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Swami Krishnananda on Satan, Mara, maya

Discussion in 'Hinduism DIR' started by Ekanta, May 26, 2016.

  1. Ekanta

    Ekanta om sai ram

    Dec 10, 2010
    I was curious how the concept of satan would be explained in hinduism. So how to start? Well I dont have to invent the wheel again, so I google searched Krishnananda's site (site:swami-krishnananda.org Satan) to see if he had something to say on he matter and indeed he had. It turned out somewhat as I had expected, but also a little more info. Its quite intresting that he compares maya-mara-satan and even quoted the Aitareya upanishad and Yoga Vasishtha. Anyway I felt I wanted to share.

    Some quotes from Swami Krishnananda:

    Satan’s work is to spread the net of temptation all around us... this Satan’s force does not work only from outside. It has a place in our intellects. The central stronghold or fortress of the activity of Satan is the intellect of the human individual. Your rise or fall depends upon how you understand things.

    These problems are described in various types of nomenclature as maya, Mara, Satan

    This is what we call Satan in religious language, Mara in Buddhist terminology, or Maya in Hindu parlance – self-affirmation. In biblical parlance we are told that Satan fell from the Garden of Eden. How did he fall? By the affirmation of his ego. “I am equal to God, if not greater than God.” He immediately fell into the nether regions. The greatest devil conceivable is the ego. The Yoga Vasishtha says that ahamkara is the self-affirmation of the individual, contradistinguishing it from the universal will of God.

    Here is a mystery. As the Aitareya Upanishad tells us, there was a great agony felt by each spark, or angel, or the fallen individual, and we were sunk into the ocean of hunger and thirst. There was a cry of agony. It is the loss of Soul, the loss of Self. The Supreme Self is God, the Universal Being; and, the loss of consciousness of one’s relation to that Being is the loss of Selfhood. So, to lose one‘s Self is the worst thing that can happen to anyone.

    And here is the quote from the upanishad with a little bit of Shankaras comment:

    Aitareya Upanishad 1.2.1
    These deities, that had been created, fell into this vast ocean. He subjected Him (i.e. Virat) to hunger and thirst. They said to Him (i.e. to the Creator), “Provide an abode for us, staying where we can eat food.”
    Shankara comment: “…these deities – Fire and others, that had been created as the rulers of the regions, by God after deliberation; (fell), into this, vast ocean – the world which is like a vast ocean, that is filled with the water of sorrow arising from ignorance, desire, and action; that is infested with huge sea-animals in the form of acute disease, and age, and death… ”
    (source: Gambhirananda’s book Eight upanishads)
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  2. निताइ dasa

    निताइ dasa Nitai's servant's servant

    Dec 15, 2015
    Gaudiya Vaishnav
    Nice! We Vaishnav schools don't believe in Satan as an agent, because it implies a force that is rival to God. God is one (adwaita) and has no rival. Even Maya (and its temptations) act in accordance with His will. The idea of satan, at least of us Vaishnavs, seems to be a Abhrahamic concept. Quoting from Jaiva Dharma:

    Everything in this world is created by Him and is under His control.Therefore, He can be satisfied with any object when it is used in His worship. There is no object in this world one can worship that can arouse His malice, for He is all-auspicious. Even if a person such as Satan exists, he is no more than a special jiva under the control of God, and has no power to do anything that is opposed to God's will. However, in my opinion, it is not possible for such a monstrous living entity to exist. No activity can take place that is contrary to the will of Isvara, nor is any living entity independent of the Lord.

    You may ask, "What is the origin of sin?" My answer is as follows: Vidya (knowledge) is the understanding that the jivas are servants of Bhagavan, and avidya (ignorance) is forgetfulness of this. All jivas who, for whatever reason, take shelter of avidya sow the seed of all sins in their hearts. In the hearts of those jivas who are eternal associates of Bhagavan, there is no seed of sin. One should understand this truth of avidya carefully, instead of imagining an extraordinary myth about Satan.

    In fact, if anything we are Satan (well our false ego, ahankara is Satan, as Krishnanada says) because it is that which is responsible for our suffering.
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