What Can We Learn from Hinduism : Recovering the Mystical by Marcus Braybrooke
The Rev. Dr. Marcus Braybrooke DD., is a retired Anglical Clergyman. He was Executive Director Council of Christians & Jews 1984 - 87, and Chairman of the World Congresses of Faiths 1978 - 83 & 1992 - 99, and is its current President. He is the author of more than a dozen books. His Lambeth Doctor of Divinity was presented by the Archbishop of Canterbury in recognition of "his world-wide work for inter-religious understanding and co-operation." Published by John Hunt Publishing Ltd,, Alresford,Hampshire SO24 9AU, U.K. Copyright 2002 by Marcus Braybrooke. Used by permission of the author.
Chapter 1. Introduction
Understanding Hinduism can help Christians recover their mystical traditions and allow the Church to communicate with people today at the level of experience rather doctrine.
Chapter 2. The Divine Mystery: ‘Not this, Not that’
The deeper dimensions to life as encountered with the authentic spiritual teachings and practices of Hinduism have attracted many Westerners who have not had an adequate spiritual experience in Christianity.
Chapter 3. The Prayer of Silence
As there can be a time of companionable silence with a close friend or lover, so in "Centering Prayer," the prayer of silence to the God within, a Hindu seeks God in silence in contrast to the verbal and outward worship to a transcendent God of the West.
Chapter 4. Do All Religions Lead to God?
If there is one God who made and loves all people and seeks from them an answering love and obedience, then perhaps spiritual experience is that which unites, and the world of religious differences is caused by cultural and historical variations.
Chapter 5. Images of God
Some mysteries may best be expressed in myth and images and not in words. In Hinduism, some images of the divine, although grotesque and even ugly, seem alien and disturbing, yet they may help fathom mysteries beyond comprehension.
Chapter: 6. Jesus
Many Indians have a deep love for Jesus, but have difficulty seeing him as the unique Son of God. Rather, they see him as divine as Krishna or Rama or Mohammed or Zoroaster, and embrace him as a divine leader among many.
Chapter: 7. A New View of Scripture
Perhaps God speaks to every faith community, perhaps never fully grasped by one tradition alone. Perhaps God’s voice is present in other scriptures of the world.
Chapter 8. Karma and Reincarnation
Ideas about reincarnation are widespread among Hindus. The idea does solve one of the great mysteries of life, that although God is equally good to all and is not whimsical, how is it that there is so much evil and inequality in the World? Perhaps one is being punished for the sins of a past life; perhaps he can be redeemed in a future life.
Chapter: 9 Ahimsa
The author writes of his increased sensitive to the issues of vegetarianism and pacifism by the influence of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Chapter: 10. Poverty and Caste
Although India is changing, yet the poverty and the caste system still permeates much of society and needs to be addressed. The real motive for compassion should not be guilt but thanksgiving. If we acknowledge the abundance of the good things in life that have come to us, then we shall not claim possession of them or be reluctant to share them.
Chapter 11: Conclusion
A global ethic demands that every human being be treated humanely, that a culture of non-violence and respect for life be found, that a culture of solidarity and a just economic order be submitted, that truth and tolerance be instigated and that a culture of equal rights and partnership between men and women be found.
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