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Old 02-14-2016, 03:54 PM   #1
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Hello my friends I've found myself with a question that's been burning within me for a short while. In Hinduism if I'm correct there's many deities - I'm no expert on Hinduism, even as a former Sikh. But as an example...

Let's say that a person, Blake's son Darren, was Baha'i. He read into all the aspects of Baha'i and decided to research Krishna and Hinduism. He comes across the deity Ganesha. If he decided that he believed Ganesha existed as a deity (Not really a god per se, as nothing can be on the same level as God Himself), would he be going against the Baha'i faith?

I ask mainly because as someone who was also formerly a... I guess you could call it Pagan, I still retain a belief that all the gods and goddesses of every pantheon, be it Egyptian, Greek, Norse, or any other, all exist as guardians of their respective societies helping to carry out God's word - Trying to help cultivate and protect the people of Earth. I do not personally believe that they are gods, but powerful guiding spirits created from God's power.

So, if you worship God Himself, but accept that other deities such as Ganesha exist, not necessarily as a god or anything, and not really worshiping Ganesha but just accepting that Ganesha exists - Is that going against the Baha'i beliefs?

Also, to those curious, I was raised Catholic before becoming a pagan, and then went to Islam, to Sikhism to Baha'i. A lot of my days were spent just reading and reading ^.^
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:50 PM   #2
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From what I've read by Baha'i researchers, they have reached a similar understanding of Hinduism
Old 02-14-2016, 04:58 PM   #3
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An elephant god with a passion for sweets! What a wonderful complement, especially on a blue day! I'd be delighted to join something like Bahá' Ganesha Club!

Old 02-14-2016, 05:50 PM   #4
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Have you checked the Bahai library website?
Old 02-18-2016, 09:41 AM   #5
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I am just hypothesizing. In my readings of the Baha'i scriptures there does not seem to be any wiggle room of worshiping higher powers imbued into individual beings. It is, after all, the religion of God, and the essence of God is unknowable.

When you have no idea that the sun is a star, it is easy to believe that Apollo is having his chariot pulled across the daytime sky. When you do not have the observing tools to watch frogs procreate, frogspawn turn to embryo and tadpoles turn into frogs, you might believe in Hect. You might see wisdom embodied in the fiery daughter of Zeus, or the power of the sea in ancient Varuna. There is a lot of poetry and resonance in these feelings, but they are not God. If they were God, they would not be knowable.

But we do know that there are special states of beings, such as the divine messengers, as well as prophets, seers, saints. We also know from science that human beings have been on earth a long long time. Through almost all of that time until very recently, they were illiterate and passed what was known by word of mouth. Facts turned to stories turned to legend. Who is to say that some of these deities that get worshipped or were worshipped do not really refer to long ago persons among these classifications? According to the Baha'i faith both Buddha and Krishna are Manifestations, and yet in the Hindu dharma they may be considered avatars of Vishnu.

The deeper one looks into the Baha'i faith the more interesting it can be, I find. For instance, from a provisional translation of the Tablet of the Uncompounded Reality, Baha'u'llah seems (from my understanding) to discuss and name Hermes Trismegistus:

"The philosophers have been and are of various factions. Some have derived what they say from the books of the prophets. And the first who taught divine wisdom (hikma) was Idrís, on account of which he was given his name, and he is also called Hermes. He is called by a different name in each language. He has given thorough and convincing expositions in every arena of divine wisdom. And after him Balínús (Apollonius) derived some of the sciences from the Hermetic tablets. Most of the philosophers have derived their philosophical and scientific discoveries from his words and expositions." -Baha'u'llah

Actually from a perspective of interest in nondual and honotheistic ideas, the study of this tablet is interesting to me.
Old 02-18-2016, 11:07 AM   #6
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Reading Founders of Faith: the parallel lives of God's messengers really helped me understand how the Hindu Faith fits within the Baha'i Faith. I have read it several times because it is that interesting!

Loving regards,
Old 02-18-2016, 04:23 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by becky View Post
Reading Founders of Faith: the parallel lives of God's messengers really helped me understand how the Hindu Faith fits within the Baha'i Faith. I have read it several times because it is that interesting!

Loving regards,
I read that book too and love it.

To me the Baha'i Teachings make it clear that we should have respect for the beliefs and forms of worship of all the great religions. If Hindus have certain beliefs and practices regarding Ganesha or other deities, we can try to understand the role of those beliefs in the Hindu system and what these beliefs teach us about Humanity, Nature and God. Certainty, we should not say any of those beliefs are wrong just because Baha'u'llah didn't talk about them and say they were true. He did say that God has always guided Mankind, with Prophets and Revelations suited to the time and people when they were revealed, and that includes the ancient Hindus.

For that matter, the Baha'i Teachings do not require that every Baha'i has exactly the same beliefs and understandings, but no Baha'i can impose his own understandings on others. There are clear standards of conduct and the way we should act towards one another, but what someone believes about something in particular is really nobody's business but his own.

Therefore, I would say that holding a belief that the traditional gods of ancient societies around the world continue to protect those societies and peoples would not prevent someone from being a Baha'i, but should not be put forward as Baha'i teaching, since there is nothing in the Teachings that say that.
Old 02-25-2016, 03:22 PM   #8
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The way I have seen it explained is that this was an appropriate way to teach about God in the time of the origin of these religions. The different deities represented aspects of God who we now now is and has ever been One.

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