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Old 11-13-2017, 04:55 AM   #121
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FGM is illegal in Britain. I hear that it does occur in secret, but mostly people take the girl back to Africa to have it done to her. I also hear that it is a practice in some African cultures, and while some of the practitioners ARE Muslims, others are not, and that it is only done in those cultures (e.g. Somalia), not in the Islamic world generally.

The FGM ban here was an example of where Parliament valued human rights more highly than tolerance of diversity. There is friction at many points along this fault-line. Another is academic freedom (e.g. freedom to blaspheme against Islam [Islam as understood by imams]). Going to Syria to fight for ISIS is illegal. So is "incitement to violence".

Would Britain allow Muslims to govern intra-Muslim disputes by Sharia law here? There's no push for that just now..... but Prince Charles is in favour of it and his mum, the Queen, is aged 90.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:04 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Bakhruddin View Post
Male circumcision, and a belief in one God, seem to be these three Western religions' common denominators
Since when was male circumcision a Christian practise?

There are long tracts in the NT from the time when the Romans sacked Jesusalem and compromises had to be found between the Greek churches and the Jew-Christian refugees who held that a convert had to become a Jew first before becoming a Christian. In those wrestles, 'circumcised' meant Jew-Christians, and 'uncircumcised' meant Greek Christians. The decision apparently was that both groups were accepted as Christians, so circumcision is not required of Christians from that day (c70s CE) to this.

Is there some Christian sect in Maine (or elsewhere) which DOES practise circumcision despite that?
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:15 AM   #123
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Male circumcision is part of Judeo-Christian culture generally. Even Catholics practise it. The main reason it became so widespread in the modern world is because of the general belief that its more hygienic.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:15 AM   #124
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Abraham

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Originally Posted by kabbalah View Post
Abraham as the name may suggest something to the effect of "A Brahmin"
That dawned on me too, a while ago. Especially as, so I have read, "-in" on the ends of words in Arabic is silent, which if also true of Hebrew would account for his name being shortened to Abra(h)m after he joined the Hebrews.

I also muse that maybe his wife Sara shortened her name from Saraswati. And that they migrated west in c1500BCE as a result of the cataclysm that caused the Saraswati river to dry up and some other folk from the Indus Valley civilization to migrate to the Gangetic plain.

Of course there was one Abraham who was certainly a true brahmin... surname Lincoln.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:40 AM   #125
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reincarnation of Lahiri and Iran

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As far as I know he should be around 55 - 60 now. I have heard this from monks - Achelananda. He might be near Iran - countries close maybe an island. A rumor does say that when the Dayas flew back from India 68 (?) they stopped in Teheran and disappeared two days. Achelanda stayed behind. I have a feeling that he is in a high position, not living in a 'cave' :-)
Is it a coincidence that Iran is one of four Middle Eastern mostly-Muslim countries (out of the 20 or so) that has an SRF presence (as listed in the magazine)?

I long with hope that you are right. Iran is an ancient civilization. It deserves respect, and I so wish the USA would stop hating it (and dragging Britain along with their misjudgement). Somehow Iran has managed to stay independent and culturally intact through all the colonial era and more-recent turmoil in the Middle East, neither losing their territory, nor their sovereignty to decide their own regime, to ISIS, the USA, Israel and other bullies, nor invading anyone else's. They defended themselves successfully in '80-'88 despite having to rely often on untrained boy soldiers. When did Persian forces last invade someone else's country? c200BCE??
As far as I know, Iran is the only country where Islam dominates which seems to at least some extent revere its pre-Islamic past.
And it is one of very few democratic countries in the Middle East. The US government and its ally on the east coast of the Mediterranean don't like the Iranian people's choices, but they do have contested elections and the rule of law, principles which America purports to support. Their culture is not social-liberal and therefore feels yucky to Western sensibilities, especially West European ones, but they criticise us for being TOO licentious and materialistic... as also does Mother Center..... and Iran has a point, citing the West's divorce rate and youth crime/dissoluteness.
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:38 AM   #126
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Male circumcision is part of Judeo-Christian culture generally. Even Catholics practise it. The main reason it became so widespread in the modern world is because of the general belief that its more hygienic.
Widespread? Khitomer, you've made some lovely contributions on this thread, but I'm not convinced your facts are accurate on this one. Is Wikipedia wrong? It says about 1/3 of boys are circumcised in the world and 70% of those are Muslims. It has a map showing where male circumcision rates are above 20%. Apart from those where such a rate is due to the size of the Muslim population, it's only 8 countries (out of about 150). The rate is "below 20%" in most culturally-Christian(ish) countries including all of Latin America and all of Europe except the former Yugoslavia, and also in India and China.

As a separate point for exploring, you speak of "Judeo-Christian culture". Would you say that the influence of Judaism throughout Europe and the Americas is so strong that to refer to Western culture as simply "Christian" (or "post-Christian") is unreasonable?
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:02 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by pachiaammos View Post
Is it a coincidence that Iran is one of four Middle Eastern mostly-Muslim countries (out of the 20 or so) that has an SRF presence (as listed in the magazine)?

I long with hope that you are right. Iran is an ancient civilization. It deserves respect, and I so wish the USA would stop hating it (and dragging Britain along with their misjudgement). Somehow Iran has managed to stay independent and culturally intact through all the colonial era and more-recent turmoil in the Middle East, neither losing their territory, nor their sovereignty to decide their own regime, to ISIS, the USA, Israel and other bullies, nor invading anyone else's. They defended themselves successfully in '80-'88 despite having to rely often on untrained boy soldiers. When did Persian forces last invade someone else's country? c200BCE??
As far as I know, Iran is the only country where Islam dominates which seems to at least some extent revere its pre-Islamic past.
And it is one of very few democratic countries in the Middle East. The US government and its ally on the east coast of the Mediterranean don't like the Iranian people's choices, but they do have contested elections and the rule of law, principles which America purports to support. Their culture is not social-liberal and therefore feels yucky to Western sensibilities, especially West European ones, but they criticise us for being TOO licentious and materialistic... as also does Mother Center..... and Iran has a point, citing the West's divorce rate and youth crime/dissoluteness.
I understand that much of sufism may have originated in Iran and is kind of a continuation of Persian religions under the disguise of Islam. When we hear of the scientific achievements of Islam, this also seems to be attributed mostly to the Persian muslims rather than the arabs or others and Persia was not particularly Arabic in those days and probably still is not. I guess there where many Persians in bagdad in those days ..
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:07 AM   #128
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Widespread? Khitomer, you've made some lovely contributions on this thread, but I'm not convinced your facts are accurate on this one. Is Wikipedia wrong? It says about 1/3 of boys are circumcised in the world and 70% of those are Muslims. It has a map showing where male circumcision rates are above 20%. Apart from those where such a rate is due to the size of the Muslim population, it's only 8 countries (out of about 150). The rate is "below 20%" in most culturally-Christian(ish) countries including all of Latin America and all of Europe except the former Yugoslavia, and also in India and China.

As a separate point for exploring, you speak of "Judeo-Christian culture". Would you say that the influence of Judaism throughout Europe and the Americas is so strong that to refer to Western culture as simply "Christian" (or "post-Christian") is unreasonable?
Circumcision is attributed to Christianity/Judaism because there was a ragging debate whether Christians had to follow the law of Moses or not including dietary laws and circumcision. "Circumcised" is often used to describe the jews. It really symbolizes not just circumcision but all of the laws in the torah. Since much of the Paul letters in the new testament is caught up in that debate, the term circumcision has that strong connotation and jews rejected christians over the debate and Paul affirmed Christians need not be circumsized or follow the dietary laws. Today many christians may be circumcised but not because of religious reasons. However, female circumcision seems entirely muslim or African as there may be some African christians that do that but I am not sure to what extent.

If westerners would tolerate female circumcision, that seems an indication that they would tolerate many things in sharia law as well
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:10 AM   #129
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To be honest I don't want this thread to be about circumsicion but more about the spiritual and Biblical differences between Christianity and SRF.

Obviously SRF doesn't require circumsicion or seem to have anything to say about it either.

Paul explained in his letters that gentiles do not require circumsicion because they are free from the law by the grace of Christ and therefore they already have a spiritual circumcision of the heart.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:49 AM   #130
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Well reincarnation is a softer karma than the typical christian view of the after life. Some Jews apparently believed in reincarnation but it was generally part of more secret concepts not discussed. More radical liberals seem to take it to mean there is no karma by stretching it further. Because of that, I typically never challenge the view where there is only heaven/hell and no reincarnation because it will be controversial and alienate oneself from conservatives.

I tend to prefer sources from original asian mystics or Indian gurus because I get tired of westerners changing things around to suit themselves. The radical liberal view of no karma often bothers me more than the christian view of heaven and hell

In the age of scientific materialism, this book is an example of how western liberals are happy to take ancient traditions and re write them as they please. Stephen Batchelors book "Buddhism without beliefs" jettisons reincarnation, buddhist hell and similar things. It is a best seller book.

The actual buddhist depiction of hell and hungry ghosts is quite scary to hear about.

https://www.amazon.com/Buddhism-With.../dp/1573226564


http://www.buddhistsagainstreincarnation.com

"The Buddha clearly asked his followers not to believe things simply because he said them or they are stated in religious texts but because you have experience of them being true (Kalama Sutta). It follows therefore that there should be no pressure on the Buddhist to believe in reincarnation – from others or from within themselves. Reincarnation is not one of the 4 noble truths and does not feature in the 8 fold path or Meditation.
This site is dedicated to encouraging open free debate and thought on the issue of reincarnation (a term used here to mean ‘Rebirth’at the point of death). We would like to make the following points derived from human experience."
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:27 PM   #131
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reincarnation: just to say that my local jews believe in reincarnation. They say theirs is the original judaism which has never changed...
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:57 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by pachiaammos View Post
Widespread? Khitomer, you've made some lovely contributions on this thread, but I'm not convinced your facts are accurate on this one. Is Wikipedia wrong? It says about 1/3 of boys are circumcised in the world and 70% of those are Muslims. It has a map showing where male circumcision rates are above 20%. Apart from those where such a rate is due to the size of the Muslim population, it's only 8 countries (out of about 150). The rate is "below 20%" in most culturally-Christian(ish) countries including all of Latin America and all of Europe except the former Yugoslavia, and also in India and China.

As a separate point for exploring, you speak of "Judeo-Christian culture". Would you say that the influence of Judaism throughout Europe and the Americas is so strong that to refer to Western culture as simply "Christian" (or "post-Christian") is unreasonable?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preval...by_Country.svg


You had asked "since when was male circumcision a Christian practice?"

As I said, much of the world where Judeo-Christian culture is prevalent, adopted the practise for its (commonly believed) hygienic benefits. It was common for western countries around the time of the Industrial Revolution to adopt techniques and practises which were more in keeping with a scientific outlook.

I was born a Czech Catholic and circumcized, not because my family was somehow one among the less than 20% who maintain the practise out of some religious tradition, but because it was considered common practise on hygiene grounds in Europe generally.

I do believe however, that it is getting less and less common with time in western countries. The difference in the widespread belief in it between 1979 (the year I was born) and 2007 to today is probably quite pronounced.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:05 PM   #133
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Too confusing.

To talk about buddhism and reincarnation when it was about circumsicion and also originally about Christianity versus SRF.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:09 PM   #134
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Too confusing.

To talk about buddhism and reincarnation when it was about circumsicion and also originally about Christianity versus SRF.
It is relevant because eastern religions believe in reincarnation and SRF has that eastern focus. Christianity does not have that and you asked where are the differences. That is a primary difference which will probably stay that way for a long time anyway.

Also, people influenced by eastern religions spend a fair amount of time thinking about who might have been who in a past life. Just my observation

I also find those who don't like christianity spend a great deal of time talking about why they don't like it because of hell. It is true that many christians have used that language a great deal, but many other christians don't dwell on it very much even if they may believe that, some of the detractors of christianity may speak about it more. You can attend services for a long time at many places and the topic of hell may not get discussed in any great detail
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:07 PM   #135
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SRF v christianity:

Round about page 762 of the SCC, there are some interesting thoughts on the subject, including the editors notes.

For me, SRF is a way of striving to find true Christianity.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:12 PM   #136
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I can testify that the the words of Jesus Christ to me only made sense after I read Yogananda. And I mean objective sense, logic coherence.

Before, there were too many obscure or contradictory points. The worse was that the priests weren't able at all to clarify my doubts (and the doubts of other Christian devotees).

I only understood real Christianity after I read the writings of an hindu master. That's it.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:13 PM   #137
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I LOVE this from page 763:

"Christ cannot be monopolised by any self-selected group claiming to be the only true followers. Christ belongs to all, regardless of religion, race or generation."
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:19 PM   #138
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The Catholic clergy doesn't agree. They have a monopoly of the teachings of Christ, even though they don't understand them themselves!!

When craziness rules, it rules supreme...
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:57 PM   #139
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Catholic teachings have their own logic of heart. One may not understand the finer metaphysical points of them, but the central teaching to love thy neighbour as thyself and to do good to others as you would to yourself is readily understandable, even to a child.

My godmother introduced me to Christ from a very young age, and bought me a comic version of the New Testament, which in many ways was understandable even at that age. Jesus gave his life for the sake of the world, and introduced the love of their Creator to the corrupted hearts of men. What is difficult to understand in this?
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:45 PM   #140
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My godmother introduced me to Christ from a very young age, and bought me a comic version of the New Testament, which in many ways was understandable even at that age. Jesus gave his life for the sake of the world, and introduced the love of their Creator to the corrupted hearts of men. What is difficult to understand in this?
Nothing. But there are many passages in the gospels which are obscure. And the source of evil is not explained. The devil may possess people apparently at random. Why some people are borne disabled or ill is not explained, only with absurd reasons. And many other things. I've been following catholic teachings from the age of 6, but at 18 I found that the conceptual model presented by the Church was just miserable. They cannot just expect people to remain at a philosophical age of 6 all their life.
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:20 PM   #141
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back to the O.P.

SRF & Christianity - the major differences.
1. SRF teaches that each soul must achieve liberation by our own meditation and devotion... also service to others and moral conduct... (+ Guru's help); Christianity teaches that Jesus has done the work, "sacrificed" himself for us, and we just have to "believe in" him & their teachings. (Church Christianity that is - Gnostic Christians, the early ones like St Paul and St Thomas, were much closer to us.)
2. Christianity tries to convert people either by force or by evangelising at them. SRF doesn't.
3. Christianity says Jesus is the only son of God, the only perfected human. We say Jesus is one of many (dozens, anyway) Avatars, people who have expanded their consciousness to become one with God - their mind and will are God's mind and will, but expressing in different personalities as Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Yogananda, etc.
4. Christianity arrogantly asserts it's the only truth. SRF is not arrogant, and it says 'our Guru teaches the whole truth' but that it has no exclusive truths.
5. Christianity has an all-male God. SRF has Divine Mother and overall it conveys a genderless God-concept.
6. Reincarnation.
7. In their spiritual meetings, Christians talk a lot; SRFers are silent a lot.
8. Christianity involves itself in politics.... there are even "Christian Democrat" parties in elections in some countries. Historically the church was often in political power, and worked in cahoots with kings to control the populace. SRF keeps as low a political profile as it possibly can and regards involvement in politics and agitation as part of 'God's show' (lila), in contrast to the inner spiritual life of self-change through Kriya, studying its teachings, etc, which it holds is the real change agent in our world.
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:35 PM   #142
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The actual buddhist depiction of hell and hungry ghosts is quite scary to hear about.
Both those lokas are also in SRF teaching. Instead of 'hungry ghosts' Guruji calls them 'tramp souls'. So too are the other "realms of samsara" by the way.

But the huge difference is that SRF:
teaches that karma determines where we each go after this life, there's no randomness in it;
while accepting that Buddhism is technically right in saying our last thought before leaving the earth body signals our next destination, it says that this thought is dictated by the general pattern of our whole life (so it's not something to focus on or try to control when dying);
and
says that only a very wicked person goes to hell, and that it is temporary; and that only a very basely material body-bound person with severe desire attachments becomes a tramp soul (possibly some suicides too, I'm not too clear on that aspect of our Guru's teaching)
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:00 PM   #143
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Nothing. But there are many passages in the gospels which are obscure. And the source of evil is not explained. The devil may possess people apparently at random. Why some people are borne disabled or ill is not explained, only with absurd reasons. And many other things. I've been following catholic teachings from the age of 6, but at 18 I found that the conceptual model presented by the Church was just miserable. They cannot just expect people to remain at a philosophical age of 6 all their life.

Its not about remaining at a childish level of understanding. It is simply about recognizing the fundamental underlying principles of God's relationship with man. This even children can readily accept and understand. If you learn nothing else in life than this, it is sufficient for a holy life. Just look at the saints.

It would be more honest to say your individual karma did not conduce to allow you deeper insight into Christ, not because the Church somehow limited your capacity to understand Him. It is a question of going from Truth to greater Truth. A question of degree, not of kind.

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Old 11-14-2017, 11:24 PM   #144
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[quote=khitomer;74231It is a question of going from Truth to greater Truth. A question of degree, not of kind.[/QUOTE]

I love what Mrinalini Ma was told by Guruji when taking the decision to leave her old church and to follow Guruji. I can't remember the exact words from the documentary, but it was the fact that it was not disloyal to leave elementary school to go to high school, or to leave high school to go to college. (I hope I've got the American education system right!)
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Old 11-15-2017, 12:48 AM   #145
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SRF & Christianity - the major differences.
I tend to see western yogis as more liberal and christians as conservative whereas I see myself as moderate in some sense so I can put an alternate spin here and will mention where my view differs and omit where I may agree in some sense

Quote:
1. SRF teaches that each soul must achieve liberation by our own meditation and devotion... also service to others and moral conduct... (+ Guru's help); Christianity teaches that Jesus has done the work, "sacrificed" himself for us, and we just have to "believe in" him & their teachings. (Church Christianity that is - Gnostic Christians, the early ones like St Paul and St Thomas, were much closer to us.)
Christianity focuses on the grace from god aspect of reality, yogananda never denied the great importance of that. The exact percentages he gave of their importance might not be worth debating. Much of what Saint Paul was about was emphasizing grace and drilling that into people's minds to a great extent


Quote:
2. Christianity tries to convert people either by force or by evangelising at them. SRF doesn't.
People will find many negative examples from history, however many people where happy to receive the gospel from missionaries. The christian religion is growing in china and africa and many people there are happy to learn about christianity as are those in jail whom Christians visit and give bibles to. Jesus sent forth his disciples and told them that they should spread the word of the gospel


Quote:
3. Christianity says Jesus is the only son of God, the only perfected human. We say Jesus is one of many (dozens, anyway) Avatars, people who have expanded their consciousness to become one with God - their mind and will are God's mind and will, but expressing in different personalities as Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Yogananda, etc.
Yogananda said there are saints of all religions, though he did not say all religions are equal. I seem to recall he said that they where not someplace.
At any rate, I tend to see jesus/buddha/krishna as the supreme 3. Yogananda himself was amazing yet he was within christianity/hinduism. He did not redefine those religions in anyway and he hardly taught anything except hinduism/christianity. We could say saint francis was amazing, yet he was not any higher than jesus. Many other avatars where lesser. I find it is interesting if one says such and such a guru was amazing and walked on water, but many of these people are obscure .. you are not going to meet them and little is known about them in comparison .. The christian bible includes the old testament and recognizes the importance of prophets such as moses but sees christ as the supreme

Quote:
4. Christianity arrogantly asserts it's the only truth. SRF is not arrogant, and it says 'our Guru teaches the whole truth' but that it has no exclusive truths.
It often seems that people see others as arrogant if they don't agree. I find that dogmaticism is part of human nature. We see this in science for instance, yet that dogmaticism does not always render science useless in all ways. I think yogananda hinted at that saying that dogma is the outer shell but inside the fruit is sweet. I see some dogmas as being more negative and others more positive.

Quote:
5. Christianity has an all-male God. SRF has Divine Mother and overall it conveys a genderless God-concept.
God is both male, female and neither .. that would just seem to imply each are different if they emphasize one over the other. I think the female tends towards liberalism and male toward conservatism ..

Quote:
8. Christianity involves itself in politics.... there are even "Christian Democrat" parties in elections in some countries. Historically the church was often in political power, and worked in cahoots with kings to control the populace. SRF keeps as low a political profile as it possibly can and regards involvement in politics and agitation as part of 'God's show' (lila), in contrast to the inner spiritual life of self-change through Kriya, studying its teachings, etc, which it holds is the real change agent in our world.
politics can be very negative but on the other hand what can happen in the political realm can affect one's life very dramatically in the long run.
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Old 11-15-2017, 03:00 AM   #146
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Jesus sent forth his disciples and told them that they should spread the word of the gospel.
This is a key difference. It is why Christianity today is a world religion. They went out and spread the teachings. SRF doesn't do that. SRF wants people to come to them.

Kriya Yoga as taught by Lahiri Mahasaya was for householders. Early Christianity followed the same householder model. Monasticism came much later. Somehow this got mixed up in SRF. Placing primary importance on a monastic order is not necessarily very helpful if the outward goal is to build a world religion. How could those who renounced the world possibly build a world religion?
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Old 11-15-2017, 04:06 AM   #147
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This is a key difference. It is why Christianity today is a world religion. They went out and spread the teachings. SRF doesn't do that. SRF wants people to come to them.

Kriya Yoga as taught by Lahiri Mahasaya was for householders. Early Christianity followed the same householder model. Monasticism came much later. Somehow this got mixed up in SRF. Placing primary importance on a monastic order is not necessarily very helpful if the outward goal is to build a world religion. How could those who renounced the world possibly build a world religion?
I am not so sure about this. Christianity was down and St. Francis founded a religious order to establish the teachings of Christ also did many other Saints in these days. It needed monastics to live a spiritual life - Kriya was not there yet. Householders are fine but the balance is needed. The entire history of the planet does talk about monastic orders as source of uplifting and inspiration. Of course they are not perfect. I would not like to miss my years around the SRF ashrams and connection with monastics.

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Old 11-15-2017, 05:49 AM   #148
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I am not so sure about this. Christianity was down and St. Francis founded a religious order to establish the teachings of Christ also did many other Saints in these days. It needed monastics to live a spiritual life - Kriya was not there yet. Householders are fine but the balance is needed. The entire history of the planet does talk about monastic orders as source of uplifting and inspiration. Of course they are not perfect. I would not like to miss my years around the SRF ashrams and connection with monastics.
St Francis was more than a 1000 years into Christianity. Early Christianity had spread through householders, with Rome as a main center.

Monastic orders, like Francis, came after Christianity had spread across a good portion of the globe. Not at the start. There's a difference. One could perhaps say, in very general terms, that the orders create depth and the householders (where the future monastics come from) are the ones who spread the teaching.

Even within SRF there are different views. Dharmananda started Hidden Valley (without a penny from Mother Center), where householders and monastics lived side by side. Lives were transformed there, in the best way imaginable. Yet I recall a visit from Premamoy, who hadn't seen the changes in people there. His words upon seeing the hard work being done were: "we're trying to create saints, not workers."

I've seen both mindsets in the same organization. And there is no question in my mind that the dynamic spirit from HV could easily have produced ten such centers by now, spread across continents perhaps, where householders could live side by side with monastics, and benefit in spiritual ways that are now kept to the monastics.

In the Hidden Valley of the eighties, under Dharmananda's wise supervision, the wall between monastics and householders was, to a large extent, removed. I'm merely suggesting that this is more dynamic than a situation where that wall is in place.

Especially in today's rapidly changing technological environment householders can help to keep SRF up to date. Why would renunciants have to keep track of the latest developments? In the past we have discussed that SRF was quite late to the internet opportunity, and was easily out-advertised at the time by Kriyananda. So it works both ways. When monastics and householders truly join hands the organization will be better for it.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:02 AM   #149
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I do not remember housholders living at HV - yes, nearby - know families who moved there. But did they join the monastics for work and meditation? I know that I was allowed there sometimes for lunch when I picked up devotees to take to LA. Never saw families. Can you give more details about the history of HV - Dharmananda must have had the use of the land.

Well - I know this is dear to your heart. But we have to except the planing of SRF. As far as I know they said that communities should start by members. Why does it not happen?

St. Francis was 1000 years after Christ. Christanisation in Europe only started strongly around 600/700 AD - I live now in an area where this did happen and the first Europan monastry founded here is still alive. All very complicated. I do think that the apostles of Christ lived as monks when they went out to spread the message. See also the live of St. Augustine. All variations were included in Kali Yuga. Confusing.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:41 AM   #150
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I do not remember housholders living at HV - yes, nearby - know families who moved there. But did they join the monastics for work and meditation? I know that I was allowed there sometimes for lunch when I picked up devotees to take to LA. Never saw families. Can you give more details about the history of HV - Dharmananda must have had the use of the land.
It was for men only, but they were householder devotees. They lived the monastic program. A member had donated the land. Mr. Black. (not Oliver Black). When I think about how relatively little effort was required to get that off the ground, it's quite painful to see that this initiative, although successful, wasn't continued elsewhere. This was the most helpful program for householders and still it didn't become a model to follow up on. From time to time this bothers me, because it's 'what could have been' for so many householders. For the monastics it makes no difference, but for the householders it does. I could be light about it or philosophical, but this is about the most important thing to us - to find God.
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Old 11-15-2017, 07:44 AM   #151
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I will say that I like to go to christian churches at times but if I where to try to go regularly I would often find that difficult. Many evangelical churches are more conservative than me. The Lutheran churches are more liberal than myself. I have meant to check out a Mennonite church sometime. People say don't mix different religious traditions but I have a hard time not doing that or being that way. Often when I go to church I sit in the back and meditate with my eyes closed and do pranyama

Another thing that I find in Christian churches is that you can find men's groups. If you have relationship problems, spend too much time on dating web sites in an addictive kind of way, or other issues you can join one of these groups where people share their struggles or just talk about it. Some people who have sex addiction problems also go and you can help them in some way .. I have never seen anything like that among yoga or meditation groups.

I did go to a very small group a few years ago at a nearby church but the group didn't stay together because there was not enough attendance. I used to go once every month or two

There are christian podcasts and web sites along the same lines. Some of it is a little corny or you may not agree with everything they say but I sometimes like to listen late at night if I can't sleep and my mind is caught up thinking about women etc

These are some websites and podcasts. They often have guests on who tell their stories about how they struggled with drinking, adultery, etc. If I am in a certain state of mind I may listen to that kind of stuff on occasion, but as I said it seems like only Christians are doing that

http://www.puresexradio.com/

https://2.bebroken.com/jonathans-story.html

Jonathan Daugherty is the founder and director of Be Broken Ministries, and founder of Gateway to Freedom workshop for men. Jonathan also hosts the weekly radio broadcast, Pure Sex Radio, and is in demand nationally as a speaker on sexual purity and men’s issues. He has appeared on The Oprah Show, twice on ABC's Nightline, as well as other radio and television media, both local and national. He has authored Grace-Based Recovery, The 4 Pillars of Purity, Secrets, Untangled and other works.

Jonathan lives with his wife and three children in San Antonio, Texas. More at JonathanDaugherty.com.


..

THE REST OF THE STORY...
In August 1999 I sat by myself on my living room couch. Alone. Scared. I tried to piece together what 13 years of sexual addiction had just torn apart. My life was unraveling and I couldn’t harness my out of control behaviors. I remember thinking I might be better off dead than alive. As I sat there I had a lot to consider.

I was a sex addict. Due to a mixture of missing certain emotional elements as a child, and developing my own misconceptions about relationships, God, and myself, I learned to turn to sex and pleasure to feed my starving soul. In the process I denied myself the opportunity to ever become intimate on an emotional level with anyone, women or men. I decided internally, “Sex is as close as I can ever come to true intimacy.” What I failed to realize was such a belief about relationships only led to more loneliness, shame, and pain.

I had been married nearly four years when I found myself alone on my couch. As I sat there I doubted if God really did love me or even care at all. I feared that He would never accept me again after the terrible things I had done. Pornography, strip clubs, prostitution, Internet porn, and many other horrible activities had become my way of daily life. Ultimately, I was unfaithful to my wife, to myself, and to God. I was alone. At least, I thought I was alone.

...

How wrong I was! As I began to learn more about God I found out that He is more patient than my imagination could fathom. His love is infinite and can never be exhausted. He doesn’t sit around waiting for me to fail, but He does take great concern in my life and is always “rooting” for me to succeed. He is a father to me - a perfect Father. He loves me. For someone who has had a very improper perspective on love, this concept of God loving me has taken quite some time to “sink in” (and is still quite difficult to accept fully at times). But now that I have seen that God’s love isn’t based on how I behave, I have gained a completely new outlook on what true love is all about. Love is a decision to move toward someone, become intimately involved in the details of their life, and never look back! Never!

As alone as I was on that couch in the summer of ’99, I realized that my life was not over. I learned that God IS good. And I saw more clearly than ever that such a dark period in my life was necessary to bring me to a point of such desperate searching that my only hope for freedom was having faith in a God who does not give up, and never leaves. With such a love supporting me I could confidently hope for a wonderful future!

And part of that future has included the restoration of my marriage, three beautiful children, a church family that loves and supports me, and a ministry to help others find the healing they are seeking. God has been faithful to carry me through the valley of recovery, and even though there were times I felt I couldn't go on, or would never be free, He was there encouraging me. There is no one on earth that could convince me now that anything is beyond hope or the capabilities of God. He can heal ANYONE and takes delight in doing that which seems impossible!

The biggest challenge I faced, however, on my personal journey to freedom was finding the resources necessary to help me along the way. We started Be Broken Ministries specifically to address that problem. We want families to have the resources they need to realize genuine hope and freedom. I speak to anyone who is seeking hope and freedom from their struggle. You can know this kind of freedom as well if you will only seek for it "with all your heart."

=======

find a group near you:

http://purecommunity.org/Community-Finder/Groups


===========

podcast:

http://puresexradio.podomatic.com/

recent episode:

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===========

http://asi247.org/

http://asi247.org/1231.html

Attitudes of sexual integrity! With host Russ Shaw!
ATTN:
This website is produced from a Christian perspective but don't let that scare you. If you have a problem with Christians I don't blame you! I consider myself a Christ centered Christian who fights for transparent spiritual and emotional relevance over guilt, shame inducing, pride building, holier-than-thou, cold religion.

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

https://samsonsociety.com/

The Samson Society is a fellowship of Christian men who are serious about
authenticity, community, humility & recovery. Serious, not grave.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:11 AM   #152
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So you think that SRF doesn't deal enough with sexual issues and relationships? I suppose you will be told that you should or could phone an SRF monastic!

I would take that kind of advice seriously if the SRF monastics had the same abilities as Padre Pio but I haven't heard of that before. Pio's ability was called reading of the heart if I recall correctly, where he could divine the thoughts and lives of those who went to see him at confession. It's a Catholic category of supernatural abilities that saints and mystics are supposed to have. This might be categorised similarly in the yoga sutras somewhere but I haven't personally seen it in any Hindu texts.

So that is another difference between SRF and Christianity.

Another difference is the following from the Letter of Paul to Timothy (I paraphrase) "There is no mediator between God and man except the man Jesus Christ".

I think you will have a hard time trying to make that quotation look like it depicts Christ as an impersonal energy force.

And this isn't theology or any cult or denomination of Christianity. It is in the Bible itself.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:36 AM   #153
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It was for men only, but they were householder devotees. They lived the monastic program. A member had donated the land. Mr. Black. (not Oliver Black). When I think about how relatively little effort was required to get that off the ground, it's quite painful to see that this initiative, although successful, wasn't continued elsewhere. This was the most helpful program for householders and still it didn't become a model to follow up on. From time to time this bothers me, because it's 'what could have been' for so many householders. For the monastics it makes no difference, but for the householders it does. I could be light about it or philosophical, but this is about the most important thing to us - to find God.
Oh yes, lay men could stay a few months or even longer.

Well Stream, things are complicated. I just walked the new area I do live now - around the block a catholic church with great vibrations, which I could use for meditation as well. Another block away a Buddhist Center (Diamant Path) with 3 times weekly 2 hours evening meditation. But I will drive 1 hour tonight in the rush hour for 25 km to the small SRF Group for a 90 minutes service - short meditation and service reading. It is not a fix location, altar has to be set up etc. Vibration was great last time anyhow. No wonder that so many SRF People tend to meditate at home now which is not an easy path.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:51 AM   #154
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Oh yes, lay men could stay a few months or even longer.

Well Stream, things are complicated. I just walked the new area I do live now - around the block a catholic church with great vibrations, which I could use for meditation as well. Another block away a Buddhist Center (Diamant Path) with 3 times weekly 2 hours evening meditation. But I will drive 1 hour tonight in the rush hour for 25 km to the small SRF Group for a 90 minutes service - short meditation and service reading. It is not a fix location, altar has to be set up etc. Vibration was great last time anyhow. No wonder that so many SRF People tend to meditate at home now which is not an easy path.
A number of years.

That's good to hear. Finding one's way in a new place takes some time, so it's nice to have a nearby SRF place. 25 km is not much, but 1 hour to get there is. lol
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:55 AM   #155
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Regarding HV - the same - in a different pattern - happened with Nürnberg Ashram. The property was bought with private funds - even a retreat had to be sold - according to the people involved it was suppsed to give European devotees a 'home' - this did work while Sr. Amrita was still in charge. Now it is a secluded place for a few nuns. Very little public activity.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:55 AM   #156
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Even to talk about differences between SRF and Christianity is to focus on ignorance. Self-Realization and God-Realization are one and the same, and both Jesus and Yogananda taught the same thing, and how to attain it. The rest is for restless and sluggard minds, trying to distract themselves from getting on with it.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:09 AM   #157
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Even to talk about differences between SRF and Christianity is to focus on ignorance. Self-Realization and God-Realization are one and the same, and both Jesus and Yogananda taught the same thing, and how to attain it. The rest is for restless and sluggard minds, trying to distract themselves from getting on with it.
It isn't a focus on ignorance. It is pointing out differences, which can be helpful. The problem with saying that all religions are the same is that this is demonstrably untrue. Trying to compare Hinduism and Christianity, for example, is deceitful, given the many differences there are between them. It is only being honest to point out differences and then to make up your own mind. If you give nothing but similarities that is ignorance.

Self with a capital S means the same thing as God. So obviously Self Realisation and God realisation are the same thing. But this terminology itself is not based on Christian understandings at all. That is why it is dishonest to try to make out they are the same or similar.

I spend plenty of time "getting on with it" as you say. Though I know you know I have expressed myself differently in some ways. But even here there is a difference in meaning between doing meditation and praying and reading scriptures. Eastern meditation is not the same thing as Western meditation. The only possible crossover occurs with Catholic mystical practices.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:28 AM   #158
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Regarding HV - the same - in a different pattern - happened with Nürnberg Ashram. The property was bought with private funds - even a retreat had to be sold - according to the people involved it was suppsed to give European devotees a 'home' - this did work while Sr. Amrita was still in charge. Now it is a secluded place for a few nuns. Very little public activity.

That's why I went back in my mind to the Lahiri model, which was for householders. It would be good if householders united and created places for householders. The thought is in the ether.
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:32 AM   #159
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That's why I went back in my mind to the Lahiri model, which was for householders. It would be good if householders united and created places for householders. The thought is in the ether.
It is in the ether since long....Around the Ashram Nürnberg there was much place for settlement for lay devotees - things do take time - since some forces are very active.... :-)
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Old 11-15-2017, 09:36 AM   #160
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I almost don't want to ask how they lost control of the property.
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