Christian Trinity and Vedanta

As I began to learn about the mystical teachings of Christianity, it was pretty clear to me that the essence of the true Christianity is same as the orthodox schools of Hinduism. But I was searching for an explanation of  Christian Trinity in the mystical context and I finally found the answer from the Indian Yogi ‘Paramhamsa Yogananda’.

Let me first quote the description by Paramhamsa Yogananda:

“When Spirit manifests creation. It becomes the Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Ghost, or Sat, Tat, Aum. The Father (Sat) is God as the Creator existing beyond creation (Cosmic Consciousness). The Son (Tat) is God’s omnipresent intelligence existing in creation (Christ Consciousness or Kutastha Chaitanya). The Holy Ghost (Aum) is the vibratory power of God that objectifies and becomes creation. Many cycles of cosmic creation and dissolution have come and gone in Eternity (see yuga). At the time of cosmic dissolution, the Trinity and all other relativities of creation resolve into the Absolute Spirit.”

–  From http://www.yogananda-srf.org/glossary/Glossary_T_%E2%80%93_Z.aspx#.WMh2dFV96M8

Before we start on further explanations, I would suggest you to read my post on repentance to understand how Bible has lost some of it’s original meaning in the translations and has been misinterpreted.

trinity

Now, we can derive clear-cut explanations for each member of the Trinity:

Father

He is pretty easy to explain. Father is popularly known as God by Christians; The Hindu term for the Father is ‘Sat’,  a Sankrit word which means ‘Truth.’ Even though truth is neither male nor female, it is personified as a male so that the Holy Spirit can be personified as female. Both of them make the Yin and the Yang or Shiva and Shakthi.

Holy Spirit

This is the aspect of God that is active in creation. It is the vibratory power or force of God.

In the Bible, the word ‘spirit’ has been translated from the Greek word ‘pneuma’, which actually  has several meanings: spirit, breath and wind. The exact word for it in Hindu tradition is ‘Prana’, which means ‘life force’ or vital principle. It is the cosmic energy, permeating the universe on all levels. That is why it is also known as ‘Shakthi’, the mother. It is close to the term Maya in Vedanta and Prakriti in Sankhya. Sankhya and Vedanta are two of the six orthodox schools of Hinduism.

This Shakthi has a symbol called ‘Om’. The same sound has been translated into ‘Amen’ and ‘Ameen’ in different religions. Om is also called as pranava. It is interesting to note than both pranava and prana come from the same root.

Another Sanskrit term for this holy spirit or pranava is ‘omkara’. The word has two meanings: ‘beginning’  and ‘female divine energy’.

So, ‘Omkara’ is a word, in fact ‘the Word’; and it means ‘beginning’.

Now,  if you read the following Bible verses after understanding this last statement, they will perfectly make sense:

John 1:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

The following Bible verse is another example:

“These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” – Revelation 3:14 

Son

We have understood the Father and the Holy Spirit, the creator and the creative force. The Son is nothing but the cosmic intelligence or cosmic consciousness.

The consciousness of every individual is one with the cosmic consciousness. But Jesus knew the truth perfectly well while others are ignorant about this, which makes Jesus a special Son of God. (the phrase ‘only begotten’ is translated from the Greek word ‘monogenes’ which actually means special or unique)

The Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father can be put together in one Sanskrit manta ‘Om Tat Sat’

Now, we get to the core message:

The Father is God. (Matthew 6:8, 7:21, Galatians 1:1)
Jesus is God from the beginning (John 1: 1-18)
The Holy Spirit is God (John 15:26, Mark 3:29, 1 Corinthians 6:19).

So, these three are  the three aspects of one ultimate reality! There is no three, there is no two, there is only one!

This is the core teaching of Advaita Vedanta as well. The ultimate reality is defined as self-existent awareness, limitless and non-dual.

 

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Author: Shanmugam

I am a blogger and I was a spiritual seeker. I had a tremendous awakening experience in July 12, 2014 on a Gurupurnima day in the presence of Sadhguru but I wouldn’t call that as spiritual enlightenment. But it did free me from many things and changed many things.

4 thoughts on “Christian Trinity and Vedanta”

  1. Hi Shanmugam,

    I read some of your articles and mostly they are very interesting and well-researched. However, I found one theme in your posts that seems to be contradictory:

    On the one hand you are quick to criticize James Swartz because he criticized your beloved teachers Osho and Ramana Maharshi on the basis that they don’t teach according to Vedanta.
    But on the other hand you are quick to criticize Christianity on the basis that it lost its meaning and can only be understood by using the analysis of Vedanta:
    “how Bible has lost some of it’s original meaning in the translations and has been misinterpreted.”
    “There is no three, there is no two, there is only one!”
    “The Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father can be put together in one Sanskrit manta ‘Om Tat Sat’”

    What makes you so sure that Christianity can only be understood by the terminology of Vedanta?
    How can you compare something if you are clearly biased in favor of Vedanta?
    Have you ever wondered if Vedanta could be described in the same way by Christian theologians?
    Are you assuming that Vedanta is superior to Christianity? If so, why?
    Is your analysis based on a neutral position to compare two very different spiritual teachings?
    Or are you assuming that Vedanta is the neutral position on which everything can be compared with?

    In my opinion you are criticizing James Swartz of doing something which you do yourself!

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    1. Hi.. I am not biased on any traditions at all… In fact, I have a problem with Vedanta because it bases its whole premise on the fact that ‘vedas are eternal and infallible’ which I don’t agree with… All the holy books in the world are anthology or collection of books written by various authors.. So, some are wise and some are not.. I only choose the good part and leave the part that doesn’t sound reasonable or suitable for modern days… In fact, I see some caste based discrimination in Shankara’s commentaries on Vedantic scriptures which I would never agree with.

      My interpretation of Trinity in the light of Vedanta is based on Paramhamsa Yogananda’s books. I don’t claim that it should be 100% true.. It just sounded more reasonable…

      I do believe that the original message of Jesus have been lost in the gospels which are not included in the biblical canon. Many people in the world hold this opinion.

      This is not about one religion vs another religion. My whole blog is about spiritual enlightenment and cessation of suffering. There are well trodden paths to enlightenment like christian mysticism, sufism, buddhist traditions etc… But I don’t know much about christian mysticism, otherwise I would have written about it.

      And this is not about theology or philosophy at all.. I am studying different traditions to come up with a scientific and practical method for enlightenment. But I love to challenge people sometimes based on their own claims of enlightenment, if I find anything odd..

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      1. HI Shanmugam,

        yes, that’s an interesting way to spend one’s life: “I am studying different traditions to come up with a scientific and practical method for enlightenment.”

        A question I find quite interesting: If consciousness is all there is, as it is prescribed in the infallible Vedas, then why didn’t other religions come up with the idea of consciousness?
        I mean we could assume that other civilizations have not been as developed as the mighty Aryans, located in India. Or the Aryans have been corrupted as in Iran with Zoroastrianism. But still, why not at least some mentioning of consciousness in other spiritual traditions?

        This to me gives the understanding that there are many ways to understand the world and to become free of suffering. And that’s the goal right? to be free of suffering and to be free of the idea of being a separate, alienated person, right?

        Love,
        Georg

        Like

      2. Actually, I addressed this question in my previous reply.. Many traditions all over the world talk about it.. They just use different terminologies.. And there are different paths.. But the ultimate goal is to end the suffering

        Like

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