Etiket arşivi: Taoism

Comparison Of The Living Religions 4

The Recognition of an Especially Sacred Community

The two most individualistic religions, Jainism and Buddhism, have organized their holy ascetics into a monkish order, Sangha or congregation; but women are regarded as inherently inferior.

Hinduism teaches that its whole hereditary caste system is a sacred institution as compared with the rest of the world, and that as compared among themselves the upper castes are successively the more holy.

Judaism – The synagogue is the place where people of equal standing meet together to pray without any need for an intermediary.

Christianity – The infallibility of the Pope, is a part of Roman Catholic doctrine.

Islam cuts clean across the common ideas of hereditary status, of social superiorities, and even of international exclusiveness by its insistence upon absolute submission before the one omnipotent world potentate, Allah, and upon active joining in his cause.

Turkmenistan, Koneurgenc.

Turkmenistan, Koneurgenc.

The Hope of a Universal Religion

The idea of becoming universal does not occur in the sacred scriptures of Sikhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Shinto and Taoism; and never to have arisen in their whole history.

In the case of Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Judaism, the hope of becoming universal has been definitely dropped in their history.

In the case of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, the plan of becoming universal stands clearly commanded in their sacred scriptures, and was acted upon by the founder himself, and has been followed up actively in their later history, so that they have actually become international through missionary effort.

Nepal, Kathmandu.

Nepal, Kathmandu.

The Hopes and Fears of a Future Life

Hinduism and Buddhism teach that the present life is not worth continuing; although the future life is thus for most people a dread necessity, yet by various proper processes a person’s evanescent  miserable individuality may finally be extirpated  altogether.

Jainism teaches that immortality is inherently unavoidable, with ultimate residence in either heaven or in hell.

All four of the religions which originated in India teach the doctrine of transmigration, that by power of the law of Karma, a person’s soul becomes reincarnate after death in some other earthly body, according to his conduct in this present life.

Confucianism regards religion as consisting chiefly of proper ethical conduct, yet offers for the future only a ghostly kind of existence, without hope of heaven, without fear of hell, without consequences of any kind resulting from a person’s present manner of living.

Zoroastrianism and Islam teach an inescapable judgment scene, with rewards and punishments. A paradise with delights for the pious, and a hell with perpetual agonies of physical torments for the unsubmissive unbeliever. Zoroastrianism reduces the sensual features of heaven and hell to a minimum, and finally manages to eliminate all evil, but by means of an apocalyptic ceremonial.

Christianity contains a considerable variety of eschatological belief within the Bible, and also in its subsequent history. However, Christianity has taught uniformly that there will be a sure and just judgment for all mankind, when the good people will enter into the joy of closer fellowship with God, and when the wicked will suffer the terrible consequences of the seperation from God.

 

 

 

Comparison Of The Living Religions 2

The Claim of a Supernatural Origin of the Founder

Buddha, in some later scriptures which abound in the marvellous is represented as a pre-existent heavenly being who, in connection with a prophetic dream of a queen, became her first-born child when she was forty-five years old.

Lao Tzu in documents dating a thousand years after his day is represented as having been born a fully matured Wise Old Boy or Philosopher, with white hair, who had been carried in his mother’s womb for seventy-two years, or for eighty-one years, according to different traditions.

Mahavira in a Jain document is represented as a pre-existent being who, in fulfilment of fourteen prophetic dreams, was supernaturally placed in his royal mother’s womb.

A virgin birth seems to be intimated in the case of Zoroaster. His mother was supernaturally glorified when she was an unmarried young woman of fifteen. Three future saviors in Zoroastrianism are predicted to be born of a mother who, similarly, is to be a virgin fifteen years old.

In the canonical New Testament of Christianity there are varying data concerning a divine origin of Jesus. Jesus represented himself as having come from God, whon he called father.

Titian (1490-1576), Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos, c. 1547.

Titian (1490-1576), Saint John the Evangelist on Patmos, c. 1547.

 

The Claim of Divine Revelation

The following may be specified as outstanding revelations of truth:

Hinduism -  The immanence of the divine in the world; human society, a divinely ordained structure; union with the divine, the goal of existence.

Jainism – Self-renunciation, the condition of salvation; the ideal of a liberation of the spirit with subjugation of the flesh.

Buddhism – Selfishness as the root of misery; salvation through inner purity and self-discipline.

Confucianism – The essential goodness of human nature, as divinely implanted; religion as exercised in proper social relationships.

Taoism – Religion as exercised in humbly following the divine Way.

Zoroastrianism – Religion as involving active co-operation with a cosmic power of goodness in a struggle against evil.

Shinto – Nature to be recognized as a beautiful divine creation; religion as involving purity and also loyalty to the supreme authority.

Sikhism – Religion as discipleship of the One True God, with trust in His Name.

Christianity – The supreme power in the world is a perfect person; that He may best be conceived of and lived with as a Father-God; that He has been presented by His Son Jesus Christ; and that the supreme satisfaction of every human being consists in loving obedience to Him and in loving service to brother man.

Islam – Superlative satisfaction to be obtained through submission to an omnipotent God, who is not only a sovereign, but also a judge and rewarder.

Rembrandt (1606-1669), the Evangelist Matthew Inspired by an Angel, 1661.

Rembrandt (1606-1669), the Evangelist Matthew Inspired by an Angel, 1661.

 

The Claim of an Inspired Scripture

Living religions do possess definite sets of documents which are regarded unique divine truths which need to be known for salvation. For all of them claims have been made as pre-eminent above the rest of literature.

Hinduism – Vedas, book of knowledge.

Jainism – Angas, bodies of knowledge.

Buddhism – Tripitaka, three baskets of of teachings.

Sikhism – Granth.

Confucianism – The Five Classics and The Four Books.

Taoism – Tao-te-Ching, the canon of reason and virtue.

Shinto – Ko-ji-ki, the records of ancient matters and Nihon-gi, the chronicles of Japan.

Zoroastrianism – Avesta, the knowledge.

Judaism – The Old Testament.

Christianity – The New Testament.

Islam – Koran.

 

Comparison Of The Living Religions 1

The religions of the world have some features in common.

  • The belief in One Supreme Being,
  • The claim of divine incarnation,
  • The claim of a supernatural origin of the founder,
  • The claim of divine revelation,
  • The claim of an inspired scripture,
  • The report of miracles wrought,
  • The principle of the “golden rule”,
  • The recognition of an especially sacred community,
  • The hope of a universal religion,
  • The hopes and fears of a future life.

The Belief in One Supreme Being

This idea was repudiated by original Jainism and by original Buddhism. But in the later developments of both systems the founder was worshipped.

Judaism believed in one supreme worshipful God, Jehovah. After the period of the Exile the Jews were consistently monotheistic.

Confucianism teaches the beliefin one Supreme Being, designated either personally as Supreme Ruler or impersonally as Heaven. But Confucianism has limited the worship of this Being to only one person in China, the emperor, and only once a year, on the night of the winter solstice, December 22. Popular Confucianism encourages the common people to worship many spirits, both nature spirits and the spirits of deceased ancestors.

Zoroastrianism sets forth one cosmic power, which is supremely worshipful, Ahura Mazda. But this being is not supremely powerful, because there has always existed an opposing cosmic power, Angra Mainyu, the spirit of evil. Furthermore, Zoroastrianism recognizes many other good spirits, subordinate to Ahura Mazda, yet deserving of worship.

Both Hinduism and Taoism believe in one supreme impersonal cosmic being, named Brahma and Tao, respectively, to be meditated upon, but not exactly to be worshipped. But in both religions the popular phases have been polytheistic, characterized by the actual worship of many deities.

A definite belief in and a worship of one supreme cosmic power by all people, can be found in only four religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism. These four religions agree as to the oneness of God.

The Claim of Divine Incarnation

The idea that deity can become incarnate is found in several religions, but with various settings and applications.

In philosophic Hinduism, ever since the period of the Upanishads, every object may be regarded as a temporary manifestation or embodiment or impersonation of the impersonal, non-moral, eternal Brahma, though the high cast Brahman priests are especially venerated as such.

In popular Hinduism there are several deities, who are believed to have taken the form of men. For instance, the god Vishnu, is believed to have entered upon several incarnations; the list varies from nine to twenty-two, but always includes animals. None of these Hindu avatars are represented as morally perfect, nor are they represented as manifestations of one supreme personal cosmic deity.

In Buddhism, despite its explicitly non-theistic basis, Buddha came to be regarded as a kind of incarnation, yet even so only as one of some twenty-four incarnate Buddhas, with a twenty-fifth still to come.

In Christianity, Jesus Christ is the unique incarnation, the Word of God.

In Islam, despite its dominant doctrine of the absolute transcendence of Allah, Shi’ism broke away from Sunni’ism on the issue of imams, divine incarnations. Some subsects among the Shiites differ concerning the exact number of still other incarnations, seven or twelve, and concerning the identity of the last one.

 

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, Caravaggio, 1601-02, Neues Palais, Potsdam, Germany. The Divine One became human so that human beings might become divine.” — Athanasius Photo:www.ibiblio.org

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, Caravaggio, 1601-02, Neues Palais, Potsdam, Germany.
The Divine One became human so that human beings might become divine.” — Athanasius
Photo:www.ibiblio.org

 

İnanç Dosyası 70 | Christianity 21 Symbols

 

Turkey – Mardin, Deyrulzafaran Monastery (Syrian Orthodox, 4th Century). In 1907 an illustration on a curtain of Christ’s Crucifiction.

Turkey – Mardin, Deyrulzafaran Monastery (Syrian Orthodox, 4th Century). In 1907 an illustration on a curtain of Christ’s Crucifiction.

Many religions use symbols and many of them are common to several religions. SYMBOLS Immediately after the cross, the most widely used Christian symbol is the fish. In ancient Greek, the word ‘fish’ is composed of the initial letters of words meaning Jesus, Son of God, and Saviour in the same language. The New Testament tells how Jesus calls to some fishermen by the Sea of Galilee to follow Him, saying,

“I will make you fishers of men”. Wine made from grapes represents the blood of Christ and bread symbolizes His body. Grapes were also a symbol in the services of Dionysius or Bacchus of the ancient world.

The dove symbolises peace, fertility, purity, love, innocence and the Holy Ghost.

In Taoism, the deer represents long life and good fortune and in Christianity it symbolises eternal life and the soul of one who has drunk from the Fountain of Life and been cured.

In Christianity the cock is the symbol of wakefulness, daybreak and prophecy. The white cock is held to bring good fortune, while the black represents evil. It is believed that the crowing of the cock drives away evil spirits, and for this reason the figure of a cock is placed on the spires of many churches. The cock also plays a part in the Gospel story. Jesus predicted the exact time when the cock would crow, after Peter had denied Him three times.

The peacock symbolizes Doomsday, the Resurrection of Christ and Christ encompassed in radiance. In India and in ancient Greece the peacock is sacred.

In Christianity the lion is the symbol of victory and salvation, the rabbit of sexuality, the devil and magic spells, the palm tree of everlasting life and vital energy, an extension of the Tree of Life of eastern cultures.

In Jewish, Christian and Muslim tradition, the snake epitomizes the Devil and is blamed for the temptation and downfall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Various mythologies are full of different stories of snakes. In the legends of the Sumerians, the Hittites, the Egyptians, the Scandinavians and the Slavs, in ancient Greece and Rome, countless stories about snakes are told.

The pelican is also an important Christian symbol. According to one version of the story it becomes angry with its young, devours them and then regrets its action so much that it tears open its own breast with its beak. The blood then brings the young back to life. This is thought to represent Christ’s sacrifice, when He shed His blood so that all may share in His resurrection, particularly those who drink wine as His blood during the service of Holy Communion.

The banner bearing a red cross on a white ground symbolizes resurrection and is often flown from churches on Sunday. It is also the flag of St. George, patron saint of England.

Cherubim and Seraphim Cherubim, thought of as attending the heavenly throne or guarding especially holy places, are hybrid beings having bird-wings, and human, or animal faces. Cherubim, originating from both early Middle Eastern mythology and iconography carry out important functions as intercessors in the hierarchy of angels. In the Old Testament, cherubim are accorded supernatural agility rather than intercessional propensities, and are thought to have undertaken the duty of upholding the Throne of God. In Christian belief seraphim are regarded as the highest among angels, servants of God in heaven who continually praise him. In Muslim belief, cherubim and seraphim dwell on a level of paradise which Satan cannot penetrate and offer constant prayers of thanks to God.

There is a belief that, while Christ was carrying His cross, Saint Veronica wiped His face with a handkerchief, onto which His features were imprinted, and this handkerchief is held to have healing powers. It is now thought that this mythical Saint’s name was made up of the words Vera Icon (the true name). According to legend, the kerchief found its way to ancient Edessa, now in south-east of Turkey, and there cured King Abgar IV of leprosy. Again, this kerchief is said to have fallen into Balikli pool in Edessa, and on occasion to display the features of Christ in the water. France – St. Theogonnec

There is a belief that, while Christ was carrying His cross, Saint Veronica wiped His face with a handkerchief, onto which His features were imprinted, and this handkerchief is held to have healing powers. It is now thought that this mythical Saint’s name was made up of the words Vera Icon (the true name). According to legend, the kerchief found its way to ancient Edessa, now in south-east of Turkey, and there cured King Abgar IV of leprosy. Again, this kerchief is said to have fallen into Balikli pool in Edessa, and on occasion to display the features of Christ in the water.
France – St. Theogonnec

Spain – Toledo, San Juan de los Reyes Franciscan Monastery, 15th Century.

Spain – Toledo, San Juan de los Reyes Franciscan Monastery, 15th Century.