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Interreligious dialogue : Illusion ? > Spiritual worlds

Onelittleangel > Illusion ? > Spiritual worlds
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T here was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom. And he called out, "Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame." But Abraham said, "Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us."

And he said, "Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment." But Abraham said, "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them." And he said, "No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent." He said to him, "If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead."





Christianity 4255 | 
Luke 16.19-31 







T hen the man of unwholesome deeds boils in water infested with worms. He cannot stay still--the boiling pots, round and smooth like bowls, have no surfaces which he can get hold of. Then he is in the jungle of sword blades, limbs mangled and hacked, the tongue hauled by hooks, the body beaten and slashed. Then he is in Vetarani, a watery state difficult to get through, with its two streams that cut like razors. The poor beings fall into it, living out their unwholesome deeds of the past. Gnawed by hungry jackals, ravens and black dogs, and speckled vultures and crows, the sufferers groan. Such a state is experienced by the man of unwholesome deeds. It is a state of absolute suffering. So a sensible person in this world is as energetic and mindful as he can be.




Buddhism 4254 | 
Sutta Nipata 672-76 







H ell will lurk in ambush
to receive home the arrogant,
who will linger there for ages.
They will taste nothing cool in it nor any drink
except hot bathwater and slops,
a fitting compensation
since they have never expected any reckoning
and have wittingly rejected Our signs.
Everything We have calculated in writing.
"So taste! Yet We shall only increase torment for you!"





Islam 4253 | 
Qur'an 78.21-30 







T here is a stream of fire from which emerge poisonous flames.
There is none else there except the self.
The waves of the ocean of fire are aflame
And the sinners are burning in them.












A s for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolators, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.




Christianity 4251 | 
Revelation 21.8 







A ll who obey God and the Apostle are in the company of those on whom is the grace of God--of the Prophets who teach, the sincere lovers of Truth, the witnesses [martyrs] who testify, and the righteous who do good: Ah! what a beautiful fellowship!




Islam 4249 | 
Qur'an 4.69 







M ake me immortal in the realm
where the son of Vivasvat [Yama] reigns,
where lies heaven's secret shrine, where
are those waters that are ever young.
For Indra, flow thou on, Indu!

Make me immortal in that realm
where movement is accordant to wish,
in the third region, the third heaven of heavens,
where the worlds are resplendent.
For Indra, flow thou on, Indu!

Make me immortal in that realm
where all wishes and longings go,
where spreads the Radiant One's region,
where holy bliss is, and happiness.
For Indra, flow thou on, Indu!

Make me immortal in that realm
where beatitude and joy and cheer
and transports of delight abound,
where the highest desires have been filled.
For Indra, flow thou on, Indu!





Hinduism 4248 | 
Rig Veda 9.113.8-11 







A nd those Foremost [in faith] will be Foremost [in the hereafter].
These will be those nearest to God;
In Gardens of Bliss;
A number of people from those of old,
and a few from those of later times.
They will be on thrones encrusted, reclining on them, facing each other.
Round about them will serve youths of perpetual freshness,
with goblets, shining beakers, and cups filled out of clear-flowing fountains;
No after-ache will they receive therefrom, nor will they suffer intoxication;
And with fruits, any that they may select,
And the flesh of fowls, any that they may desire.
And there will be companions with beautiful, big and lustrous eyes,
Like unto pearls well-guarded:
A reward for the deeds of their past life.
No frivolity will they hear therein, nor any taint of ill,
Only the saying "Peace! Peace!"





Islam 4246 | 
Qur'an 56.10-27 







N ot like this world is the World to Come. In the World to Come there is neither eating nor drinking, nor procreation of children or business transactions, no envy or hatred or rivalry; but the righteous sit enthroned, their crowns on their heads, and enjoy the luster of the Divine Splendor (Shechinah).




Judaism 4245 | 
Berakot 17a 







Y ama was the first to find us our abode,
a place that can never be taken away,
where our ancient Fathers have departed; all
who are born go there by that path, treading their own.

Meet the Fathers, meet Yama, and meet with the
fulfillment of wishes in the highest heaven;
casting off imperfections, find anew thy dwelling,
and be united with a lustrous body.





Hinduism 4232 | 
Rig Veda 10.14.2,8 







Y ou prefer this life, although the life to come is better and more enduring. All this is written in earlier scriptures; the scriptures of Abraham and Moses.




Islam 4229 | 
Qur'an 87.16-19 







T hough our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Here indeed we groan, and long to put on our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.





Christianity 4228 | 
2 Corinthians 4.16-5.10 







K now that the present life is but a sport and a diversion, an adornment and a cause of boasting among you, and a rivalry in wealth and children. It is as a rain whose vegetation pleases the unbelievers; then it withers, and you see it turning yellow, then it becomes straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and forgiveness from God and good pleasure; whereas the present life is but the joy of delusion.




Islam 4224 | 
Qur'an 57.20 







G od created the seven heavens in harmony.




Islam 4217 | 
Qur'an 71.15 







W hat is here [the phenomenal world], the same is there [in Brahman]; and what is there, the same is here.




Hinduism 4215 | 
Katha Upanishad 2.1.10 







O f the nether worlds and heavens has He created millions; Men exhaust themselves trying to explore them.




Sikhism 4214 | 
Japuji 22, M.1, p. 5 







I n my Father's house are many rooms.




Christianity 4213 | 
John 14.2 







I [Paul] know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven--whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into Paradise--whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows--and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.




Christianity 4212 | 
2 Corinthians 12.2-4 







N o one in heaven or on the earth knows the Unseen save God; and they know not when they will be raised. Does [human] knowledge extend to the Hereafter? No, for they are in doubt concerning it. No, for they cannot see it.




Islam 4211 | 
Qur'an 27.65-66 







T hou art the sun
Thou art the air
Thou art the moon
Thou art the starry firmament
Thou art Brahman Supreme;
Thou art the waters--thou, the Creator of all!
Thou art woman, thou art man,
Thou art the youth, thou art the maiden,
Thou art the old man tottering with his staff;
Thou facest everywhere.

Thou art the dark butterfly,
Thou art the green parrot with red eyes,
Thou art the thunder cloud, the seasons, the seas.
Without beginning art Thou,
Beyond time and space.
Thou art He from whom sprang
The three worlds.












S uch is His magnificence, but
the Supreme Being is even greater than this;
all beings are a fourth of Him,
three-fourths--His immortality--lie in heaven.

Three-fourths of the Supreme Being ascended;
the fourth part came here again and again,
and, diversified in form, it moved
to the animate and the inanimate world.





Hinduism 4120 | 
Rig Veda 10.90.1-4 







M oreover," [said Socrates] "you must not wonder that those who attain this height are unwilling to descend to human affairs; for their souls are always hastening into the upper world where they desire to dwell..."




Philosophy / Platonism 3634 | 
Republic, Bk. VII.517; adapted from Hamilton, E., 1969 







A ll of these are symbols -- I mean that the other world keeps coming into this world. Like cream hidden in the soul of milk, No-place keeps coming into place. Like intellect concealed in blood and skin, the Traceless keeps entering into traces. And from beyond the intellect, beautiful Love comes dragging its skirts, a cup of wine in its hand. And from beyond Love, that indescribable One who can only be called That keeps coming.




Islam / Sufism 3295 | 
The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi, p. 197, Trans. William C. Chittick. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1983 







T he soul is neither from the East of the world of pure spirits, nor from the West of the world of material bodies. It is of three types: the one that incites to evil; the self-blaming one; and the recollected one.

The soul that incites to evil (an-nafs al-ammarah bi's-su') is that which inclines to physical nature and commands one to engage in sensual pleasures and carnal appetites. It draws the heart toward the lowest region and is the abode of iniquity and the source of blameworthy morals and evil deeds. It is the soul of the masses. It is tenebrous; and for it, the invocation is like a lamp lit in a dark house.

The self-blaming soul (an-nafs al-lawwamah) is that which is illuminated by the light of the heart to an extent commensurate with its degree of wakefulness from the slumber of forgetfulness. It is vigilant and begins by correcting its state, which wavers between the Divinity and creatures. Every time something bad issues forth from the self-blaming soul by virtue of its dark nature and character, the light of divine admonition suddenly comes upon it, and it starts blaming itself. The soul repents of its errors, asking God's pardon and returns to the door of the Forgiving, the Merciful…

… the self-blaming soul perseveres in invoking and turning to God in repentance until the power of the invocation triumphs over all those things and expels them. Then the soul approaches peacefulness and does not cease to gather furnishings for the house until the house is adorned with all kinds of praiseworthy things and is thereby made lustrous. The house is then suitable for the descent of the Sovereign Lord into it. When the Sovereign Lord descends into the soul and the Truth is revealed, the soul becomes recollected.

The recollected soul (an-nafs al-mutma'innah) is the one whose enlightenment is brought about by the light of the heart until it is stripped of blameworthy attributes and takes on praiseworthy virtues. Then it turns in the direction of the heart completely, following it in its ascent to the regions of the world of Holiness (`alam al-quds) far above the world of impurity, diligent in acts of obedience and tranquil in the presence of the "Exalter of ranks" until its Lord addresses it by His words: "But, ah! Thou soul at peace! Return unto thy Lord, content in His good pleasure! Enter thou among My servants! Enter thou My Garden!"





Islam / Sufism 3278 | 
The Key To Salvation: A Sufi Manual of Invocation. Trans. Mary Ann Koury Danner. Cambridge: The Islamic Texts Society, 1996, pp. 52-53 







T his spirit of divine origin appears in a man as man, in beast as beast, and in plant as plant. And it appears differently even within each species, appearing in each person in a different manner in accordance with his different capacity and predisposition. The spirit neither disappears not diminishes nor changes when the body is destroyed.
The body, until its end, is in continuous transformation, whereas the spirit never changes. It cannot be identified by anything other than the body it inhabits. There is no identification without appearance; therefore, it is essential for the spirit to have a form. Yet if the spirit becomes fully identified with a specific body, it cannot return to its origin.





Islam / Sufism 2984 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.111 







N ot only do beings and things have spirits that in turn take the forms of beings and things, but deeds, words, thoughts, and feelings also have spirits of their own. Thus it may happen that the soul of a beautiful deed may assume the form of an angel.




Islam / Sufism 2983 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.111 







O ur five senses are like five doors opening on the external world; but, more wonderful than this, our heart has a window that opens on the unseen world of spirit.
In the state of sleep, when the avenues of the senses are dosed, this window is opened, and we receive impressions from the unseen world and sometimes foreshadowings of the future. Our hearts are like a mirror that reflects what is pictured in the Tablet of Fate. But, even in sleep, thoughts of worldly things dull this mirror, so that the impressions it receives are not clear. After death, however, such thoughts vanish, and things are seen in their naked reality.





Islam / Sufism 2966 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.105 







B ahlul, the wise fool, happened to meet the caliph Harun al Rashid. "Where are you coming from like this, Bahlul?" the ruler asked him.
"From Hell," was the prompt reply.
"What were you doing there?"
Bahlul explained, "Fire was needed, Sire, so I thought of going to Hell to ask if they could spare a little. But the fellow in charge there said, 'We have no fire here.' Of course I asked him, 'How come? Isn’t Hell the place of fire?' He answered, 'I tell you, there really is no fire down here. Everybody brings his own fire with him when he comes.





Islam / Sufism 2896 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.75 







S uch is the measure of his might,
and greater still than this is Man.
All beings are a fourth of him,
three fourths are the immortal in heaven.

Three-fourths of Man ascended high,
one-fourth took birth again down here.
From this he spread in all directions
into animate and inanimate things.





Hinduism 2628 | 
Rig Veda 10.90, from The Vedic Experience: Mantramanjari by Raimundo Pannikar (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, 1977). 







T hen said Mahamati: Pray tell us, Blessed One, more about the Dharmakaya?
The Blessed One replied: We have been speaking of it in terms of Buddhahood, but as it is inscrutable and beyond predicate we may just as well speak of it as the Truth-body, or the Truth-principle of Ultimate Reality (Paramartha). This Ultimate Principle of Reality may be considered as it is manifested under seven aspects: First, as Citta-gocara, it is the world of spiritual experience and the abode of the Tathagatas on their outgoing mission of emancipation. It is Noble Wisdom manifested as the principle of irradiancy and individuation. Second, as jnana, it is the mind-world and its principle of intellection and consciousness. Third, as Dristi, it is the realm of dualism which is the physical world of birth and death wherein are manifested all the differentiations of thinker, thinking and thought-about and wherein are manifested the principles of sensation, perception, discrimination, desire, attachment and suffering.
Fourth, because of the greed, anger, infatuation, suffering and need of the physical world incident to discrimination and attachment, it reveals a world beyond the realm of dualism wherein it appears as the integrating principle of charity and sympathy. Fifth, in a realm still higher, which is the abode of the Bodhisattva stages, and is analogous to the mind-world, where the interests of heart transcend those of mind-world appears as the principle of compassion and self-giving. Sixth, in the spiritual realm where the Bodhisattvas attain Buddhahood, it appears as the principle of perfect Love (Karuna). Here the last clinging to an ego-self is abandoned and the Bodhisattva enters into his self-realization of Noble Wisdom which is the bliss of the Tathagata's perfect enjoyment of his inmost nature. Seventh as Prajna it is the active aspect of the Ultimate Principle wherein both the forth-going and the in-coming principles are alike implicit and potential, and wherein both Wisdom and Love are in perfect balance, harmony and Oneness.
These are the seven aspects of the Ultimate Principle of Dharmakaya, by reason of which all things are made manifest and perfected and then reintegrated, and all remaining within its inscrutable Oneness, with no signs of individuation, nor beginning, nor succession, nor ending. We speak of it as Dharmakaya, as Ultimate Principle, as Buddhahood, as Nirvana; what matters it? They are only other names for Noble Wisdom.
Mahamati, you and all the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should avoid the erroneous reasonings of the philosophers and seek for a self-realization of Noble Wisdom.





Buddhism / Mahayana 2615 | 
Ch XII, p.350/351, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 





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