Sameness Myth : What are the fundamental differences between Dharma and Christianity?

Some fundamental differences between Dharma and Christianity

In this 14-minute video, Rajiv Malhotra talks about the fundamental difference between Dharma and Christianity. He talks about Christianity and the requirement of Christianity. He says one can’t believe both because the very philosophical difference, believing one would mean disbelieving others.

Rajiv Malhotra

2 COMMENTS

  1. Very correct interpretation of the basic belief of Christianity and Sanatana dharma which every Hindu must know beforehand.
    Whatever the “sarva dharma samabhava” apologists in India may say ,the fact remains that Christianity has been and is a politico religious geographic aggression for world dominance as the ‘only true religion’.Unfortunately they have found their match in another self acclaimed ‘only true’ aggression in Islam but the Kafir/heathen Hindu remain their common target.
    Shri A R may convince me about his explanation of the higher truths but how does an impoverished tribal convince the fanatic’s argument and handout or deflect the sword arm which has been happening for 20 centuries.I am of the firm opinion that you cannot win an argument of who is superior, Krishna or Christ/ Ram or Rahim with an aggressor devoid of philosophy or spirituality.
    The only thing conscientious Hindus must do is to prevent conversion of at least one Hindu family and bring back at least one convert to the Hindu fold during his lifetime for his ‘mukti’ by performing this ‘dharmic’ duty.
    Is it too much to expect?

  2. Shri Rajiv Ji –
    I would like to provide two references from the speeches of Kanchi Paramacharya (68th Sankaracharya of Kanchi) and Kanchi Puduperiyavaa (69th Sankaracharya of Kanchi) on this topic.

    The first reference is from the book titled “Vedas and Vedangas”, a collection of speeches of Puduperiyavaa.
    Chapter II – The Ageless Vedas.
    ==============================================================
    Again, if one sees the description of the beginning of the creation of the world, as given in the Old Testament of the Christian religion, one is led to conclude that perhaps the details contained in the Upanishads only have been described there in a distorted form. Adam and Eve were the first man and woman who had been created and they were standing under a Pipal tree and they had been forbidden to eat the fruits of that tree. The tree was called the tree of knowledge. The temptation to eat the fruit came first to Eve. According to our Upanishads, the two birds on the tree are compared to the Atma and the Jeeva. In accordance with the fruits of his actions, the Jeeva goes on enjoying the fruits. But the Atman does not enjoy the fruits of the actions but remains self-effulgent all the time.
    Thus, we find that the term ‘Adam’ in the Bible and the term ‘Atman’ in the Upanishads agree not only in shape and sound but also in their meaning. Similarly, the word ‘Eve’ occurring in the Bible agrees with the word Jeeva in the Upanishads in shape and sound and also in meaning. In the original language of the Bible, namely the Hebrew language, the term ‘Eve’ is written as Havvah which means living, which agrees with the term ‘Jeeva’ found in the Upanishads.
    The tree is called Pippala in the Upanishads. According to the Sanskrit Nighantu, Pippala is also called Bodhidruma which means the tree which gives knowledge. This is what is called the Pipal tree or the Aswattha tree. Buddhists would say that Buddha got enlightenment while sitting under this tree. The Amarakosha says :
    बोधिद्रुमश्चलदल: पिप्पल: कुंजराशन: अश्वत्थः
    Our dharma-shastras also prohibit the eating of the fruits of this tree.
    वटवृक्षाश्वत्थ दधित्थमातुलंगफलानि च ।
    वर्जयेत् इति वचनात् । – विज्ञानेश्वरीयं
    (वैद्यनाथदीक्षितीयं, स्मृतिमुक्ताफलं-आह्निककाण्डं)

    The second reference is from the book “Voice of Divinity – Part I”, the English translation of “Deivathin Kural” in Tamil, which is a compilation of the speeches of Mahaperiyavaa.
    Chapter XXVIII – The religion that was widespread in the world.
    =================================================================
    The Hindu Religion which is the title given to our religion was the only one that was spread throughout the world from the very early times. As it was the only religion prevalent then, there was no necessity to name it, nor was any mentioned specially to specify it separately in the texts that formed its very bases. This is the considered opinion of His Holiness………………………………………………………………..
    So, in those foreign lands, during the long period of several thousands of years when new religions unconnected with our ‘Vedic’ religion came into being, our vedic concepts too must have got totally transformed.
    Reverting, His Holiness cited that example in this connexion. In the Hebrew religion we have heard of the story of the “Adam and Eve.” There, we come across the “TREE of Knowledge”. God’s will was that none should eat its fruit But, “EVE” ate it. Then, “Adam” too followed suit subjecting himself to whatever good or bad that might befall upon “EVE.” This is the first story in the Book of “GENESIS” of the “Old Testament.”
    In our upanishads also there is a similar story. But, due to the vast difference flowing from the passage of times and of the different countries as well, confusion has crept in almost enveloping the original concept itself.
    What does the upanishad say? It tells us that there are two birds perched on a “Pippala” tree. One eats its fruits and the second does not eat but just looks on at the other. Here, the allegory is that our body itself is that tree, the bird that eats the fruit is our soul or the “Jivatma” that experiences the sensory pleasures by eating that fruit; and the other bird which is also there in our body represents the “Paramatma” who, remaining serene Himself all through as an onlooker, makes the other one act. He is there calm and quiet, holding aloof but as a mere witness. Although he is the very source of the “Jivatma” he does not experience any sensory pleasures i.e. he does not eat that fruit nor is he subjected to the laws of Karma. Here, we have in a poetic form the upanishadic fruit, the bird that consumes it and the other not doing so, the former repre¬senting the “Jivatma” and the latter the Supreme Being, fully aware of his Paramatmic aspect.
    This “Jiva” is the ”Eve” of the Hebrew religions. As also permitted by the rules of grammar i.e. the “Vyakarana Vidhi”, “Ji” becomes “E” and “Ja”, “Ya”. Thus, “Yamu¬na” becomes “Jamuna” and “Yogindra” “Jogindar”, “Jiva” becomes the “EVE”, “Adam” “Atma” and “Pippalam” the “apple”. The “tree of knowledge” is none else than our “Bodhi” tree. “Bodam” means knowledge. Are we not aware of the fact that Buddha got illumined under the “Bodhi” tree? But even before his times, the peepal tree was there which was called as the “Bodhi Vriksha”.
    It looks as though our upanishad had taken a new form in a distant land and the long lapse of time had even changed its original concept. Because, our “Atma” which is never lured by the sensual pleasures had been twisted in the biblical story as the one eating the forbidden fruit. While our “Bodhi” tree signifies the supreme knowledge which totally abjures the sensual enjoyments, they rather identify their “Tree of knowledge” with the fruits of material comforts and pleasures. In any case, do we not get from these, substantial evidences to prove that our ‘Vedic’ religion must have been in existence there ?

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