names, and entered all of them and living within each and every form of God/Deity (worshipful object) as the hidden-power, to shower my Divine- Grace (through those deities as the Protector for the Devotees of various hues., even though such Granting-power is not outwardly visible but the Intermediary- Deity) 

"Tham Evam Vidwan Amritha Ihabhavathi. Naanya-pantha ayanaaya vidhyathe". 

Only Him you must know as the endlessly existing Supreme power in the Universe. There exists NO OTHER PATH of worthy Divine-pursuit.. In the whole of Universe for ever for you, Remember. 

Besides, Vedas and other Scriptures like Geetha asserts mainly Two different Paths towards God..... 

ONE IN ALL....... AND ...... ALL IN ONE.  

To mean.First-Path:-- One Supreme-Power Maha-Vishnu spread  in each and every other Deity as ANTHARYAMI .. Preferentially advocated by Sri Sankaracharya 

And  the. Second-Path :-- All the Deities confined in one Supreme-Deity .MAHA-VISHNU IN A Unified Form. Preferentially advocated by Sri Ramanujacharya. Which means .that Hinduism is the Religion of "UNITY IN DIVERSITY" 

Available in different forms suiting to various tastes and likes of the Seeker.. Similar to the Various types of Food (like Grass, Leaves, Fruits, Seeds, Crops, as Vegetarian-type and Fleshy -Living-creatures as Non-Vegetarian types)  available in a fertile forest for different creatures. 

What is liked and suited to one Eater is not liked or suited to the other one and Vice-versa..even though all are made by God in the Form of Nature.. and. 

All such varieties of Foods contain Vitamins and other edible Substances of Nutritious Value. So is ... this Great VEDIC-RELIGION,. SANATHANA-DHARMA called HINDUISM named so by Foreigners. Is it interesting?..... Any Comment?. or.. Criticism? May I continue further .. Part by part..???

"Sarve Janaaha Sukino Bhavanthu" (Let all the People in the Universe be Happy and Prosperous by God's Grace) With Kind Regards and Best Wishes,

Sincerely,

Srinivasan. R.

UNQUOTE

Rest assured, every reply to this discussion will be posted without editing. Please join 

with your supportive materials.

TRS Iyengar    Nov. 04, 2004

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Further to the posting by other members, I got this interesting argument, just in plain expression of faith and honesty; this mail was sent to me from a person, who happen to visit my web site and read the contents thoroughly before mailing me. For the sake of protecting her privacy, her E-mail ID is not revealed. This mail was received by me on the 14th Dec. 2004:

QUOTE

I found Mr. D'costa's queries most genuine and sincere, His motive being nothing more than a quest for the GREAT ONE... I quote him here


" I am been constantly seeking for truth, and therefore I am looking for the one True Universal God, where I can praise, worship and honor the True living God."

Discussions, contradictions, logic, arguments, none of these can help, for knowledge is limited. Knowledge is acquired from the five senses and your senses cannot teach you more than that much. The Truth is not arrived as a conclusion of any logical discussion, it is beyond the grasp of human mind.

Does it matter how you call your father. To one he may be James, to another Paul and to another Kumar. But the role of a father remains the same.

Our Father answers no matter how you call Him. Call Him sincerely and from the bottom of your heart. If you are truly a seeker, then seek in prayer and love.

For there is one true religion and that is universal love.

But if one is truly interested in learning about Hinduism which is a great religion. It is too vast and to try and learn all scriptures at one time can confuse and spurn a person rather than teach.

To make a beginning start somewhere.

We have great saints who rose to perfection in God through love and devotion like Mira, Tukaram, Ramakrishna Paramhansa We have the greatest of Yogis like Paramhansa Yogananda, Ramana, And the greatest of philosophers like  Swami Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore. There are great saints like Kabir, Ramana Maharishi and Guru Nanak.


The greatest work being the Bhagavad Gita.  Our rich culture can be learnt slowly but surely through their works.

UNQUOTE

In her second mail, received by me on the 15th Dec. 2004, she narrate the actual concern and cause for her reply! I fully agree with her views, especially on the one "If you notice Hinduism, I called it great because I found that it has the depth and vastness to fit in a non believer..."

QUOTE

Sir,
It is indeed nice of you to seek permission to post my mail. What I would like to  bring to your notice was exactly what I stated, that The Only One cannot be discussed or contradicted or in my opinion even preached or teaches. He Is and in time He reveals Himself. Even if you post my mail I will not want to involve myself in further discussions. In fact this was the first time I even expressed myself for I could see that what is so simple was being made into something so complicated. Faith, Love and inner conviction through the grace of a Guru is what is essential . Since I found an earnestness in your site I freely voiced my opinion. Every one has their beliefs and I respect them, for people are what they are. It is essential not to hurt any one else's sentiments and that is what is important. I have read and learnt about many religions ( I admit I am not a pro though) and have a healthy respect for all,  for they  came at an opportune time for people who existed at that point with a particular set of problems and needs and these religions fulfilled them. If you notice Hinduism, I called it great because I found that it has the depth and vastness to fit in a non believer, a total beginner and a completely realized soul.

Once some one asked saying "Vedas contradict themselves, on one hand they say God is the creator and He is above all, then they say God is every where and then they also say (Tatvam Asi) meaning , "I am That".

Now, which one of this is true - "The answer was." all of them, it all depends on ones own spiritual evolvement. If one thinks God is somewhere there in heaven then that is how it is, if ones consciousness grows to the extent of perceiving the lovely presence of God in everything then that is how it is and ultimately the great Gurus who say " I am That" are those who have realized."

Adi Shankaracharya in Shivanandalahiri says "if you say so and so medicine cures me of whatever illness, it is of no help, you have to take that medicine to cure yourself, knowledge by itself is of no help"
"Similarly Brahman has to be realized and no amount of knowledge is of any help."

I really enjoyed mailing you for strangely I did not get the feeling that I was talking to an unresponsive or a disrespectful stranger. Srivaishnavites as you are, I could sense a respect in you for all humans. I respect that tremendously. Please do as you wish with my mail but as I said I do not wish to participate in further discussions and it is not from disrespect. I have no objections to mailing you though.

Respectfully
Shyamala
UNQUOTE

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following is the text of an E-mail I got from one Mr. Parameswaran. If the length of discussion can be taken into discussions, sure I am willing to open up a Forum in this site. It is just a matter of time, that many other intellectuals join this discussion = only just enlighten every lay man, who is not thorough in the subject, yet interested in following one or other faith.

QUOTE

I was going through the article about GOD which was published on the website. It is really good one to debate. Of course I am a strong believer of GOD or  A Supreme Power who can create, save or destroy anything in the universe. Now the question is who or what  is the supreme power ?

Before we discuss on this let us have few examples/questions
(i)
We all know that Sun rises and sets. Sun rays can produce heat or energy. If you use a LENS and pass sun rays through it , you can even burn a piece of paper !

Who is  SUN ? how come 'HE' is able to produce so much of energy and pump in the universe in the form of light or whatever ? Can anyone reach near to him ? what will happen to him after say 400000 years ? Science says about hydrogen/helium etc.. Is it true? Has anyone verified it ??

(ii)
After a child is born, he starts calling some one as  'PAPA" or "DAD" of "ACHA" who is considered as father ,in their own way or language and some one as "MUM" or "AMMA" who is considered as mother. Now, has the KID got any proof like DNA test before he calls some one as dad or someone as mother?  I am sure  ... NO

(iii)
Can we think about the people or culture that was there in the universe before say 10 years ( yes), 20 years ( yes) .....5000 years ( to a certain extent with some proofs obtained from some places) , 20000 years ( may be to a certain extent) .. who were there at that time in the universe? or may be before 50000000 years ??? I really don't know !!  Were they using computers to exchange mails or Were they using Leaves to write and keep information?

In Puranas, there were supreme power in Good as well as Bad. It is the same now. So GOD is the supreme power of Good things. Of course GOD also do bad things to make sure that Good things are survived.


I believe in  all God  (Vishnu. Shiva, Brahma ) like a Family. Of  course each and everyone have their own huge family with father, grandfather, grandfather's father etc. Where will it reach if you go further back ?

I believe in Vishnu as Saver, Brahma as creator and Shiva as destroyer. and all other God/Goddess as supporting them with their respective functions.

It is like a company hierarchy. There will be finance, HR, TECH support and board of directors !!!!!!!

Thanks for your patience and all the best,
Param

UNQUOTE

TRS Iyengar, December 15, 2004.

Attached is a Photograph of Famous CAVE TEMPLE in our Village which is 1500 years old. It is Shiva Temple. Hope you will like it.


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