HELP FROM A BAHA’I BELIEVER?

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I need help from a baha’i believer?

I prefer to be responded by someone who has real knowledge or who practices the Baha’i faith. So i was having a religous debate with a friend of mine who is of the Baha’i faith and I have no problem with that. What I need help understanding with, and what I don’t agree with him on is that he says on religions are the same. I told him that many of the main beliefs might be the same, but by no means are they the same. For example, Baha’i and Hinduism are not the same, the have very different beliefs. Baha’i is monotheistic, Hinduism is not, Hinduism believes in reincarnation, Baha’i does not. I understand many of the moral guidlines between religions are the same, but you can’t say that themselves are the same. I prefer the support or backing from a believer of the Baha’i faith.

Thank You

Additional Details

I understand that, essentially baha’i is saying that they respect all religious beliefs and that all religions are valid and true that is all good and dandy, but you can’t say that ALL religions are the same, the difference already that Bahai’i, Christianity, Islam are all monotheistic and Hinduism is Polytheistic that already makes them different does it not, I am not talking about their major beliefs or the similarities they hold but instead saying that they are different. He (friend) says that they are all the same and says that because Baha’i is the most recent and ‘advanced’ he makes it sound like any previous religion is more primitive, which to me sounds a bit arrogant, correct if I’m wrong.

Thank you fred for the information, but I still feel that everything that is being said is from your view and what you believe as a baha’i, and what the baha’i faith says. You might say that reincarnation might not be followed or was possibly misinterpreted as many things are, but it seem clear that if you were to ask a hindu if they believe in reincarnation they tell u yes, period, and if you ask them if all the religions came from one manifestation they might not agree with that. Or Buddhists might not agree with that, or those of Shinto might not agree. So my point is I think it is a bit unreasonable to say that all religions are the same.

 

Asked Arnold Weebu 4 weeks ago

 

Best Answer by Fred – Chosen by Voters

As a Bahá´í i also noticed your concern about Hinduism. My understanding is that the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, Bahá’u’lláh, indicates that Krishna(the Founder of Hinduism) was also a Manifestation of God. The difficulty with the religions of the past is that the further back we go, the less certain we can be that what we see today of that religion, was actually taught by that Manifestation. In other words, perhaps today the followers of Hinduism believe in reincarnation, but it doesn’t necesarrily mean that that is what He taught.

We also know that religion teaches about the spirit and that many times it must use metaphors and allegories to help us understand these spiritual realities and that sometimes we turn these metaphors into physical objects. For example the symbol of the burning bush and Moses. For most Bahá’ís this is a symbol – God speaks to Moses and ignites in him the “fire” of the love of God. So, likewise, perhaps there are Hindu writings which speak of what appears to be reincarnation, but which could also be understood to be speaking about something else. Is this not possible?

Finally, i just noticed that you mention that the Bahá’í point of view could be understood as “arrogant”. Bahá’u’lláh teaches at least two things in this respect: One, that all of the Manifestations of God are, in essence, the same. Each one is a “physical being”, created by the All-Knowing and through which is manifested the Holy Spirit. Second, each one must adapt His Message to the understanding of humanity of His age. And, as humanity, advances and develops, through the loving-kindness of His Manifestations, the Message that the next Manifestation can give can be of a fuller measure. They are like Teachers in the same school. In a sense all of the Teachers are equal – They all derive Their inspiration from one Source – but just as in a normal, human school, the 6th grade teacher is able to impart more knowledge than the 1st grade teacher because the group that he is teaching is more mature.

Hope this helps in your search. Have a great afternoon! 🙂

Source(s):

http://www.bahai.orgBottom of Form

Posted by Rock collecdtor

Regarding Hinduism being polytheistic. I have heard several Hindu followers state that there is really only one “God”, but that the concept is so huge and cannot be fully understood that this divine being is expressed as the various attributes personified individually. As to reincarnation, the central concept is that there is an existence beyond this earthly life and how we live in this life has an impact on how we experience that next life. We cannot comprehend that life while we are bound as physical beings, so the different religions have expressed it differently-Heaven/Hell, reincarnation, etc. The core concept is the same, but how it is explained differs.

Source(s):

My understand as a first generation Baha’i of over 50 years

Posted by Eraser

“Bahá’í notions of progressive religious revelation result in their accepting the validity of most of the world’s religions, whose founders and central figures are seen as Manifestations of God. Religious history is interpreted as a series of dispensations, where each manifestation brings a somewhat broader and more advanced revelation, suited for the time and place in which it was expressed.”

Posted by Susan M

 Here is what the Baha’i scriptures have to say on this question:

“That the divers communions of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, of the essence of the Faith of God and His Religion. These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.
Gird up the loins of your endeavor, O people of  Baha, that haply the tumult of religious dissension and strife that agitateth the peoples of the earth may be stilled, that every trace of it may be completely obliterated. For the love of God, and them that serve Him, arise to aid this sublime and momentous Revelation. Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench.” (Baha’u’llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 12)

Posted by senmcgli…

As Eraser has pointed out, the Bahai doctrine is that certain (not all) religions are valid – not that they are same. Christianity for example has the unknowable Creator-God of Judaism, and God the intimate friend whom Jesus calls affectionately “Father,” and Christianity accepts both as valid representations of God. The God of Moses and the Father of Jesus are “the same” God – but not the same; the Old Testament and the New Testament are true and inspired, but not the same thing. Different peoples, at different times, require different guidance from God. Baha’u’llah writes:

“The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind. He perceiveth the disease, and prescribeth, in His unerring wisdom, the remedy. Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require.”
(Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 212)
[online at http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gw… ]

A position paper written by the Bahai International Community gives an indication of how this scriptural doctrine is understood by Bahais today:

“Bahá’ís believe that religious revelation is continuous and progressive and that, from the very beginning of human history, God has periodically sent divine educators to the world to guide mankind. The appearance of these divine educators — Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad and, in our own age, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh — has signified the founding of a new religion, and yet none of these religions is really new; they are stages in the unfoldment of the same religious truth proceeding from the same God. They teach the same, unchanging spiritual principles, and they differ only in their social teachings, which vary according to the needs of the age in which they were revealed.

“Bahá’ís accordingly believe in the divine origin of all the major religions and honor and revere their founders as prophets of God. The reason that Bahá’ís are Bahá’ís is solely because they believe that Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of their Faith, is the latest — but not the last — of the divine educators sent by God, and that his teachings have been sent by God specifically to meet the needs of our own age.” (Eliminating Religious Intolerance, 1993)

Posted by A

Sometimes as Baha’is we oversimplify things In our enthusiasm. You are correct. The history, culture and social teachings of the various religions are different. What the Baha’i is excited about is the reality that the spiritual teachings come from the same Source, that our Divne Creator has be part of our human journey form the beginning and has sent us Teachers to connect us with this Unknowable Essence, since God is so far beyond our understanding. The Messages change to suit humanity’s level of maturity at the time, but the spiritual essence of Teachings doesnot change; those sameTeachings are true now and always. The cultural content varies. The intent and purpose of the religion that springs up around the Teachings is the same : to carry forward and ever advancing Civilizationand to draw us back to our Source. In that sense ,the religions are all the same and all equally valid.

Source(s):

My understanding of Baha’u’llah’s Wrtings

Posted by dlherrma…

Too many Baha’is over simplify taking “all religions are one” to mean – all religions are the same. The first can be true without the second, which is false. The source and aim of all religions is one – to aid in the spiritual and moral advancement of the human race. Baha’u’llah very clearly says that religions are not the same due to the level of understanding of humans at the time and place it is revealed and the later spin put on them by the human who try to give meaning of the religion to others (which is why Baha’u’llah abolished clergy in the Baha’i Faith).

Because of the lack of documentation it is not possible to know actually what any of the early Manifestations of God taught. Not even Jesus wrote His words down. Muhammad dictated the Quran, but was He able to verify the dictation? The Bab and Baha’u’llah were the first Manifestations who were able to dictate or actually write down Their words and verify them before they became scripture. So, I don’t see any value in trying to discern what any earlier Manifestation may have taught or not. We can’t truly know.

I’ve been actively involved in study, research and participation in the Baha’i community for over forty years. I hope this is helpful.

Source(s):

Over forty years active study, research and participation in the Baha’i community.

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