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Featured How are these Great Beings explained?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by loverofhumanity, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    How do we explain these Great Beings: Buddha, Moses, Krishna, Christ, Zoroaster, Muhammad, the Bab & Bahaullah? They are somewhat unique and unparalleled in human history and were clearly not ordinary people.

    There are famous people in history, famous artists, musicians and scientists but none can compare to the influence of the Educator, Teacher, Messiah or Prophet.

    But Who were they? And why were they and still are so influential throughout history? Why did they inspire civilizations? Why have their scriptures become patterns of life followed daily by billions of people for thousands of years?

    What gift did they possess to be able to be persecuted, oppressed, tortured, exiled and crucified by the most despotic and powerful leaders of their age with but a handful of followers and yet eventually triumph over adversity and establish Their Cause all over the world?

    Statues, Churches, Temples, Pagodas, Mosques and Synagogues are built all over the world to pay tribute to these Great Souls.

    Are they from another world? Did they pre exist? Without a special power how could they have accomplished what they did and who is their equal in influence?

    And aren't we in dire need of another Great Spiritual Teacher to revive us spiritually?
     
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  2. The Ragin Pagan

    The Ragin Pagan A.K.A. The Kilted Heathen

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    Krishna is a deity, not a prophet.

    How do we explain the others? First we have to prove they even existed. For that, some are harder than others. Past that? Messages from god were all the rage thousands of years ago, and primitive people were eager to eat it up. War is easy when you can justify it with a god.
     
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  3. allfoak

    allfoak Alchemist

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    They came to show us how it is done.
    It is the same message over and over again.
    The teacher is within.
     
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  4. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    He was a spiritual Educator too which I have mentioned and strictly speaking He did prophesy His return whenever there was a decline in religion so He did fulfill a prophetic role also.

    The absence of written and signed records does not mean they did not exist. Subsequent Teachers have confirmed they did exist.

    The reasons given still don't explain why they were so influential. Why do billions follow these Teachers daily as a guide for their lives?
     
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  5. The Ragin Pagan

    The Ragin Pagan A.K.A. The Kilted Heathen

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    So is Odin. How come he's not in your list?

    Someone saying they exist doesn't prove they existed.

    Lack of anything else. It's easy to claim that you're influential when you destroy any and all records of anything else.
     
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  6. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    We are speaking about real life here not mythological characters only existing in comic books.
     
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  7. buddhist

    buddhist Well-Known Member

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    The Buddha is deemed great because of the greatness and depth of the truths which he observed and pointed out to the rest of us.
     
    #7 buddhist, Feb 27, 2017
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  8. The Ragin Pagan

    The Ragin Pagan A.K.A. The Kilted Heathen

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    Odin is from Norse culture, not comic books, but thank you for showing your ignorance. You also cannot prove that any of the figures you mentioned are not mythological characters.

    And why is Aesop not in your list as well? His fables have been teaching wisdom for longer than all the others, and continue to teach to this day.
     
    #8 The Ragin Pagan, Feb 27, 2017
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  9. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    But several of these are mythological, even if there may have been an actual person by that name at some point. Legends grow with retelling, folklore invents and magnifies deeds.
    Who becomes notable is largely a matter of chance. For every legendary personage we know, there are dozens of others who had their day and faded from history, or never came to prominence at all.
     
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  10. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    When I reflect that Buddha lived around 2,500 years ago and yet still has massive influence over the minds and hearts of men I truly find it fascinating because billions of people have lived and died since and are never heard of again yet this tiny handful of Teachers seem to be revered eternally.

    I think there must be some secret, mystical in nature or spiritual shared by them, otherwise they too would have been dead and forgotten long ago,
     
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  11. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    Every person is unique, but it wouldn't occur to me to include Zoroaster, Muhammad, the Bab, Bahaullah and Moses in the same breath or league as Buddha, Krsna or the Christ. Are any of us truly "ordinary" human animals?

    I certainly have no need or desire for such a personality. Then again, my inner fire burns much brighter than it does in other human animals... Does that make me a special snowflake?
     
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  12. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    I'm still struggling to figure out how Krishna - who, it seems, if he existed as a real person at all, was the tribal leader of an ancient Indian culture that was famed most in Hindu literature for its flagrant displays of overt materialistic splendor and bloodthirsty warfare - was a "spiritual educator".

    The same argument could be made about Moses, whose teachings were reportedly established as the national religion on the back of the military conquest of Canaan, Jesus, whose "great civilization" was brought about by the adoption of the teachings of his followers (not really his teachings as far as we can make out) as the state religion of the Roman Empire, Muhammad whose teachings were as much war propaganda as spiritual enlightenment...need I go on? Probably not, but I probably will anyway...

    There might be a case to be made for Zoroaster - certainly Cyrus the Great - who was the Persian Emperor around the time of Zoroaster's probable existence - seemed to be generally more religiously tolerant than most ancient tyrants - but whether this was a result of spiritual enlightenment or political pragmatism we cannot possibly tell.

    What is certain is that the influence of each of these "teachers" was directly related to the establishment - by military conquest - of kingdoms and empires and not to the value or veracity of their teachings. There have almost certainly been thousands upon thousands of equally enlightened spiritual teachers whose voices have been lost to history because they came at the wrong time and place to take advantage of the human propensity for dominating one another to their mutual physical and spiritual injury. What we need is not another 'messiah', but a long and thoughtful hiatus from messianic mania so that we can feel free to use the power of human reason to figure out what is in our best spiritual interests for ourselves.
     
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  13. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    The teachings of Zoroaster had an enormous effect on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Magi, saved Jesus from being slaughtered by Herod for starters. You can read more here.

    Zoroastrianism: Little Religion, Big Influence

    As to the influence of Muhammad an illiterate to produce a Book in Arabic which cannot be excelled even 1400 years later, to me that is quite unique.

    The Bab and Baha'u'llah are considered as one Faith.

    Baha'u'llah was the first One to embody in a religion the concept of universal human rights. His religion is the first to call for religious unity and we see the first signs of it in the proliferation of interfaith, a small step. The equal status of women, universal education, a world language and world consultation are things that were embodied in His Teachings in the 1860's which have come to pass.

    There is not an island, village, town, place, organisation, government, sport or place on earth that has not or is not or is not being encouraged to implement the teachings of Bahaullah.

    Baha'u'llah incorporated universal human rights into His religion before the abolishment of slavery and more than a century before the Declaration of Universal Human Rights.

    Impressive that these Beings seem to always come at the right time with the right and relevant message for their age.
     
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  14. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    One of the episodes in the Mahabharata has Krishna attempting to make peace between Duryodhana and Yudhisthira...

    See:
    Krishna Peace Mission | Krishna | Vaishnava Texts

    The peace mission was a failure but Krishna offered each side a choice... They could choose to have Himself as an unarmed charioteer or His army. Duryodhana chose Krishna's army while Arjuna chose Krishna as his charioteer... The Bhagavad Gita is the result of the consultation Krishna offers Arjuna.

    Here is Gandhi's statement about the Bhagavad Gita:

    The Gita is the universal mother. She turns away nobody. Her door is wide open to anyone who knocks. A true votary of Gita does not know what disappointment is. He ever dwells in perennial joy and peace that passeth understanding. But that peace and joy come not to skeptic or to him who is proud of his intellect or learning. It is reserved only for the humble in spirit who brings to her worship a fullness of faith and an undivided singleness of mind. There never was a man who worshipped her in that spirit and went disappointed. I find a solace in the Bhagavad-Gita that I miss even in the Sermon on the Mount. When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad-Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there , and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies -- and my life has been full of external tragedies -- and if they have left no visible or indelible scar on me, I owe it all to the teaching of Bhagavad-Gita.


    Mahatma Gandhi you'll recall was the architect of the liberation of India using nonviolent resistance based on Ahimsa that made such a n impression on Martin Luther King...
     
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  15. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    The Gods and legendary leaders of military winners tend to be remembered. Those of cultures that form nations or civilizations are remembered. Those of losers are forgotten.

    Those personifying the Zeitgeist or religious outlook of a people are reified. If that people becomes dominant, so does the legendary sage.

    Buddha may have existed as a psychologist or teacher of perennial philosophy.
    Moses -- iffy -- lost in the mists of time. The Egyptian exodus is pure legend. Who this Moses was and what he actually did, if he existed at all, is unknown.
    Krishna came to prominence as a character in a poem; a teacher of metaphysics. The character so clearly outlined the tenets of the religious communities of the day His story was excerpted and he's become legendary.
    The actual person of Christ, if he existed, is lost in the legends that grew up around him, or were crafted by later demagogues.
    Zoroaster. An ancient Persian prophet with no actual evidence he existed. He faded out with the Persian empire. He has few followers today.
    Muhammad. A real person. An Arab warlord who united disparate peoples. His military success elevated him to prophet status. Genghis Khan did the same thing in Asia, but his empire split and faded.
    Random historical chance.
    Bahaullah & the Bab. Real, still hanging on, but haven't yet become major players. Like Rumi or Kahlil Gibran, Bahaullah was an expositor of Muslim idealism.
     
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  16. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm! So Gandhi took the opposite road to the one recommended by Krishna to Arjuna.,.in my book that makes Gandhi a greater teacher than Krishna - Gandhari would agree too - she wondered why Krishna (as a manifestation of the supreme deity and the "Protector") had allowed the bloodshed to happen at all - and Krishna had no satisfactory answer.

    Gandhi also seems to have taken the epics as metaphorical tales illustrating the internal conflict within each human being in regard to justified violence and the more virtuous ahisma. Presumably that means that Gandhi did not revere Krishna as a great teacher at all, but rather revered the ideas attributed to a mythological Krishna that enable individual humans to resolve the internal conflict for themselves by their own reasoning on the metaphorical scenarios.

    If there is truth in Krishna's mythological powerlessness to restore dharma without violence surely there is a grander truth in Gandhi's real ability to do so. But the most pertinent question is, if Krishna was such a great teacher, why did it take two and a half millennia for someone to figure out what he really meant?

    In the reality of the real Krishna's time (assuming that there is any basis in fact at all), the outcome of the war (that probably really happened though not on the ridiculous scale claimed in the tales) was the establishment of a new kingship over a fairly large territory of northern India and these tales began as their official state mythology - the religious pillar that propped up a new manifestation of state government in a previously divided and at least partly nomadic territory. A means of dominating the thoughts as well as the actions of the subjects of a newly enthroned monarchy. The rest is probably just fanciful storytelling as far as I can see.
     
    #16 siti, Feb 28, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  17. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    You forgot Harry Potter, Gandalf, etc. they were great people written about in books too.
     
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  18. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    The Muslim empires themselves no longer exist, yet the Mohammedan religion lives on, that is part of the difference between Muhammad and Genghis Kahn, the influence of one goes beyond the reach of his military might.
     
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  19. YmirGF

    YmirGF Bodhisattva

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    <Yawn>
     
  20. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Once you find your "greatest" mentor and teacher, those teachings certainly stick around. I find that I view many such people as legends. Both of actuality through the teachings and the lore that subsequently follows.

    In the end, it's yourself that is in fact the greatest being and teacher.

    It's a privilege to be alive. :0)
     
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