HINDUISM/CHRISTIANITY COMPARISON (Was: Re: Our Daily Bread, Nov. 8, 1994)

The following descriptions are courtesy of HINDUISM
TODAY and constitute text that is copyrighted (1991)
by the Himalayan Academy.  Reproduction in for-sale
media is prohibited without prior authorization.  For
a free, three-month subscription to the full-color
international journal HINDUISM TODAY, published since
1979, send your name and U.S. postal address to

 HT> **FOUNDED**: Hinduism, the world's oldest
 HT> religion has no beginning -- it predates
 HT> recorded history.  **FOUNDER**: Hinduism has no
 HT> human founder.  **MAJOR SCRIPTURES**: The Vedas,
 HT> the Upanishads, the Agamas, etc.  **ADHERENTS**:
 HT> Over 650,000,000, mostly in Bharat, Shri Lanka,
 HT> Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Mauritius, Africa,
 HT> Europe and North America.  **SECTS**: There are
 HT> three main denominations: Shaivism, Shaktism and
 HT> Vaishnavism -- and liberal, non-sectarian forms,
 HT> most importantly the Smarta Sampradaya. 
 HT> **SYNOPSIS**: Hinduism is a vast and profound
 HT> religion.  It worships one Supreme Reality
 HT> (called by many names) and teaches that all
 HT> souls ultimately realize Truth.  There is no
 HT> eternal hell, no damnation.  It accepts all
 HT> genuine spiritual paths -- from pure monism
 HT> ("God alone exists") to theistic dualism ("When
 HT> shall I know His Grace?").  Each soul is free to
 HT> find his own way, whether by devotion,
 HT> austerity, meditation (yog) or selfless service.
 HT> Stress is placed on temple worship, scripture
 HT> and the Guru/disciple tradition.  Festivals,
 HT> pilgrimage, chanting of holy hymns and home
 HT> worship are dynamic practices. Love,
 HT> non-violence, good conduct and the law of dharm
 HT> define the Hindu path.  Hinduism explains that
 HT> the soul reincarnates until all karms are
 HT> resolved and God-Realization is attained.  The
 HT> magnificent holy temples, the peaceful piety of
 HT> the Hindu home, the subtle metaphysics and the
 HT> science of yog all play their part.  Hinduism is
 HT> a mystical religion, leading the devotee to
 HT> *personally* experience the Truth within,
 HT> finally reaching the pinnacle of consciousness
 HT> where man and God are one.
 HT> 1. I believe in a one, all-pervasive Supreme
 HT> Being who is both immanent and transcendent,
 HT> both Creator and Unmanifest Reality.
 HT> 2. I believe that the universe undergoes endless
 HT> cycles of creation, preservation and
 HT> dissolution.
 HT> 3. I believe that all souls are evolving toward
 HT> union with God and will ultimately find Moksh,
 HT> spiritual knowledge and liberation from the
 HT> cycle of rebirth.  Not a single soul will be
 HT> eternally deprived of this destiny.
 HT> 4. I believe in karm, the law of cause and
 HT> effect by which each individual creates his own
 HT> destiny by his thoughts, words and deeds.
 HT> 5. I believe that the soul reincarnates,
 HT> evolving through many births until all karms
 HT> have been resolved.
 HT> 6. I believe that divine beings exist in unseen
 HT> inner worlds and that temple worship, rituals
 HT> and sacraments as well as personal devotionals
 HT> create a communion with these Devs and Gods.
 HT> 7. I believe that a spiritually awakened Master
 HT> or Sat Guru is essential to know the
 HT> Transcendent Absolute, as are personal
 HT> discipline, good conduct, purification,
 HT> self-inquiry and meditation.
 HT> 8. I believe that all life is sacred and to be
 HT> loved and revered, and in the practice of ahinsa
 HT> or non-violence.
 HT> 9. I believe that no particular religion teaches
 HT> the only way to salvation above all others, but
 HT> that all genuine religious paths are facets of
 HT> God's Pure Love and Light, deserving tolerance
 HT> and understanding.

 HT> **FOUNDED**: Christianity began 1,950 years ago
 HT> in Palestine.  **FOUNDER**: Jesus of Nazareth.
 HT> Estimated at 1 billion.  **SECTS**: Christianity
 HT> is divided into three main sects: Roman
 HT> Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant. Among
 HT> Protestants there are over 2,000 smaller sects.
 HT> **SYNOPSIS**: The majority of Christians adhere
 HT> to the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God, the
 HT> Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and
 HT> Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, Who was
 HT> conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin
 HT> Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was
 HT> crucified, died and buried.  He descended into
 HT> hell.  The third day He rose again from the
 HT> dead. I believe in the Holy  Ghost . . . the
 HT> communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
 HT> the resurrection of the body, and the life
 HT> everlasting."  Protestants differ in various ways
 HT> from this, but most Christian faith revolves
 HT> around these basic points.  Christianity has an
 HT> unswerving belief that it is the only true
 HT> religion, the only path to salvation.  This
 HT> engenders a missionary zeal, an urgency to
 HT> evangelize around the world.  Stress is placed
 HT> on acceptance of Jesus as God and Savior, on
 HT> good conduct, compassion, service to mankind,
 HT> faith and preparation for the Final Judgement.
 HT> Only good Christians will be saved.  Today, over
 HT> half of all Christians are black.  Membership is
 HT> diminishing in developed nations but increasing
 HT> in Third World nations.
 HT> 1. I believe in God the Father, Creator of the
 HT> universe, reigning forever distinct over man,
 HT> his beloved creation.
 HT> 2. I believe man is born a sinner, and that he
 HT> may know salvation only through the Savior,
 HT> Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son.
 HT> 3. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of Mary,
 HT> a virgin.
 HT> 4. I believe that Jesus Christ was crucified on
 HT> the cross, then resurrected from the dead and
 HT> now sits at the right hand of the Father as the
 HT> final judge of the dead, and that He will return
 HT> as prophesized.
 HT> 5. I believe that the soul is embodied for a
 HT> single lifetime, but is immortal and accountable
 HT> to God for all thoughts and actions.
 HT> 6. I believe in the historical truth of the Holy
 HT> Bible, that it i sacred scripture of the highest
 HT> authority and the only word of God.
 HT> 7. I believe that upon death and according to
 HT> its earthly deeds, and its acceptance of the
 HT> Christian faith, the soul enters Heaven,
 HT> Purgatory or Hell, there awaiting the Last
 HT> Judgement when the dead shall rise again, the
 HT> redeemed to enjoy life everlasting and the
 HT> unsaved to suffer eternally.
 HT> 8. I believe in the intrinsic goodness of
 HT> mankind and the affirmative nature of life and
 HT> in the priceless value of love, charity and
 HT> faith.
 HT> 9. I believe in the Holy trinity of God who
 HT> reveals Himself as father, Son and Holy Ghost,
 HT> and in the existence of Satan, the
 HT> personification of evil, deception and darkness.

The above descriptions are courtesy of HINDUISM TODAY
and constitute text that is copyrighted (1991) by the
Himalayan Academy.  Reproduction in for-sale media is
prohibited without prior authorization.  For a free,
three-month subscription to the full-color
international journal HINDUISM TODAY, published since
1979, send your name and U.S. postal address to

*-=Om Shanti=-*  Jai Maharaj
                 Jyotishi, Vedic Astrologer

This has been a follow-up to this exchange between
Pawan Varma and Bipin Bora:

In article <3a8chk$dn7@vunews.valpo.edu>,
bbora@gem.valpo.edu (Bipin Bora) wrote:
 > Pawan Varma (pawanv@jupiter.sun.csd.unb.ca) wrote:
 >> Do I take it, Bipin, that you are only
 >> interested in trying to convert us pagans to
 >> Christianity?  A while back you were intent on
 >> open discussion.  Yet, I have yet to hear a peep
 >> from you in response to our responses to your
 >> postings.  - Pawan Varma
 > I am interested in having open discussion.
 > Converting others is not the goal.  Let me
 > re-state: How about sharing and comparing the two
 > faiths in a civilized way?  - Bipin Bora

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