Themis, on Apr 22 2005, 08:32 PM, said:
Kalistria, on Apr 22 2005, 06:43 PM, said:
Hinduism, which is the most obvious pantheistic religion out there, is also, monotheistic in a way. He is Brahama.
Buddhists don't pray to a god. Buddha was not a god; he was Enlightened. Buddhists seek Enlightenment by following the rules laid down by Buddha but they don't actually pray to him. That's the whole point of Nirvana--you can't get there unless you do this yourself.
So geographically or otherwise, praying to God is just that. Praying to the divinity of your faith. Unless, of course, you are specifing that God denotes Yahweh or Jesus, then that's another question all together.
OK, if "most Christians" begin a prayer "Dear God" or "God help me" or "God, I beseech you" - using "God" (or possibly "Lord") as a name rather than an entity, and "most" Christians in the South seem to begin a prayer "Dear Jesus" and "most" Muslims begin a prayer "Allah" - do Hindus say "Dear Brahama" and Buddhists not pray in this sense? Just seriously curious. For that matter, do Jews say "Jehova" or "Yawah?" I seem to remember something about not speaking the name of god... How do members of differing faiths begin prayers?
But as to the statements that started the discussion, about never hearing anyone pray to anyone but "God," I assumed, correctly or not, that he had never heard anyone pray to Jesus or Allah or Apollo or any being with a name other than "god" as the named entity being addressed. Which seemed to me to leave out a whole lot of dieties.
I don't think Jewish people actually address God. Perhaps as Lord, Adonai but never God. It's forbidden to speak the Name of God, which is why it is written as YHWH, the initials of the Name of God. As far as I know, "Allah" is the name the Muslims address God in the same way the Jewish refer to Him as the Lord. Both are titles. The reason? The Third Commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of thy Lord in vain. To avoid violating that, they would refer to Him by "title" as it were.
I am not familiar with Hindu religious practices and I was mistaken earlier. Hinduism is henotheistic--one Supreme God that manifests in various ways--other gods. I think the Hindus pray to whatever aspect of God they worship but they wouldn't pray to Brahman directly. He is the Creator, the universe but he also transcends it. They worship one of his aspects, Vishnu or Shiva.
Buddha was not a god, he was human. He was born in India, a prince who was so stricken with the suffering of his people that he went among them to suffer with them. He managed to achieve enlightenment this way and his methods of achieving that were set down. Buddhism is more of a way of life and they don't pray. They seek enlightenment by living simply and personal reflection.
The problem with just saying "God" is that it automatically brings to mind the JudeoChristian monotheistic God, especially in the Western World.