Hinduism and Christianity: Monotheistic Paths to One God. Essay

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Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and the Christian Trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit. In comparing Trinity and Trimurti, religious scholar, Anuradha Veeravali (Indian Philosophies, Encyclopedia of Religion) draws parallels between Brahma and God, Vishnu and the Holy Spirit, and Shiva and Jesus, but persists in the common idea that Christianity is a monotheistic faith while Hinduism is polytheistic. However, Bede Griffiths, a Christian priest living in India, has dared to challenge this firm notion of polytheism, offering comparisons between the Christian Trinity and a different Hindu Triad- Brahman /Atman/Purusha - to conclude that both faiths ultimately share a belief in the One Supreme power. Scrutinizing…show more content…
Since Brahma is not the ‘God of Gods’, Veeravali’s attempts to draw similarities between the Christian God and Brahma stand nullified. There are some differences in the way the congregation of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva has been addressed. Like Veeravali, Geoffrey Parrinder, author of Triads, refers to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva as a collective unit. However, differing from Veeravali’s usage of the term Trinity, Parrinder uses the term Trimurti (‘having three forms’). Explaining the origin of the term Trimurti, Parrinder states that this term was coined in the Early Common Era to create a triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. According to Parrinder, these three Gods- Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva-are the manifestations of the three qualities of the Absolute Brahman- creation, preservation and destruction. Interestingly, the epic Mahabharata mentions these three Gods separately and not as a collective entity. Although there are differences in the terms used to address this triad, authors and thinkers of differing opinions have agreed that the triad indeed does refer to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Comparative religion texts like the Triads by Geoffrey Parrinder and The Great

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