So Judaism and Christianity really have the same theological structure. We have one Supreme Deity. That Supreme Deity has many names (you must be familiar with the tradition in Judaism that talks about the 72 names of God), and various emanations/aspects (consider the doctrine of the Trinity), of which Jesus is one.
I’m going to have to disagree. Hinduism is not monotheistic, it’s mostly pantheistic, i.e. not only their deities, but the entire universe, including individual people, are manifestations of Brahma (ultimate being). But, of course, there is no definitive Hindu theology, and perspectives on this I’m sure vary by degrees.
This looks like a job for Aquinas. Our dear Thomas demonstrates, in his Summa Theologiae, the impossibility of more than 3 persons in the one God. The father is God in himself; his very state of being. The son (Jesus) is his “word”, or “thought”; in other words, the son is God’s self awareness. As God is perfect being, his thought is also perfect being, and thus becomes a person in itself. Now we will see the true genius of Aquinas. For he also argues that if God were not 3 persons, he could not be love, because love is an act of giving/sharing. Now that we see that God has two distinct persons within Himself, these two persons, being perfect, will love one another eternally. This love that flows between them is also perfect, and being perfect, also becomes a person: the Holy Spirit.
And, as Thomas demonstrates there CANNOT be more than three persons in God:
“…since God comprehends everything in His intellect by a single act of intuition and similarly loves everything by a single act of His will, there cannot be several words or several loves in God. If, then, the Son proceeds as Word, and if the Holy Spirit proceeds as love, there cannot be several Sons or several Holy Spirits in God.”
So now we see why there is no other name given by which we are to be saved. Any other deities are idols; creations of the human imagination. Shiva, Krishna, Ganesh… none of these are manifestations of God, as Christians know Him. They do not teach what He teaches. And unlike Christ, they are not real historical figures.
That isn’t actually what Catholics believe, or even what mainstream Christians believe. The three persons of the blessed Trinity are not merely different emanations or aspects; they are different persons.
The explanation you describe was no doubt in vogue in certain sections of the Church in the affluent West from the 1970s to the 1990s, but it’s not really Christian.
I’m just making a factual correction here, unlike what some people said, Hinduism does have a theology which spans over many books. And their deities did actually exist at certain parts of history (mostly in certain parts of India) and were not created by peoples minds.
That’s all, I’ll leave the misinterpretation of god forms concerning Jesus and these comparisons to others.
First off, I would love to see the historical evidence for the existence of Ganesh, the elephant god.
And Hinduism does not have a definitive structure. The authors of the Vedas, Upanishad, etc., etc., did not share the same beliefs… some were atheists, some monotheists, others believed in multiple divinities, and so on. Hinduism has not maintained any semblance of consistency in its history, and even today its range of beliefs and practices is remarkably varied. It is not a single tradition, but a mass of traditions. Its origins lie in the Dravidians, the original Indian people, who primarily worshipped a mother goddess, among others. They were conquered by Aryans from Persia, who imposed their own religious beliefs upon them, making their god of war the chief deity of the Dravidian people. Eventually, traditional Dravidian deities reemerged into this new system which led the Aryans to introduce the caste system which is still in effect, in some form, in modern Hinduism. The upper caste, brahmins, which consisted of the Aryans, of course, were the authors of the Rig Veda: the foundation of Hinduism. The lower caste “yogis” who came after them composed the Upanishads, and their religious beliefs, as outlined above, varied widely.
Different Hindus have different theistic philosophies. Some accept one God, some accept many gods, some are atheistic.
The way I understand the Trinity is that God exists as one being and three persons. Jesus is fully man and is adopted into the Godhead, becoming timelessly part of the Trinity. I have no idea about the Holy Spirit.
I’m sure some Hindu philosophies would be compatible even with the most traditionalist Catholic theologies.
So how are you defining a “person” as opposed to an aspect or an emanation in this context? What is the substantive difference there between those terms?
Normally I would say that a “person” signifies a physical entity with a certain form, but that can’t be how the term is being used with respect to God, since only one of those persons can be argued to have any form at all.
And Hinduism does not have a definitive structure. The authors of the Vedas, Upanishad, etc., etc., did not share the same beliefs… some were atheists, some monotheists, others believed in multiple divinities, and so on.
I]The authours have their reasons, which depended on their lives, whatever view they have: the root of it is the same.
Hinduism has not maintained any semblance of consistency in its history, and even today its range of beliefs and practices is remarkably varied. It is not a single tradition, but a mass of traditions. Its origins lie in the Dravidians, the original Indian people, who primarily worshipped a mother goddess, among others.
*These differences in Tradition and practices are due to their being different types and Denominations of Hindus, for example Shaivism, Vaishnavism, to name a couple, among many others, and differnet names that they are called.
This is similar to Christianity: Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestants, etc, etc, They all have the same core beliefs but are different in certain ways, and practices.*
They were conquered by Aryans from Persia, who imposed their own religious beliefs upon them, making their god of war the chief deity of the Dravidian people. Eventually, traditional Dravidian deities reemerged into this new system which led the Aryans to introduce the caste system which is still in effect, in some form, in modern Hinduism. The upper caste, brahmins, which consisted of the Aryans, of course, were the authors of the Rig Veda: the foundation of Hinduism. The lower caste “yogis” who came after them
composed the Upanishads, and their religious beliefs, as outlined above, varied widely
The Caste System was caused mainly due to economic factors and, also peoples skin colour, Basically If you have fair skin and alot of money you were of a Higher Caste than a poorer person with darker skin, and this discrimination is used to unfairly judge peoples spiritual lives as well just because of their skin colour and assets.
Also Hinduism has It’s Own Trinity Shiva, Vishnu and Bramha, all of the other gods are manifestations of these three who took different forms to accomplish different things at different times.
And I’m 100% sure of all this, because I’m an ex - Hindu
Your definition is what we call politheism.In monotheism, there are no emanations.
I understand your viewpoint, that politheism is a way of seeing God but nevertheless it was surpassed by monotheism.
Your interpretation of the holy Trinity and of Jesus Christ is wrong.
Let’s not mix things: politheism is politheism and I am no saying it is bad. Monotheism is monotheism and I am not saying that it is necessarily right (look at the jihad and suicide bombers!)
The Hindu is simply claiming that our doctrine of Incarnation is the same as their understanding of an “avatar.” But it isn’t. I respect the fact that many Hindus see Jesus as an avatar, and it’s great that they have such a high view of Him. But it’s not the same thing as the Christian view.
Christians believe that God created the world out of nothing, meaning that God’s relationship with the world is different from the one envisaged in any form of Hinduism I know of. Furthermore, we believe that history is linear rather than cyclical.
That means that we believe God entered history in a unique way in Jesus. Jesus isn’t just one way in which God has made Himself known. Jesus’ incarnation changes history forever.
Not necessarily. There are many forms of polytheism. The form in which the various deities “emanate” from one reality is certainly closer to monotheism than are some other kinds of polytheism. Another form of “polytheism” would say that there is one supreme God and various lesser deities who aren’t the same kind of beings at all. (This isn’t necessarily incompatible with the “emanation” view, actually.) That can look pretty similar to the traditional Christian/Jewish/Islamic understanding of one God and many angels (in Zoroastrianism, for instance, the difference between a “god” and an “angel” seems pretty much nonexistent, if I understand it correctly), with the main difference being the kind of worship/veneration it’s appropriate to give to these lesser heavenly beings.
And, of course, Muslims and Jews see our doctrine of the Trinity as a kind of polytheism.
So the difference between polytheism and monotheism isn’t clear-cut. That doesn’t mean that there’s no difference, only that there are different ways of defining the difference and a lot of religious traditions can be defined as either depending on whether you draw the line.
I don’t think there’s any point arguing over whether Hinduism is polytheistic or monotheistic. Much more valuable is figuring out in what way it’s polytheistic and in what way it’s monotheistic.
And, of course, there are many varieties of “Hinduism”. . . .