Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)


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Post Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:46 pm

Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

Now, that's a first, haha! Today I was hesitant to ban and remove a "spammer", who appears to be really a solicitor for the Krishna followers. :shrug:
If he hadn't posted his spam in "Downloads & Info", but into "off topic", I might've actually left it there, if only to have a nice and enlightening discussion around that as well.

I've actually read the Bhagavad-Gita, because I've been researching old scriptures from a variety of cultures. This one, though, is one liberating read that I would cautiously recommend. To read it, you best do two things:
- do not read it as literal instruction or as a book of rules! That's just not what it is, nor what it wants- or was intended- to be.
The way it delivers perspective and concepts of universal existence is just downright beautiful, but it take almost a whole read to full grasp that. Of all religious dogma that I'm aware of, this one is the least dogmatic, but truly a book of careful suggestions to make you get a better idea of what you are and what everything can be considered to be like.
The setup is phenomenal and provocative, because it picks a warrior, Arjuna, who questions his purpose of fighting wars and killing people, including some that were close to him. He rides in a chariot with Krishna (an incarnation of god), who happens to be his "driver" and begins to ask questions to Krishna, after the latter revealed himself to Arjuna. But really, Arjuna, of course, stands for anyone of us, unclear about his path, because some things just don't feel right along the way, but the reasons behind the dilemma are so brilliantly open, that he does become kind of a universal example and his questions most certainly are relevant to everyone of us.
After you've read it, something funny is happening, which is literally the polar opposite of what happens after you've read the Bible or the Torah. After the Bhagavad-Gita you feel like everyone is family. You sense compassion and trust for everyone in a totally forgiving and very understanding way. It's like a "we're all in the same boat" kind of sense that simply feels great. :beer:
After reading the Bible you feel like everyone is out to kill you and it's unwise to trust in any other human being; you're on your own with hopefully god on your side, if you submit to the laws, haha. :twisted:
Anyhow...the bible has a different problem that, once you've cracked it, has a very different nature again that is not nearly as demonic as face-value can suggest. But you end up with something almost totally dry, "scientific" in a rather mysterious sense. Nearly non of which you can consciously receive if you do not recognize the deeply interwoven analogies. Especially the Old Testament (Torah, more or less) goes as deep as numeric values of original Hebrew writings and like a code-breaker you have to analyze it to get the real idea from it. Some nice revelations are in there, though. :)
Hint: Loads of astrology there! Kaballah helps to unravel more.

Back to the Bhagavad-Gita:
- ignore all commentary!
Nobody should make the interpretations of those verses for you. You should just read them and think about each one as soon as you can take a hold of the general idea. That may take a while, but once you do, you begin to understand what those verses really mean. It's one of those books that you can and most certainly read more than once, because you have to align your understanding gradually. For example, everything that relates to worship or the likes or that reads like a command really means that you should relate yourself consciously to the whole for which Krishna is merely a representation of an aspect. Commands are not meant as imperative but rather as imploring as in- more or less- strongly suggesting to act in a certain way to help yourself.
Commentaries lean towards trying to lecture and preach on top of something that is so much more elegant in applying itself to your understanding. Those guys, who try to tell you how it is meant, simply impose on you their perspective and experiences, often the result of this wisdom having been turned into dogmatism. You won't like it and it most likely will only confuse you.

So, that being said, a missionary at our forum's doorstep, hahaha... what a weird world, but it makes sense somehow. :shock: :lol:
Yes, I deleted his account and his post, but it obviously inspired me to write all of the above. Even his link wasn't all that bad, but I'm not going to post this here! Just go search for the book and you'll find it! ;)
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Post Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:26 pm

Re: Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

heh, When missionaries of various types used to come to my door, I would tell them.. "Sorry. I don't let religion get in between me and God." Then I would enjoy their stunned faces and say," Have a nice day!" and close the door. Out here where I live now I have been fortunate enough not to see them.

I read "Bhagavad-Gita" once upon a time when I was in my late teens. I came to it from a different path after reading a Hugo award winning novel entitled "Lord of Light", by Roger Zelazny. I will never forget the blurb on the dust jacket. " They called him Mahasamatman but he preferred to drop the maha and the atman and called himself Sam." :D Brilliant novel by a brilliant writer at the top of his form.

In your perusal of religion did you ever come across a book that grew to 12 volumes in time called "The Golden Bough, a study of magic and religion", by James Fraser? If not, I will highly recommend that to you. He was an anthropologist and had a heavy influence on that science early on. Fascinating read. :ugeek: It can be found at Project Gutenberg... http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/1241 :)
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Post Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:03 am

Re: Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

ack! I went to an internet link for Bhagavad-Gita to reacquaint myself with the text. It was hard to find the text because of the commentary lol. 4 different commentators on the version I went to. Definitely ignore the commentary. I may actually still have it... somewhere.... at my warehouse and chewed on by rats along with a few more tons of books and albums. I have to go through them within the next week anyway and separate the good from the bad.

Thinking on your comparison of the Bible and the Bhagavad-Gita. The amount of doom and gloom is certainly more prevalent in the bible. I commend you and anyone else who have read it in it's entirety. I have read deeply into it but never through it. Mainly sections that attracted me as story and most of those in the old testament. I think that my never having completed that read dated back to my days in a christian school having Baptist thinking forced upon me. I rebelled and went on my own journey reading everything from world History to Celtic lore of various enclaves, to Norse mythology, to studies of Buddhism, Hinduism, all of that in between massive and probably unhealthy infusions of Science Fiction, Fantasy and National Geographic lol I have to agree with your assessment of the two texts and will further say that as a story the Bhagavad-Gita is more cohesive simply from the device of using Arjuna and Krishna to sustain narrative.

I still adhere to the personal and unprovable belief that the entertainment factor came first :D
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Post Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:47 am

Re: Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

Ugh, I've got to wake up first, before I write some nonsense, but first of all: SWEEEET! I can't believe you've read it, too, haha!
As for reading the Bible...just like any educational book, you have to have good reason to read it, otherwise you won't ever chew your way through it. The Old Testament has a few nice short stories in there, which have heaps of meat on them and can go astoundingly deep, actually warning you about the stupidity of blind worship and rigid submission to dogma. One of my favorites was most certainly Jonah and the sea monster, as funny as it sounds. I gotta get a coffee first, though...see, if I still remember enough of my own thoughts, because I'm too lazy to think them again now, hahaha... :roll:
Anyway, no matter what, the Bible does not carry its message in the open. In fact, it doesn't shy away from lying to keep its secrets.
The Gita has its intense approach, but shows great care about the reader, tries to be as clear as it can be and holds no secrets - as far as I can remember.

No, haven't read or even heard of the Golden Bough. James Fraser, though, is a familiar name. Very cool, I will most certainly have a look! Thanks! :ugeek: :)
Thanks, Tom, that's really fun! I had a feeling I shouldn't ignore the topic, regardless the origin here, hahaha! :)
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Post Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:10 pm

Re: Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

I always feel little bit ashamed when I read about something that I am not able to comment or discuss. Thanks to you guys I am going to read Bhagavad-Gita and broaden my horizon.. :beer:
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Post Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:39 pm

Re: Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

Great choice! If you have any questions, never hesitate to ask!
Also, pull yourself together, the beginning is very chewy to read. Also, don't bother about the names aside from Arjuna and Krishna, of course. Otherwise you'll go crazy in the opening. But keep going, read until you hit the verses and then enjoy!
You must think in deeper layers, don't get hung up on the surface! You should also always review the whole situation. This book will not tell you what to think, it will give you material to think about/with.

It will take some time to get there, but there will be a section on cosmology or the composition of the universe. For that you should know that it is geocentric (earth in the center) and not heliocentric (sun in the center) from its observation. A lot of it seems off or even silly, but once you realize that, it becomes a valid take on it all again (in a way). :)
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Post Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:57 pm

Re: Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

Lemi, I can say that I envy you if you have not read a good copy of it but not as much as I envy those who are reading Lord of Light for the first time :D A good book is like fine wine. It gets better with age.

We have created a monster Taron :D

I just got back from my warehouse culling and sorting books. I am still at the top of the ice berg. :shock: I have been looking for my copy of the Gita. No luck so far but I did find a copy of the Mahabratta and a book from 1970 entitled Krsna? not Krishna hmmm. It appears to be sponsored by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, has a foreword by George Harrison and says Not for sale in India :lol: I don't recall this book for some reason :? It has some really Beautiful color plates in it.

The really big find for me however was the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. I recall growing up and being in absolute awe at the color plates in it. Later as I learned to read I developed an appreciation for the actual writing. The problem with it is that there are so many different ways to juggle the quatrains that compose it that the text will have a different meaning depending on Who translated it and How it was translated. This is a common problem with the multiple translations of the bible itself and also whether they included or tossed various writings that have been discovered such as the dead sea scrolls for example. A lot of what a religious translator might trip up on would be classed in the "This isn't right. It doesn't fit My vision. Toss it!" category. Regardless of how his work was and is interpreted, there can be no doubt that Omar Khayam was a brilliant man. BTW as Taron so wisely states about the Gita... Avoid commentaries! the damn things are everywhere :shock: Also remember there are Multiple translations. Edward Fitgerald's version being the most prominent.

Just as an aside. I highly recommend Zelazny's Lord of Light not only as entertainment but as food for thought. The setup of characters and the conflict between 3 major religions as derived from the results of a space ship crashing into an uncolonized planet is outstanding.

If you delve into the "Golden Bough" you will soon find out why "It's not Always good to be the King." Just saying :D There is a Reason it has helped influence writers as diverse as Hemingway or Robert Ardrey ( read the Territorial Imperative )
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Post Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:58 pm

Re: Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

Mahabharata you mean, yeah, I think, I'd like to read that, too. The Gita just has a small kind of quint-essential blurb about it in the beginning so you understand the setup with Arjuna at the great battle.

"Krsna" is the actual spelling of "Krishna", as the Sanskrit is the original link to all languages around Europe and Asia, really. The Slavic languages still have the same kind of spelling style, using certain consonants as vocals or partial vocals.

Never heard of Rubaiyat, though...and Lord of Light, for that matter. So...weee, thanks! Something to look up. :geek: :)
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Post Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:09 pm

Re: Religious solicitors...(missionaries?)

Never heard of Rubaiyat

A big classical philosophical poetry! ;)
Is beautiful that please without concept!
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