Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Philosophy about Creation and its Relation with Soul

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah

This is only for religious comparative for Muslim brothers and sisters to understand how non-Muslims such as Buddhists and Hindus think. Maybe a little bit high topic. I wrote about this a long time ago in Malay when I was alone and these matters floating again in my head while contemplating. So, I reproduce this again in English and non-Muslim friends may see how a Muslim understood your religion through the view point of "non-Muslim" and not in a preaching method. I encountered many kind of statements come out when I talked or listened to Muslim or Christian preachers talk about "non-celestial" religions or traditions since when I practiced Buddhism while I was a not scoring straight A's school pupil.  I didn't even understand what has been taught in school in subjects such as physics or chemistry but I clearly understood what has been taught by Buddhist and Hindu teachers, haha.

So, I would like to let my brothers and sisters know. These non-Muslims regard their traditions as celestial and for orthodox Brahmins or Orthodox Hindus, they do have canonized scriptures which are known as vedas and upanishads. They were revealed to the maharesis or great sages the progenitor of traditions through the devatas (sparks of light) when the question sparks in the maharesis' mind. The word deva in Sanskrit came from the root word, div which means a ray. When I studied Sirah Islamiah in the madrasah, there is a mention about the Zoroastrians being classified as resembling Jews and Christians. But there is no mention resembling the Jews and Christians to Hindus since their traditions are so broad and multi-layered. We don't talk about faith like changing-clothes. It is not an easy thing. It involves metaphysical views and the worldview of a certain person. 

The philosophies of Hindus and Buddhists are almost the same of the ancient Greeks. The difference between Hindus which also include heterodox Buddhists and the Greeks is that the Hindus have authoritative scriptures. There are also Greeks who embraced Buddhism and spreading its teachings even in Alexandria in ancient Egypt where their tradition was known as dharmmaguptakavinai. The bhagavadgita that we often heard of is some kind of gospel for Hindus. The matter of self-realization, self-awareness, life, death and stuffs are actually counted as some part of the cosmological system.     

Through Hindu philosophy and also well-known by some Buddhists, it is known that universe never came to be at some particular point. However, it always has been and always will be, but eternally flows. The space and time are cyclical in nature. Since the current universe flows, so it constantly changes. This belief is almost the same belief with the Harun Yahya's Big Bang theory. Just kidding, Harun Yahya has also mentioned this theory in his book and some copy-paste ustads used to put this forth to me or boasting about Ibnu Sina's achievements just like Christian missionaries who approached me talking about universe this and that to me when I told them I was a Buddhist since they wanted me to receive salvation in the name of Christ or I will be doomed if I bow down to Buddha idols, lol. I will tell the moral that we can benefit from this post.  

In the Big Bang, the creation of the universe is almost the same in the Hindu philosophy represented by brahma. The life and the universe which follows after the creation is represented by vishnu. The destruction of the universe is symbolized by siva. It is mentioned in few puranas too that there are continual creation and destruction of the universe. Both the creation and the destruction of universe is phrased as the inhalation and exhalation of gigantic cosmic symbolized by mahavishnu.  

Some misunderstanding that happens in the comparative religion studies especially when some Muslim students taking the course simply to fulfill the elementary unit for university paper is that, they thought brahma is equal to Allah, haha. There are many brahmas. How come Allah is equal to Brahma??? Perhaps they had mistaken it with another term which is Brahman? For all Hindus, Brahman is the source and sustains the universe. It is infinity of infinity. There are at least three conceptions of philosophical schools about Brahman whether it is impersonal without qualities, personal with qualities or supreme. In the upanishads, the Brahman is described by the resis (sages) as the ultimate essence of material phenomena. It also includes the original identity of human self which is what I has mentioned as attama or atman in previous post. It cannot be seen or heard by physical eyes and ears. However, its nature could be revealed through the development of self-awareness and knowledge. There are schools of non-duality known as Advaita which believes that Brahman is seen by human through the unattachment to materialism as his or her realize the true-self. I guess this is what has also been discussed in wahdat al-wujud discourses when it comes to "some" Sufi Muslims and Mu'tazila groups of Muslims such as Hamzah Fansuri and his opponent, Nuruddin Raniri of 17th century Acheh. Brahman for Hindus is some kind of universal spirit. It influenced their view about the God and the connection between God and human inner-self. It is not about physical body. Physical body is just a cage for the soul and inner-self.

Now when it comes to us the Muslims who follows the creed of imams such as imam bin Hanbal, we are not allowed to speak exceeding the limit about Allah. We only follow what Allah tells about Himself in the Quran. If Allah does not tell that He is in the form of spirit, so it is not our right to say or even think that He is a spirit. The same thing also if He does not tell that He resembles anything in the universe. We have no right to personify him, to portray that He has limbs like human-being or animals or symbolize Him or associate Him with anything in the universe.

I found that it is easy to understand some phenomena of physics such as oscillations or sound vibrations through the Hindu philosophy. I also was exposed to Hindu medicine studies through Sanskrit language studies though it is not taught in school curriculum. It is not separated from the surrounding life as compared to sciences from the West which was actually the reproduction of Greeks sciences. And there were also Greeks who were of ancient Hindu and Buddhist religions since the time Alexander of Macedonia conquered some parts close to Indus civilization, lol. I hate schools and I don't think it is a place for me to study. The real place to study is the wilderness of nature and in the real society.

The moral of this post is a person that we look like ignorant is not actually stupid. The same thing that I found about Muslims and Christians especially of the Western rites are that we tend to view others as stupid and talking about science, theories and others just to refute others, boasting around or simply raising a debate to decide who wins or who loses. I think that this is a pathetic attitude...  This is what makes me having difficulties mixing around with other brothers and sisters especially from Mahasiswa Islam or even the Tabligh Jama'at brothers though I love them and giving a huge respect to them behind them for da'awa works.

Allahumma salli 'alaa Muhammad wa 'alaa aali Muhammad wa sahbihi ajma'iin...

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace and love, amin!     

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