“Who am I?” – A perspective from the Abrahamic religions – Part 1

1. In these series of tweets, I am exposing the startlingly simple idea of what Judaism, Christianity and Islam are as areligion.

2. In order to perfectly understand each of these religions you have to stand in their shoes and begin to assess.

3. So I give the title “Whom am I?” to these series of tweets. First let’s start with the general idea.

4. All humans crave for an anchor to hold on, a firm ground to stand on. We call this SthaaNu.

5. Why do we crave for sthaaNu? Because we are afflicted with insecurity. Insecurity causes distress, security causes comfort.

6. Buddhists denied existence of anything permanent. Sarvam kshaNikam, kshaNikam – nothing lasts (for ever) said Buddha!

7. Are Buddhists right? If so we are always adrift and suffering is our lot!

8. Thus Buddha gives the solution that we disappear into nothing and become sunya!

9. Christians went one step ahead of Buddhists and said there is no salvation because in their contention you are born a sinner.

10. It entails all sinners to rot in hell for ever!

11. If there is no end to suffering why crave for an end?

12. In spite of entreaty to obedience to “God” Christians more often disobey!

13. St.Augustine contended the predestination of man is hell only unless god chooses otherwise.

14. John Calvin asserted that man has no choice whatsoever and only God has it!

15. While Buddhist lead us to passive resignation to our suffering, both Augustine & Calvin lead us to an assertion of a culture of survival of the fittest.

16. When such survival is postulated then all morality becomes secondary, we might as well say it is just a matter of courtesy not an obligation to respect another!

17. Secular dogmas emanated from these principles where the weak is over run by the strong!

18. All these preambles are to insist that (a) there is need for (and there is!) salvation to suffering; and

19. (b) such salvation denotes true freedom viz. freedom from fear and freedom to do whatever u want unhindered.

20. This is the end part or objective of ‘I’ in the idea of ‘Who am I?’

21. Do the western religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have this objective? We will see.

22. The entity that calls himself/herself as ‘I’is the subject of our contemplation. Let’s consider how jews understand it.

23. In jewish concept ‘I’ as an individual is inconsequential. I am a jew and I am a part of a society which is the ‘chosen people’.

24. I am a cog in the wheel!

25. When I study the Bible closely I realize my god Yahwe in his fancy is playing a chess game!

26. He creates the chessboard called the world and the coins called Man.

27. Of the two opposing sides that are at fight in the game of chess, unlike the coins that we use that are inert, Yahwe’s coins are live ones!

28. Since these coins are live, they play the game themselves and not as moved by someone else as in the game we play. This is free-will!

29. However Yahwe does favor one side over the other and that side he favors is called the Jews, his chosen people!

30. The side he does not favour is called gentile.

31. So he creates two sides, but favor one! This is fundamental to Judaism. The concept of ‘chosen people’ cannot be bartered.

32. In lieu of the favor he bestows on the Jews, they have to conform to his rules of ten commandments. It is called a covenant.

33. The covenant is a contract between Yahwe and the whole of Jewish people, not any individual Jew.

34. This is because, as I pointed before, individual jew is inconsequential.

35. Any individual jew violating the commandments will be dealth with by the Jewish society and god Yahwe does not get involved.

36. Violation of the covenant could only be by the whole jewish people and not by any individual.

37. In other words, violation by an individual affects the whole Jewish society so the society gets into action to set it right.

38. This is because the violation of the covenant calls for the destruction of the jewish society as a whole so obedience is not an option but a compulsion!

39. Yahwe created individuals to play his game. When they die, the bodies goes to dust from which he made it.

40. The souls returns to him via the purgatory where they are cleansed of all remnant of the men who lived with them.

41. As a jew I have no past before creation and can have no future after death.

42. As a Jew I am what I am between birth and death. I have one life to live. “I” am an entity only when living.

43. Because the Jews consider themselves as ‘chosen people’ they are not into conversion frenzy like the Christians and Muslims.

44. Now back to the Jew who had just died. The soul that enabled him to be a man sets off to go back to Yahwe via a purgatory.

45. Jewish purgatory is a place where the souls ruminate on their achievements and shortcomings & then purge them.

46. Once cleaned of all identity of the man to which it was attached the soul gets back to Yahwe in its pristine form.

47. Let me stop here to continue with the discourse tomorrow the same time.

About janamejayan

A Viraat Hindu dedicated to spread the message of Paramacharya of Kanchi
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