Krishna- Reincarnation - Bhagavad Gita

Oct 2014
1,822
Stockholm
That was also my basic impression when I read the texts of Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha or Shoghi Effendi. For Christians the many quotes from the Koran are uninteresting and also the way Baha'u'llah talks about God is more in a way we know from the Koran. In addition, Baha'u'llah now also comes classically from the Muslim background. Somewhere I read that the Koran has a higher significance than the Bible in the Baha'i Revelation, because of the argument of the time. Baha'u'llah provides many things that are present in Christian Revelation but were still missing in Islam (e.g. grace before justice) to Muslims through his Revelation. Therefore I agree with your impression.
Well, in the light of the concept of progressive revelation, there is a perfect logic here - Bahá'u'llah makes frequent references to the previous revelation, in order to clarify what is added in His revelation. In that perspective, the idea that the Bahá'í Faith is a specially designed as an opportunity for Islam, is a misunderstanding. Furthermore, the idea that the Koran is more significant than the Bible, because of the argument of time, also is based on a slight misunderstanding. The difference between the Bible and the Koran, above all, has to do with authenticity - the Koran being a a much more authentic rendering of the divine teachings than the Bible.

Best,

from

gnat
 
Oct 2019
57
Vrindavan
I'll follow your reasoning.

Interestingly enough, the Koran also had different levels of interpretation and the Muslim scholars here argued quite cleverly that God can of course also express himself ambiguously. The written Koran served only as support for the oral tradition.

It seems to me that Baha'u'llah has continued this tradition, only that the individual interpretations are not recognized as authoritative.
 

ams

Nov 2019
88
Thailand
Bahá'u'llah makes frequent references to the previous revelation, in order to clarify what is added in His revelation. In that perspective, the idea that the Bahá'í Faith is a specially designed as an opportunity for Islam, is a misunderstanding.
in my understanding it was both. Universal revelation for all people over the world...

and ... especially to free traditional Islam... from all those false and dark dogmas.

Why he was born in Persia? Because the light of God... was needed especially there so much.

Why the Báb was killed and Bahá'u'llah locked so long? Because the people who did it and ruled the society... lived in such a darkness.

Why the people lived in such a darkness, unable to recognize Bahāʾullāh and the Báb?

Did they not have Islam?

They had. But this "version" was completely out of touch with God, for if it were in touch, ...

the Báb and Bahá'u'llah would have been persons of high respect and their followers (later: Baha'is)
never would be persecute but seen as their Brothers in God.


So yes... Bahá'u'llah were "send" especially to one of the darkest place on this planet (not the only dark place, but one of the most)...
to refresh the Light of God there... because there it was needed very much.

Even today this light is needed there.

Because the whole middle east is still one of the darkest aera on earth... for there is so much war and hatred... since millennias.

Therefore, imho... his teachings and Mission must have been (also) especially desigend for traditional Islam to reach as many People as possible there.
 
Last edited:
Feb 2019
251
Chicago
Yes, I understand. The reason why I added that it was only my personal impression is to make it clear that this statement is not based on any objective analysis and therefore does not require any attention beyond the point of discussion.

But Yogananda seems to me like a "Baha'u'llah of the East". Writing a 2-volume explanation of the New Testament is a remarkable achievement. With regard to the Bhagavad Gita, exactly the same.

Even if Hinduism does not interest many Baha'i, I think that Yogananda's mission should be taken into account. Especially with an interreligious approach, Yogananda's writings can certainly provide much that is helpful.
Paramahansa Yogananda also interpreted the Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam - the Sufi mystic. It received the Benjamin Franklin award for the best book in the field of religion.
 
Feb 2019
251
Chicago
I know I don't really post here anymore, but I posted to this thread when it came out and reincarnation is extremely interesting to me as I have come to a lot of realizations that Venu has actually mentioned here, like reincarnation in Judaism among other religions. While I did look over the additional pages added to this thread it was a lot to read and so I'm sorry if this isn't actually that on topic (Er, I guess the topic itself stopped being a reincarnation thread so much as a Hinduism thread, so I'm getting it back on topic?)

For the past 3 years, I have deeply immersed myself in studying various schools of Hinduism (along with a couple Buddhist schools) because when I became Baha'i, and heard of this unity among religions, I wanted to see it for myself and began studying the world religions out of love and passion, studying them through a Baha'i lense. I'm aware that the authenticity of Hindu scriptures is 'uncertain' according to the Baha'i faith, and honestly, I do see why. I question a lot of things and am generally a skeptical person, and there are a few Hindu texts I would definitely say have suffered significant distortion. However, in these years of reading and taking stories to heart and even memorizing a lot of the stories that stuck with me (I personally love the story of Vamana), I experienced something profound. It was as though a torrent of truth flowed its way deep into my soul, and really made me think on my origins as a human, where humanity came from, how we changed over time. I have found so much truth in my studies of Hinduism that it has probably influenced my life more than any other religion, because there's nothing quite like it I find. I do think that other religious folk (sadly including some Baha'i's) like to completely discredit Hinduism because of some of those differences. I've even had a Baha'i in my own community question my years of Hindu studies, since in their perspective Hindu scriptures are uncertain so I should not waste my time with them. Honestly, there is so much truth you can find not just in one Hindu school but among so many. There is a unity because Hinduism comes from God just as the Baha'i faith did, even if for whatever reason people struggle to recognize that unity. I really think not just Baha'i's but the world at large would greatly benefit from embracing Hinduism instead of rejecting it. It's good to be skeptical, but open mindedness is also important. I'm skeptical and don't take things at face value, and so through embracing Hinduism with an open mind but also continuing to question it has led me down a most wonderful path where I've learned and grown like no other time in my life. Hinduism and the Baha'i Faith are one and the same, different steps of the same staircase. Different boards of wood knit into the same floor. I think that people really need to stop being so dismissive about Hinduism in general especially in the west. I really can't explain how often say Christian people in my city will bash Hinduism without a care when really without it, their church probably would be unrecognizably different because Hinduism is very much a cornerstone of ancient religions that has influenced much more than just India. Be you Baha'i, Muslim, Christian, etc, I urge everyone to try and embrace such a wonderful faith full of truth instead of reject it because of uncertainties.

I've posted before about reincarnation, actually earlier in this thread. With complete confidence I say I believe in reincarnation as a Baha'i. My studies of various schools (Primarily Vedanta and Samkhya, but also the schools of Saura, Shaktism and a form of Vaishnava called Vaikhanasa) have personally proved to me quite thoroughly that reincarnation is the truth and I have not a single doubt in my mind.

What surprises a lot of people, is that I also agree with Abdu'l-Baha's treatise against reincarnation. I don't think you will reincarnate as the same person with the same appearance, nor that you reincarnate as an animal of some sort (metaphors man), for example. Nor do I believe in material reincarnation (gaining material reward/punishment with heaven and hell being strictly in this world with no mention of an afterlife, as he opens Some Answered Questions 81 with) or that somehow the matter that makes up myself will be purified by repeatedly returning (" in that condition matter becomes a clear mirror, the light of the spirit will shine upon it with its full power, and essential perfection will be acquired. "). I also would argue that this belief against reincarnation is not binding, as Abdu'l-Baha was the unerring interpreter of Baha'u'llah's words, and Baha'u'llah did not speak on reincarnation, therefore this writing of Abdu'l-Baha is something that is fallible (though extremely informative and well thought out!). In the text I'm referring to he flat out pretty much says "Hey, this is just one side of it, people should bring pro-reincarnation proof to the table too, but you asked specifically about stuff against reincarnation so here's my points on that" with the lines "Proofs must be asked for from the believers in reincarnation, and not conjectures, suppositions and imaginations. But you have asked for arguments of the impossibility of reincarnation. This is what we must now explain." With this in mind I would argue that the case for reincarnation is much less open and shut than people tend to think. This, paired with my studies of Hinduism and Buddhism have led me to conclude that reincarnation is indeed true. While I don't have any quotes off hand to show the nature of reincarnation from a Hindu perspective, Venu might (Sorry if I'm putting you on the spot friend) as he seems to be quite the knowledgeable fellow with a deep understanding of things which I admire a lot.

This thread is starting to feel like it's pulling at the strings of unity. I urge you all to try and embrace each other with open hearts and minds and not resort to personal attacks. That is very irreligious and has no place here or anywhere. I love you all and I don't want to see my family fight.
It is good to see a Bahai that has studied and has come to appreciate Hinduism. Every spiritual path to God that is known to mankind can be found in Hinduism. The Hindu scriptures are the Vedas, Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita which do not have any distortions. There are a lot of secondary Hindu texts like the Puranas which contain stories and all kinds of distortions.

In other discussions I have quoted verses on reincarnation from the Bhagavad Gita and Vedas but a belief in reincarnation is not necessary for spiritual progress. When we look at God's creation, we find that every process God created is cyclic. I have asked for just one example of a process that God created which is linear and not cyclic and so far no one here has been able to show me. Some folks quote Abdul Baha or Shoghi Effendi to deny reincarnation but Abdul Baha and Shoghi Effendi are not considered Manifestations of God even within the Bahai faith while Manifestations of God like Krishna, Buddha, Jesus and other Jewish prophets from the Old Testament era have all taught reincarnation.

I think the Bahai leaders at UHJ who say that the authenticity of Hindu scriptures is 'uncertain' should actually try to practice and realize the truths found in the Hindu scriptures to verify their certainty or simply say that they are not knowledgeable enough to comment on Hindu scriptures and remain silent. By raising doubts against the validity or correctness of Hindu scriptures, they are simply doing a disservice to the cause of unity of religions and universal brotherhood that seems to be one of the goals of the Bahai faith. If I was Shoghi Effendi and the Bahai asked for my views on reincarnation, I would have said that Bahaullah did not comment on reincarnation and what is important for Bahai is to focus on Bahaullah's teachings and practice them sincerely. If I delete something from Bahaullah's teachings or add something to it, I am essentially changing Bahaullah's teachings. You will never find any Hindu religious leaders like the Shankaracharyas suggest that the authenticity of Bahai scriptures is 'uncertain' because the average Hindu can recognize and honor a true prophet of God or even a saintly soul like the Dalai Lama. It is unfortunate when the leaders of a faith raise doubts about the authenticity of scriptures of another religion without even studying them. And if the authenticity of Hindu scriptures is so 'uncertain', why on earth did Shoghi Effendi claim that Bahaullah was the tenth avatar (Kalki) that was supposedly mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. Fact is, the Bhagavad Gita has no reference to tenth avatar (Kalki) and even if the Mahabharata does contain a reference to the tenth avatar (Kalki), I would like to think that Shoghi Effendi should have avoided relying on it since the authenticity of Hindu scriptures is considered 'uncertain' by Bahai standards of evaluation. The Hindu way of evaluating a scripture is to practice the teachings of the scripture, meditate on it's spiritual truths and try to verify them in one's consciousness.
 
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Oct 2019
57
Vrindavan
There was once an idea of reincarnation here, which might be interesting for Baha'i interpretations as well.
Namely the idea that a human being sets cultural imprints through his actions, which in turn influence the next generations.
In this sense, a certain pattern of action establishes a social pattern that allows similar types of people to emerge.
 

ams

Nov 2019
88
Thailand
There was once an idea of reincarnation here, which might be interesting for Baha'i interpretations as well.
Namely the idea that a human being sets cultural imprints through his actions, which in turn influence the next generations.
In this sense, a certain pattern of action establishes a social pattern that allows similar types of people to emerge.
Isn't this the current sociologically attitude of the development of mankind?

Not that i say its a completely wrong idea... no.

But it does imho not reflect the main message of reincarnation, which is that our spirit is able to incarnate again in a human body after death.

For the main reason of the development of our consciousness.... (and - of course - if existing, also for karmic reasons )

All what we ever learned and truly internalized in our previous life... remains subconscious in our spirit during all of our incarnations.

In this way, both --> the development of our individual consciousness takes place... as well the development of mankind as whole.
 
Oct 2019
57
Vrindavan
Yes, you describe reincarnation right. For Hinduism.

The Buddhism, contrary to the Hindu positions, don‘t believe in a Self that reincarnates, but in patterns that creates reality.

But the Baha'i faith interprets most spiritual truths metaphorically, sociologically or culturally. Why should this in the case of reincarnation be different?
 

ams

Nov 2019
88
Thailand
Hi Siddhanta... i'm not able to solve the different between Buddhism and Hinduism regarding reincarnation.

For me... "something" of our being must be it... what survives the death of the body and is able to reincarnate in a new body and is learning from each incarnation as a human being.

I also have no idea why 'Abdu'l-Bahá (at least, seemingly) did reject the concept of reincarnation... and so the Baha'i-Faith after him also.

:fold:
 
Oct 2019
57
Vrindavan
No problem, there is nothing to be solved between the traditions, which in India are summarized as Hinduism, and Buddhism. All paths can exist side by side. Interestingly, Tantric Tibetan Buddhism comes near to the understanding of Hindu traditions.