In this class we discuss how the concept of Yajna transforms any activity into a meaningful activity by connecting it to Nature and Society we live in -
An excellent article analyzing the evidence for a historical Jesus. There is absolutely no evidence there ever was a man like it is made out to be -
5 Reasons to Suspect Jesus Never Existed
At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a “historical Jesus” became mythologized.
For over 200 years, a wide ranging array of theologians and historians—most of them Christian—analyzed ancient texts, both those that made it into the Bible and those that didn’t, in attempts to excavate the man behind the myth. Several current or recent bestsellers take this approach, distilling the scholarship for a popular audience. Familiar titles include Zealot by Reza Aslan and How Jesus Became God by Bart Ehrman .
But other scholars believe that the gospel stories are actually “historicized mythology.” In this view, those ancient mythic templates are themselves the kernel. They got filled in with names, places and other real world details as early sects of Jesus worship attempted to understand and defend the devotional traditions they had received.
The notion that Jesus never existed is a minority position. Of course it is! says David Fitzgerald, author of Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All . For centuries all serious scholars of Christianity were Christians themselves, and modern secular scholars lean heavily on the groundwork that they laid in collecting, preserving, and analyzing ancient texts. Even today most secular scholars come out of a religious background, and many operate by default under historical presumptions of their former faith.
Fitzgerald is an atheist speaker and writer, popular with secular students and community groups. The internet phenom, Zeitgeist the Movie introduced millions to some of the mythic roots of Christianity. But Zeitgeist and similar works contain known errors and oversimplifications that undermine their credibility. Fitzgerald seeks to correct that by giving young people interesting, accessible information that is grounded in accountable scholarship.
More academic arguments in support of the Jesus Myth theory can be found in the writings of Richard Carrier and Robert Price. Carrier, who has a Ph.D. in ancient history uses the tools of his trade to show, among other things, how Christianity might have gotten off the ground without a miracle. Price, by contrast, writes from the perspective of a theologian whose biblical scholarship ultimately formed the basis for his skepticism. It is interesting to note that some of the harshest debunkers of fringe Jesus myth theories like those from Zeitgeist or Joseph Atwill (who tries to argue that the Romans invented Jesus) are from serious Mythicists like Fitzgerald, Carrier and Price.
The arguments on both sides of this question—mythologized history or historicized mythology—fill volumes, and if anything the debate seems to be heating up rather than resolving. A growing number of scholars are openly questioning or actively arguing against Jesus’ historicity. Since many people, both Christian and not, find it surprising that this debate even exists—that credible scholars might think Jesus never existed—here are some of the key points that keep the doubts alive:
1. No first century secular evidence whatsoever exists to support the actuality of Yeshua ben Yosef. In the words of Bart Ehrman: “What sorts of things do pagan authors from the time of Jesus have to say about him? Nothing. As odd as it may seem, there is no mention of Jesus at all by any of his pagan contemporaries. There are no birth records, no trial transcripts, no death certificates; there are no expressions of interest, no heated slanders, no passing references – nothing. In fact, if we broaden our field of concern to the years after his death – even if we include the entire first century of the Common Era – there is not so much as a solitary reference to Jesus in any non-Christian, non-Jewish source of any kind. I should stress that we do have a large number of documents from the time – the writings of poets, philosophers, historians, scientists, and government officials, for example, not to mention the large collection of surviving inscriptions on stone and private letters and legal documents on papyrus. In none of this vast array of surviving writings is Jesus’ name ever so much as mentioned.” (pp. 56-57)
Season8 starts with this lecture. Summary of chapter3 karma yoga discussed so far.
“He is a poor man whose only wealth is Money” – Anonymous
I came across this profound saying on the internet a couple days ago and it made me wonder a lot about wealth. Anything that has Value, both tangible and intangible, should come under the category of wealth. The value of wealth is in its ability to bring happiness. Just money alone as wealth brings us comfort but seldom real happiness. So what is missing in our understanding of wealth?
In Indian traditions, wealth is categorized into eight forms (Ashtaishwarya). Each form of wealth presided over by a form of the divine Mother Lakshmi ( Ashta- Lakshmi).
|Form of Lakshmi||Form of Wealth|
|धन लक्ष्मी – Dhana Lakshmi||Money, Gold, precious stones…|
|धाय्न्य लक्ष्मी – DhAnya Lakshmi||Health, Grains, food, well-being…|
|आदि लक्ष्मी – Adi Lakshmi||Agricultural lands, properties…|
|गज लक्ष्मी – Gaja Lakshmi||Cattle, horses, vehicles…|
|विजय लक्ष्मी – Vijaya Lakshmi||Victory, power, employees, subordinates, followers…|
|विद्या लक्ष्मी – Vidya Lakshmi||Knowledge, intelligence, comprehension, power of speech…|
|संतान लक्ष्मी – Santana Lakshmi||Family, kids, relatives, friends, relationships…|
|धैर्य लक्ष्मी – Dhairya Lakshmi||Bravery, courage, entrepreneurial spirit…|
When defined broadly both in terms of tangibles like money, gold, property etc., and intangibles like knowledge, courage, friendships etc., real wealth is more an Ashtaishwarya, a diversified form of everything that is valuable to our lives. Money being only one of them. This Ashtaishwarya is the wealth that brings happiness. When narrowly defined as money alone, it most often than not destroys other forms of wealth, especially relationships, peace, health and well-being. We have seen happy people destroy all their other wealth for the singular pursuit of money. Let us all take time to recognize the richness we may already possess but hardly notice! Let us not impoverish our lives by narrowly defining wealth as money alone and blinding ourselves to all other wealth that is even more valuable. Let us pursue wealth in all its eight forms so that we can make our lives truly rich. Who says wealth cannot bring happiness….ofcourse it can, just don’t define it narrowly as money alone. Wake up and notice!!
This is the final lecture of Season7.
This lecture discusses how Yajna came into being as a mandatory give-n-take relationship between man and divine forces of Nature
In this class, we discuss what exactly constitutes Yajna and how that differentiates Indian traditions from Religions (faiths) -
In this class, the concept of Yajna as the core of vedantic tradition is introduced -