The following text is the e-mail exchange between
me and one Mr.Elias D'Costa.(E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org He, in search of Truth about God and Isms, happened to surf through these pages.
He sent in some queries and raised some doubts about Vedic Scripts. In all fairness, I just give below the exchange of mails,
without editing or modifying the contents. You may be the judge of these contents right & wrongs :
His first e-mail :
I was browsing your website with great interest. You have done an excellent job of giving
information about Hinduism in Today's World.
I am been constantly seeking for truth, and therefore I am looking for
the one True Universal God, where I can praise, worship and honor the True living God.
Can you please tell me which
is the one True Universal God?
Some times you have
- Lord Vishnu
- Lord Shiva
- Lord Brahma
- Lord Shri
- Lord Srimann Naaraayana (Creator of the Universe)
- Lord Shri Lakshmi Nrisimha
Looking forward for
My reply :
Dear MR. D'Costa,
At the very outset I thank
you very much for your interest shown on the subject. I just give below a brief explanation about the Lord.
Naaraayana, who is the creator of this Universe is known as Sri Vishnu or Sri Mahavishnu. According to Veda the religious
scripts on Hinduism, the Lord has taken nine Avatar so far (Birth in ten different postures) to rectify the anomalies in the
society and to save the Earth from the then impending Calamities and to remove the evils from this Earth.
One Birth of the Lord is pending known as "Kalki"
avataar(form) and it will take about another 4,26,898 years to come. (The present part is of Kali Yuga comprising 4,32,000
years and we are in the first quarter having so far crossed 5102 years only).
Lord Sri Lakshmi Nrusimha was one such
Birth in the form of Lion faced Human, who just appeared by breaking open from a Pillar. This birth was for the sole Individual
named Prahlada, who was ardent disciple of Srimann Naaraayana, to save the Child from his father King Hiranyakasibu, who was
a non believer of God and considered himself as Supreme to everyone.
Hiranyakasibu, the ruler forced his citizens to
worship him only (the King) and none was allowed to worship any God. But his son Prahlada broke this rule to pray the Universal
Lord Srimann Naaraayana. When his father King knew about this, he was challenged to prove that the Lord Srimann Naaraayana
existed. The condition he put was, if there was a Creator of Universe existed, he Should not appear in Human form or
as animal, he should not appear during day time or night, he should not carry any weapon, he should not walk in just from
the entrances. These were all such
difficult task for any one to fulfill.
The Lord Srimann Naaraayana took this
challenge, as the confident Prahlada prayed, Lord Srimann Naaraayana took the avatar as Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha - the posture
is that of Lion faced Human with Long Hard and sharp nails stronger than a Lion 's paw, appeared between the day and the night
i.e. sun set (neither during day or night but the junction time known as Sandhya), thus fulfilling the King's all challenges
and saved His disciple Prahlada. He then tore the Kind's body two pieces apart and settled peace
Sri Lakshmi Nrisimha form of birth was just His answer only for the sake of a single human soul's prayer. So vast majority
of Srivaishnavites (who worship the Lord Vishnu or Sri Mahavishnu) worship this form of Lord.
The Hindu scripts of
Veda states, Lord Mahavishnu created the Brahmma through His Naval and appointed Brahmma to create the Universe. Brahmma created
the Shiva and made Him as a destroyer. Then the Rishis, Munis (saints and sages) with the paraphernalia of the Brahmma Logam,
(Eternal), Bhoologam (Earth) etc were created by Brahmma. Thus The creator is Srimann Naaraayana - The Mahavishnu, who is
also the preserver and Lord Shiva as destroyer.
This is called Tri-Murthy or Three faces of the Lord.
You may please
surf in my another web site on Srivaishnavam practices the URL http://trsiyengar.tripod.com and you will find the rational
behind the Hindu's practices.
Thanks again for going through this lengthy mail, you are most welcome to send in your
questions. I shall be grateful to you if you could please sign in my Guest Book, so that other surfers too get some valuable
With best wishes for a Happy, prosperous and peaceful life to come ahead,
14, 2002 10.00 AM (Indian Standard Time)
I am glad that you
are using the Vedic Scripture to verify your philosophy. But you haven't given me any scripture reference.
Truth, I like to discuss with you on the following topics
1) Origin / Creation of Universe
2) Nature of God
nature, and meaning of Man
4) Salvation of Man
5) Ultimate Destiny of Man
Following is the discussion on Topic
1 (Origin /Creation of Universe)
You mention in your opening letter "Srimann Naaraayana, who is the creator of this Universe is
known as Sri Vishnu or Sri Mahavishnu."
In another words Lord Mahavishnu is the creator of this Universe. But,
in the closing you mention, "Lord Mahavishnu created the Brahmma through His Naval and appointed Brahmma to create the Universe.
Brahmma created the Shiva and made Him as a destroyer. Then the Rishis, Munis (saints and sages) with the paraphernalia of
the Brahmma Logam, (Eternal), Bhoologam (Earth) etc were created by Brahmma."
Here I find Brahmma is the creator of
this Universe, because he is appointed to create Universe, Shiva, Rishis, Munis, Brahmma Logam, and Earth etc.
In the Svetavatar Upanishad chapter 3 we find Rudra is Ishwara, Ishwara is the creator (Svetavatara
3: 4 " He, the creator and supporter of the gods, Rudra, the great seer, the lord of all, he who formerly gave birth to Hiranyagarbha,
may he endow us with good thoughts")
(Svetavatara 3:7 "Those who know beyond this the High Brahman, the vast, hidden
in the bodies of all creatures, and alone enveloping everything, as the Lord, they become immortal")
In the Svetavatar
Upanishad chapter 4 it tells us the description of Ishwara as Supreme Brahman and Creator.
(Svetavatar Upanishad 4: 12
"He, the creator and supporter of the gods, Rudra, the great seer, the lord of all, who saw Hiranyagarbha being born, may
he endow us with good thoughts.") (Svetavatar Upanishad 4:13. "He who is the sovereign of the gods, he in whom all the worlds
rest, he who rules over all two footed and four-footed beings,
to that god let us sacrifice an oblation.")
In the Rig Veda, a Rishi says, (The wise call Him by different names, they call Him Agni,
Yama or Matarswa) According to this mantra, God bears different names, but the confusion emerges when the very gods- Agni,
Matarswa are projected as independent gods. When the Rig Veda has given independent identity to the above -mentioned
gods, what is the significance of this mantra?
Moreover, nowhere in the Vedas, Agni is called by the name of Yama or
vice--versa. Thus, this mantra serves no useful end; it only creates confusion. This is not the only mantra, which creates
The Rig Veda (2/1/3-7) calls Agni by the
names of Indra, Vishnu, Brahma, Varun, Mitra, Aryaman, Tvastar, Rudra, Pusan, Savitar and Bhag. Thus, this verse also adds
to the confusion. If Agni is also Brahma, Vishnu and Indra, why are they accorded with separate godly identity and status?
This mantra also suggests that Agni commands more influence as compared to Brahma, Vishnu and Indra. Therefore Agni is a true
(Adiparva, 66/36) says that Aditi gave birth to twelve sons, and Vishnu was the youngest of them. Indra was also one of them.
Thus, Vishnu was the younger brother of Indra.
According to Shiva Purana (21, 30-59), Shiva with his wife Parvati wished
to produce a child by performing intercourse with Parvati. Resultantly, Vishnu was born. When the light is shed on his being
mortal, How is Vishnu a Universal God ?
The Shatpath Brahmin (14/1/17) says that Vishnu was killed with an arrow.
Samhita (4/5/9) and the Panchavish Brahmin also accept the fact relating to Vishnu's death.
How can we worship a Dead God?
question thus arises, how can a person who is bound by the chains of birth and death create the universe as popularly held
in Hinduism? On what ground do
the Puranas' claim to prove that all the incarnations, described in Hindu scriptures, belong
In the Taitirya Samit -( 'Prajapati' is described as
the creator of gods and demons, while the Rig Veda (10/72/2) describes Brahmanaspati as the creator of
gods. Again the
Taitirya Samit) (1/6/9/1; 2/l/21) projects 'Prajapati' as the creator of Yagya and human beings while the Rigveda (1/96/2)
says that Agni
created human beings. That is why Agni is called the father of human beings.
But Agni has himself
been depicted in Rig Veda as taking birth as living creatures. It is also mentioned in the Taitirya Samit(1/5/9/7) that 'Prajapati'
created animals; and having the desire to create people he (3/1/1/1) observed penance.
Now there is again a question
to be answered by the Taitirya Samit, (it is known that it will not); if 'Prajapati' was Swambhu and the creator, why did
observe penance? If he did, he did to whom? This obviously suggests that there was someone who was superior to 'Prajapati',
or like others, 'Prajapati'
too was a creation of a religious fallacy and described as a god.
The Vedic scripture
presented have contradictory views; it serves only to misguide the people about the creator of the universe.
In the Bhagavad-Gita 10: 13-15 " Arjuna said: "O Krishna, I believe all that you have told me to
be true. O Lord, neither the celestial controllers nor the demons comprehend your glory. (10.14) O Creator and Lord of all
beings, God of
all celestial rulers, the Supreme person, and Lord of the universe, no one understands you. You alone know
Based on Bhagavad-Gita, Swami Bhaktivedanta and The Gaudiya Vaishnav school, claim Lord Krishna
is Himself the Supreme God, and not merely an incarnation of another deity (Refer http://www.asitis.com/foreword.html)
Sai Baba Claims He is the True, walking, talking, living God, who is currently living
on the earth, and performing miracles.
In all Hinduism has about 330 million gods
(The Compact Guide to World Religions by Dean C Halverson)
Trs Iyengar you still have to tell me who is the True Universal God?
Is it - 'Prajapati', Agni, Indra, Vishnu, Soma,
Mitra, Varun, Shakti, Krishna or anyone else? All of them are described in the Vedas as the creator. Who the real Creator
is still continues to be a riddle to be resolved by those who
believe in Hinduism.
Does all this not leave the impression
that the Vedic scriptures are books
written by men about God which is filled with no clear statements on who really created
The Hindu Trimurti consists of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Hindus ordinarily refer to Brahma as the -Creator, Vishnu
as the -Preserver and Shiva as the -Destroyer. However, Shaivites (followers of Shiva) insist that Shiva is the primal person
and source of the universe. Vaisnavites (worshippers of Vishnu) believe that he is the Creator-God and relate him to
omnipresent, primeval waters believed to exist before the creation of the world.
Basic to Hinduism is the belief that
the creation came from a primordial substance referred to as prakriti. Many teachers in Hinduism propose a pantheistic, monistic
view of creation (-that the universe, with its substance, laws and phenomena, is actually God in manifestation and that all
things in the universe are of one essential substance. This monistic view is termed Advaita) a concept that also insists the
natural creation is not real. It is an illusion, perpetrated by God (a condition called Maya).
In Hindu cosmogony,
there is no absolute beginning point assigned to the creation of the universe. Instead, there are an infinite number of cycles
of creation and dissolution. The creation stories are understood to mean the periodic emanations of God into the form of the
Furthermore, the word for creation in Sanskrit is srishti. It does not imply creating something out
of nothing; it rather means the transformation of a subtle or spiritual substance into a physical or material one. So the
more proper description might be that the universe is the (projection of the Supreme Being,) not an act of creation.
Bansi Pandit, The Hindu Mind (Glen Ellyn, Illinois: B & V Enterprise
Dear Mr. D'Costa,
Indeed it is very interesting
to go through the contradictions!. No doubt, these exist not only in everyones mind but in Veda too.
Before we enter into these matter, just let us
simply ask one question that every one needs an answer. What is the meaning of life, birth and death ? Is it just a cycle
that caused by nature or does it imply any reactions to the past and future? (before we are born and after our death) ?
Is there any life after death? Does it exist and
apply for every creature on this Universe? Practically, those who have seen, never spoke about it and those who speak about
these never seen it. (This is according to the Vaishnavite Azhwars Divya Prabhandam phrase in Tamil)
Lord Sri Krishna
says in the Bhagavad-Gita (this in itself is with many more contradictions), that He Himself is everything. And this script
is widely accepted by every sect and sub-sect of Hindu faiths/followers. Further more, Bhagavad-Gita is essence of the four
Veda known as Rig, YAJUR, Saama & Adharvana.
Lord Sri Krishna Himself declared that He is the one for Saama Veda.
Saama Veda is in poetic form and sung with Raaga. Does this mean that He is not in favour of other Veda or He just recommends
only Sama Veda to all?
I do agree, there are contradictions aplenty even within one
chapter to other in any
specific Upanishad. It is the
and individual understanding that matters. The
splinter groups within Hindu religion are, no doubt, a creation of the confused lots.
To state that Sri Krishna or
Srimann Naaraayana is Supreme to other Demy & Semi Gods is - one small conclusive evidence in every Vedic scripts - viz.:
a surrender note. This is recited (by all the Brahmans from Dwaitham/ Adwaitham & VISHISHTAATHVAITHAM) at the end of their
daily prayers & after finishing each and every rituals, all the Brahmans used to offer their Karma to Sri Krishna, who
is known with 1008 Names. (This even the Shaivites who worship Shiva, recites at the end of each and every rituals!).
Dwaitham, Adwaitham and VISHISHTAATHVAITHAM
- are the three major groups formed within the Brahman society. But at the end of each performance, rituals and routines,
all the three sects including the Shaivites, offer the benefits to Lord Sri Krishna with two different slokhas, which are
common to all. (Versus rough translation):
If I had erred in my offerings, whether in Mantra
of Slokhas), Tanrta (in practice) or in Bhakti (in my
devotion), Oh Lord, please Pardon me and accept these offerings,
the benefits of it belong to You, Sri Krishna. This is the rough translation of the following slokha or versus.
heenam, kriyaa heenam, Bhakti heenam,
uthaasana: yaththu thamthu mayaa deva, paripoornam thathasthuthe.
aseshaani, thapapa karma aathmakaanivai, yaani desham aseshaanam, sarvam Sri Krishna anusmaranam param).
Whatever just I did perform & Spoke/recited,
(including the daily prayer, any special puja etc) the Heart & mind as power, the entire benefits of which I dedicate
to the Lord Srimann Naaraayana.
(Kaayenu Vaacha, manase Indriyairva,
Bhuddiyaathmanava, prakruthe: svabhaavaath.
Karomi yathyath sakalam parasmai Naaraayanaayethi samarpayaami).
Thus irrespective of the Sects and Sub sects including
Shaivites, they begin their rituals with "Achyuthaaya
Nama:" (the first of the 1008 names of Lord Sri Mahavishnu)
finish it with above offering the same to Lord Krishna. Is it not in itself a proof that all the divisions within the Brahmans
accepted Lord Sri Krishna as Supreme?
I agree there are millions of Gods and demy Gods in this sub
you name a subject; you will find a God in that name in one or other corner of this land called Bharat
Alas! All the human creations.
About Religion, to the best of my knowledge, what I learnt from the olden scripts and
also through ages, generations and experience, I found that Hinduism is by far the flexible one for everyone to follow of
on own. No compulsions, no forces or pressures. Here one is free to adhere or leave it if he/she doesn't like.,
the sake of knowledge, I did read the other religious books, to some extent, but firmly settled with Hinduism, maybe it is
because I was born in the Community. But what I Could I sum up in few line is the following paragraph:
" Shiva or Vishnu? Who is great? Who stands tall? What
is going to happen by knowing who's
greater than whom?
It's a very childish idea. Greatness and other
concepts have killed the sensitivity in man. He does not bother about real things, whereas he is ready to argue about the
things which he doesn't know really, he just collected the bookish knowledge and started arguing about this.
Wonder how people could accept the concept of God
without really had the inquisitiveness to know about it. They think it is the cheapest thing in the world! But you have to
put yourself at stake! That's why it is dangerous to accept mere theologies any religion, be it Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam,
Christianity, Judaism, Jainism or any other you name it.
Now, here I agree with Shri. Bansi Pandit
(Ref: Bansi Pandit, The Hindu Mind (Glen Ellyn, Illinois: B & V Enterprise). His theory is most acceptable one than others
People are carrying the corpses instead of
real-life experiences. Thousands of people killed all over the world every day in the name of dictates from any religion.
Hatred and enmity spread venom amongst each other. Does this world need such of these religions really ?
If the world drops the so-called religions, then
the world would have a different dimension of living. People would take responsibility for what they are doing they will not
simply dump it on the ' one above '. Then the real freedom happens. Freedom leads to responsibility, Joy and Happiness"
In my personal opinion, religions are creations of the society, which wanted
to have full control on the growing populace. To make sense and also to discipline them, they made several conditions put
forth for the commons. Veda is immortal. But the interpretations by many people at different stages manipulated the entire
value of the Subjects. That is the fact one will come to conclusion.
The great known saints who lived in the 19th
and 20th centuries are more enlightened ones on Religion. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda is a few to mention.
And about Sri Krishna mission (ISKON) I am not making any comments. The Bhakti is there but with some mixtures of west and
east. Surely not traditional way of worship.
About Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the less said the better. He has some magical
powers. This any magician can do. He just cannot claim to be an avatar. Lord Himself need not boast his own image! But I appreciate
his efforts in doing a lot of social works such as building hospitals, free treatment, educational institutions, water and
irrigation projects etc. He too preaches non-violence and love etc.
I am not a scholar nor I claim any religious status
for me. I am a layman with ordinary qualities. I am not preaching/ propagating Srivaishnavam culture. My aim and intentions
are just to publicize the inner meaning of rituals performed by Srivaishnavites and make them understand what they do. I never
mentioned any Vedic reliance, slokha or versus from any Upanishad.
I know this letter does not give you any reply to
your search. Yet, it is a small way of clarification as a layman I can extend. If the world drops the isms & Religion,
then we can see a more different dimensions in life! That is the TRUTH.
Thank you very much for your patience to go through this lengthy mail and
Dec. 21, 2002
This is not concluded. I shall post the replies
I receive from the person concerned, with whom I am corresponding now. Please send in your comments and supportive materials.
I shall publish same in these pages for readers clarifications. Or you may E-mail to Mr. D'casta
at : email@example.com and communicate directly for giving your views. Thanks,
April, 21, 2003.
|This contradiction is getting too colourful.......
|Let many other person too join in this exchanges.
To my above mail the following reply was received by
me from Mr. D'Costa on the 20th Jan :
Thank You for the New Year Wishes. I also
like to wish you a very blessed and prosperous New Year 2003.
I could not reply earlier, because I was on vacation.
am glad that you recognize the contradictions in the Hindu Vedic Scriptures. In the course of history, Hinduism has spawned
four other religious movements that have since become world religions: Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Bahaism.
was born rejecting Hinduism. When Siddhartha Gautama Buddha (563 - 483 BC) saw suffering, sickness, pain and death. And when
he was convicted by the ascetic. He rejected Hinduism on two counts.
1) He did not accept the caste system and
did not accept the Vedas as the revelation from God.
-I agree there are millions of Gods and demy Gods
in this sub continent.
Yes, you name a subject; you will find a God in that name in one or other corner of this land called
Bharat - i.e India. Alas! All the human creations
You agree that all the Gods in Hinduism
are mans creation and imagination.
It is interesting that Dr Radha Krishnan, one time President of India, who was a
professor at Oxford University and holding a Chairman in eastern philosophy at Oxford university a devout Hindu, said the
problem with the Hindu Philosophy is that it has opened its arms so wide that when she finally starts to close them, it will
strangle it self. He understood the problem.
-I found that Hinduism is by far the flexible one for everyone
to follow of on own. No compulsions, no forces or pressures. Here one is free to adhere or leave it if he/she doesn't like
Trs Iyengar, because of major contradictions in Hinduism, there is no moral standard, creed, or belief and that is why all
Hindus believe, that all paths finally lead to one God. But is this True? Hinduism claims many Gods and is a Pantheism in
its world view. Islam, Christianity and Judaism claims one God and is a Monotheism, Buddhism and Confucianism claim there
is no God.
I like you to refer to this excellent web site, where he compares 11 major religions and cults, and brings
out the Truth. www.thetruelight.net
Islam has Impersonal God and claims there is one God called -Allah, who has no
son. And Jesus is just a mere Prophet, who did not die on the cross, but was taken to heaven.
Christianity claims a
personal God, which is a one God of Trinity (God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit). Jesus being the
Son of God was crucified on the cross, for the sins of the whole world, so that mankind may have hope of eternal life.
who met Jesus on the way to Damascus, writes two letters to Timothy who is a pastor in Ephesus, who admits he is a sinner
himself, and if you believe you will have eternal life. (1Timothy 1:15-16 -Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full
acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners--of whom I am the worst. (16)But for that very reason I was
shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those
who would believe on him and receive eternal life)
In this passage John the Baptist who is the cousin of Jesus, proclaims
that Jesus is the one who will take away the sin of the world remember the key word -world (John 1:29 -The next day John saw
Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look,
the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!)
What is considered
as blasphemous in Islam (Jesus as Son of God, death on cross), is the most important teaching in the Bible. If Jesus did not
die on the cross, the New Testament teachings of 27 books is in vain. (Remember the Bible is not mythical, it is historical,
references to people and places did
exist) Outside of Jesus death and resurrection there is no other hope for mankind where
our sins can be forgiven. Jesus was the only person in the world who was without sin, and therefore God the father accepted
Jesus death on the cross as a perfect human sacrifice for the whole world.
Orthodox Judaism claims a personal God (God
the Father as in Christianity), with no means of idolatry, and associating anybody as son ship or equal to God as blasphemous.
a system is internal contradictory and, when you see a system, which is externally contradictory, all of them cannot be true.
Only one of them can be true. It is possible that none of the religions are true. All religions fundamentally differ in the
nature of origin of universe, origin and nature of man, sin, morality and destiny.
If Christianity is true, all the
other religions are false. If Islam is true, all the other religions are false. If Hinduism is true, all the other religions
Truth by definition is exclusive, it does not include everything.
Truth is that which corresponds to reality. (Truth for everyone, everywhere, at all times)
1) New Delhi
is the capital of India. It is possible I might say Singapore as the capital of India, or you might say Calcutta is the capital
of India. There is an absolute truth no matter what my evidence or lack of evidence.
2) The Truth statement 7 + 3 = 10 is not just true for mathematics
majors, nor is it true only in a mathematics classroom. It is true for everyone, everywhere, at all places.
3) Truth about Signal lights, Red means stop, yellow means
slow down, Green means go. It is true for everyone, everywhere, at all places.
In regards to the reference of your
friends web site, I have read it with great interest on SriVaishnavam philosophy- Vishishtadvaita. The sad thing is, there
is no reference to the vedic scriptures. Anybody can create their own philosophy. I find some major contradictions, my point
is not to criticize in what you believe.
I will reply to you in my next e-mail
Jan 19, 2003