ebionite

Vegetarianism, Veganism, and Sant Mat, by James Bean, Plus a Compilation of Veg Quotes of the East & West

It’s hard to reach more subtle states of tranquility in meditation on an animal flesh diet based on the suffering of other beings.

“I must point out that animal food, even if a single particle is eaten, is detrimental to spiritual progress.” (Huzur Baba Sawan Singh)

The Way of the Saints and Mystics, Getting Back to Eden: “And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.’” (Hebrew Bible, Genesis 1:29, New International Version)

Master Kirpal Singh speaking about Rumi and the other most advanced Murshids (spiritual masters) of Sufi mysticism once said: “Those who take up the practices concerning the lower centers in the body, do take meat – the Mohammedans and people of other religions also. But those who are anxious to rise above body consciousness and go into the Beyond have of necessity to eschew all that. This is the Path I have put before you. Liberation or salvation is something which starts only when you rise above body consciousness. For that reason, vegetarianism is the first essential.” (The Night is a Jungle, published by Ruhani Satsang)

The harshest words that Guru Kabir ever spoke were directed against the slaughter or consumption of innocent animals: “The man who eats meat is a demon in human form. Keep away from him – his company will ruin your meditation.”

Ahimsa (Non-Violence) and Diet

“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” (Albert Einstein)

The following, on the reason why we in Santmat advocate following the vegetarian diet, is by Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj from the book, The Harmony of All Religions (Sarvadharma Samanvy), published by Maharshi Mehi Ashram:

“The saints have addressed the sin of violence with particular attention to the foods which are eaten. Foods which are produced by killing living beings, as well as foods which are not pure and fresh, are considered tamasic. Consumption of these is prohibited by the teachings of the saints. This includes animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs. These foods inhibit the clarity of the mind and the health of the body. There is an old saying: 'Whatever kind of food we take in, its properties will also fill our mind.’ A parallel saying is, 'Whatever we eat, just so will our breath smell [indicates the visible effect of food].’

Further, Kabir Sahab says: 'The kind of food and drink which we consume directly influences how our mind will become. Even the quality of water which we drink will influence our speech.’ These words of Kabir Sahib are not merely rhetorical conjecture, but represent direct experience…

"A great yogi named Bhupendranath Ji Sanyal has said: 'It is preferable to always avoid the consumption of flesh and fish. This is because in the very cells of these animals there might be bad diseases. But even more significantly, the natural vibration of these creatures is absorbed into the blood. This can create agitation and even sickness, and will destroy the natural calmness of the mind. Also, one must not take intoxicants, as this is a great breach of the spiritual path and natural duty (dharma). [Under the influence of intoxicants people are unable to discern the right path of action].’

"Therefore, we must be disciplined in what we eat and drink, and by being disciplined, our wealth and spiritual path are protected. This world becomes agreeable, and so does the next world, since we won’t be incurring the karmas from killing other living beings.” (Beloved Swami Santsevi Ji Maharaj, Sant Mat, the Path of the Masters)

All past and present Masters of Sant Mat, the most advanced Saints of Inner Light and Sound, advocate following the vegetarian diet. In fact, being vegetarian is a requirement in order to be initiated into the meditation practice of Sant Mat, Surat Shabd Yoga, Meditation upon the inner Light and Sound of God.

Sant Mat is a vegetarian Path for mystical, spiritual, ethical and theological reasons. The Masters teach that foods are of three kinds: Satvik, Rajsik, and Tamsik. This last category of foods, which includes all flesh foods, is to be completely avoided. Satvik (pure foods), the first category, includes: grains, beans, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. Satvik foods are considered by Mystics to promote relaxation, meditation, and spiritual experience.

The bad karma and other negative effects of flesh-eating darkens one’s vision of inner Light, interfering with concentration and meditation. It’s interesting to notice that the Satvik diet of Sant Mat, of Hinduism and the Yoga Philosophy of India is also: the life-extension diet, the anti-cancer diet, the diet for antioxidants and most of the other plant-based nutrients, AND the diet of the Light & Sound mystics, East and West.

A Young Kirpal Singh Meditating at an Early Age

“Kirpal began meditating at the age of four. When other boys and girls of his age were busy playing, he would be busy meditating. He never wasted his time with sports. He would sit quiet with eyes closed. He would see spiritual sights within and would traverse on spiritual planes. He would remain lost in ecstasy. But whenever this absorption in meditation would break after intervals of 2 to 3 months, he would feel very restless. His spiritual flights would, however, start again shortly afterwards.

Abstinence from Meat

"His family was non-vegetarian But he was averse to taking meat even as a child. While his brothers and sisters would ask for more, he would have none at all. He was content with bread and vegetables. His father asked, 'Pal, why don’t you take meat? It will do you good.’ He sweetly replied, 'It is very well, father, but is not meat dead flesh, and would you have me make a burial ground of my body?’ The father could only smile and the child had his own way.” (The Beloved Master – Some Glimpses from the Life of Sant Kirpal Singh, by Bhadra Sena)

The notion that vegetarianism is “cultural” and confined mostly to India is the inaccurate assumption of some new age or esoteric teachers in the West. It is true that many conventional world religions condone flesh-eating, but if you do some comparative mysticism you’ll soon discover that the serious esoteric traditions which have practiced Light mysticism, Sound mysticism, and Ascension mysticism through higher planes of heavens are all in agreement about the need for contemplative mystics to abstain from the flesh. The list of Western vegetarian paths includes: Pythagoreans, followers of the Hermetic philosophy of Egypt, the Sethian Gnostics, Theraputae, Essenes (and other Light-mystics within Judaism), the original Jewish Christians called Ebionites (see The Gospel of Jesus – In Search of His Original Teachings, by John Davidson), the Gnostic religions, Manichaeans, some Catholic monasteries, monasteries of the Orthodox Church – including the great mystery school atop Mount Athos in Greece, and the Sufi mystics of Islam who practice Zikhr of the Spirit, Light, and Sound. Most every path that advocates a present-tense spirituality about reentering Paradise or going Back to Eden during this life teaches vegetarianism.

A Western Master of Sound & Light by the name of Pythagoras once said, “Our Earth has abundance of such pure and harmless foods and there is no need for us to partake of meals for which blood has to be shed and innocent life sacrificed.”

Pythagoras also said: “As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.”

Just like the Pythagoreas gathered together at sunrise, so did members of a Jewish sect of antiquity known as the Therapeutae, and like the Essene branch of Judaism, they were vegetarians. Josephus and Philo wrote about the Essenes and Therapeutae. Philo of Alexandria describes meals at a Therapeutae monastic community in Alexandria: “…And the table, too, is kept clear of animal flesh, nothing which has blood, but there is placed upon it bread for food and salt for seasoning, to which also hyssop is sometimes added…”

John the Baptist Ate Locust (Carob) BEANS, NOT BUGS

“John the Baptist belonged to a group of ascetics who believed in repentance and in leading an austere lifestyle. The carob bean was seen as the diet of the lower class who normally endured hardship and exploitation from the priestly class. So we can conclude that JTB ate (locust plant) seed from the carob tree.” (Wiki Answers Website) Also according to the Gospel of the Ebionites, John the Baptist ate carob beans, bread or cakes made from carob bean (locust bean) flour.

In recent years some of us have noticed the vegetarianism and even veganism present in the original teachings of Jesus and Original Jesus Movement or Hebrew Christians (Ebionites, Nasoreans) found in the Gospel of the Hebrews, Aramaic texts, and other scriptures once used during the early centuries.  

Vegetarian Sayings of the Historic Jesus and His Spiritual Successors (Apostles) in the Original Jesus Movement (Ebionites of Israel)

“Be on guard, so that your hearts do not become heavy with the eating of flesh and with the intoxication of wine and with the anxiety of the world, and that day come upon you suddenly; for as a snare it will come upon all who dwell upon the surface of the earth.” (Jesus, Luke 21:34, Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe — Old Syriac-Aramaic Manuscript of the Gospel of Luke)

Like the Essenes, Jesus, his family, and the original followers were also vegetarians and opposed to all sacrifice of animals in the Jewish temple.

“I am come to do away with sacrifices, and if you cease not sacrificing, the wrath of God will not cease from you.” (saying of Jesus in the Gospel of the Hebrews)

Stopping Animal Sacrifice in the Temple of Jerusalem

During the First Century AD, the Essenes were one of the three main branches of Judaism. They were opposed to animal sacrifices being made in the Jewish temple and they were also known to be vegetarians. The Essenes were the group that Jesus and the first Christians, the Ebionites, were closest to, sharing with them many of the same values and sacred texts. Unlike the Sadducees and Pharisees, the Essenes are never criticized in the New Testament.

“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the Temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords and drove all from the Temple, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said: 'Get out of here.’ (John 2:13-16)

According to the Gospel of the Ebionites, Jesus also rejected the Passover meal:

"Where wilt Thou that we prepare for Thee to eat the Passover?”

To which he replied:

“I have no desire to eat the flesh of this Paschal Lamb with you.”

The first followers of Jesus, also known as Ebionites or Nasoreans, were not only kosher, but also strictly adhered to a vegetarian diet. The largest surviving collection of Ebionite scriptures is the Clementine Homilies and the Recognitions of Clement, which are vegetarian gospels that condemn animal sacrifice in any form. For example, the Book of Homilies states that God does not want animals killed at all (3.45), and condemns those who eat meat (7.4, 7.8). And the passages below also show that the diet of the Original Jesus Movement was vegan – plant-based (no eggs, no dairy, and no animal products), as plants are the only foods mentioned in all the texts!

Peter said, “I live on olives and bread, to which I rarely only add vegetables.” (Clementine Homilies 12,6; also see, Recognitions 7,6)

“And happiness is found in the practice of virtue. Accordingly, the Apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, hard-shelled fruits, and vegetables, without flesh.” (Clement of Alexandria, The Instructor, Book 2, Chapter 1)

“John never ate meat.” (Church historian Hegesipp according to Eusebius, History of the Church II 2:3)

“James, the brother of the Lord, lived on seeds and plants and touched neither meat nor wine.” (Epistulae ad Faustum XXII, 3)

“James, the brother of the Lord was holy from his mothers womb; and he drank no wine nor strong drink, nor did he eat flesh.” (Hegesippus, quoted in The Church History of Eusebius, book 2, chapter 23)

“James was a vegetarian.” (Biblical scholar Dr. Robert Eisenman, author of, “James, the Brother of Jesus”)

The following passage is from the Recognitions of Clement, another “Book of Acts”, an important scripture of early Christianity. This Ebionite Christian author has very nice things to say about those in India who worship One God, follow peaceful customs and laws, and are vegetarian or vegan, seeing parallels between his own religion and that of his brothers and sisters “in the Indian countries” of two thousand years ago:

“There are likewise amongst the Bactrians,
in the Indian countries,
immense multitudes of Brahmans,
who also themselves,
from the tradition of their ancestors,
and peaceful customs and laws,
neither commit murder nor adultery,
nor worship idols,
nor have the practice of eating animal food,
are never drunk,
never do anything maliciously,
but always revere God.”

(Recognitions of Clement, Book 9, Chapter 22, Brahmans, Volume Eight, in a New Testament Apocrypha Section of, “The Ante-Nicene Fathers”)

“The consumption of animal flesh was unknown up until the great flood. But since the great flood, we have had animal flesh stuffed into our mouths. Jesus, the Christ, who appeared when the time was fulfilled, again joined the end to the beginning, so that we are now no longer allowed to eat animal flesh.” (pro-vegetarian early church father Hieronymus)

Gnostic Vegetarianism and the Vegetarian Prayer of Thanksgiving in the Nag Hammadi Library (Gnostic Gospels)

The ethics of Jewish and Christian Gnostic sects of antiquity included vegetarianism. The Prayer of Thanksgiving, one of the Nag Hammadi scriptures unearthed in Egypt, describes a vegetarian communal meal as being part of Gnostic worship. The Manichaean Gnostics were known to be vegetarians. The Prophet Mani’s parents were followers of the Elkasites, which was a Jewish-Christian sect related to the Ebionites and Essenes. They were veg. Mani was the founder of Manichaean Gnosis and was vegetarian, and his inner circle of followers or initiates were as well. A group in China known as the Church of the Light , related to the Manichaeans and Syriac-Aramaic branch of Eastern Christianity, were vegetarians. Their beautiful scriptures are known as the Jesus Sutras.

The Gnostic and Hermetic Prayer of Thanksgiving in the Nag Hammadi Library, also a text found in the Corpus Hermetica of Egypt, describes a vegetarian communal meal or Gnostic love feast. At the end of the prayer the final verse reads:

“When they had said these things in the prayer, they embraced each other and they went to eat their holy food, which has no blood in it.”*

* “Vegetarian food” — footnote from the Marvin Meyer’s translation of this in, “The Gnostic Scriptures”.

* A vegetarian meal. This passage is also found in the Epilogue of Asclepius, in “HERMETICA,” translated by Sir Walter Scott: “Having prayed thus, let us betake ourselves to a meal unpolluted by flesh [animalia] of living things.”

* The G.R.S. Mead translation of the same passage: “With this desire we now betake us to our pure and fleshless meal.”

* “With such hopes we turn to a pure meal that includes no living thing.” (Asclepius, translated in “Hermetica”, Brian Copenhaver, Cambridge University Press)

The Vegan Evolution of Humanity: Vegetarianism is Going Vegan

Traditionally, Santmat and the yoga philosophy have advocated the lacto-vegetarian diet: abstinence from meat, fish, fowl, and eggs, but allowed dairy. Vegan means complete abstinence from all animal products and strictly adhering to a plant-based diet: no dairy, eggs, or meat of any kind, or products made from animals. Based on the current cruel practices of the dairy industry in India and around the world that violate the principle of ahimsa or non-violence, plus all the scores of medical studies showing that dairy consumption adversely affects our health and well-being, I believe if they were here today, the classic Saints such as Mahavira, Guru Kabir, Guru Nanak, Tukarama, Ravidas, Tulsi Das, Namdev, Dariya Sahib, etc…  would not only be advocating a vegetarian diet, but a vegan diet. These days, many are making this transition to vegan, including a growing percentage of those following Sant Mat. This is the compassionate direction that the vegetarian movement is headed in. Vegetarianism is going vegan.

For the medical, human health aspects of veganism, see the research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of, “The China Study”, and Dr. Michael Greger, author of, “How Not To Die”, and creator of the NutritionFacts dot ORG website, a great online resource.

The Reality of Dairy Cruelty – the Final Destination of Dairy Cows is the Slaughterhouse

The following is excerpted from a document called, “My Visit to a Dairy Farm”, published by Pravin K. Shah of the Jaina Education Committee of Jainism (the vegan Jain movement), Jain e-Library, and the Jain Study Center:

“I visited a dairy farm located on Route 2 north of Burlington, Vermont (USA) in May of 1995. The dairy owns approximately 150 cows. All of its milk production is used to make ice cream.

"Here is the summary of what I saw and learnt:

"It was milking time (5:00 PM) and the cows were being milked in 3.5 minutes each by a machine. This is done without regard to how hard it is on the cow. It was extremely difficult to watch the cows’ sufferings during the milking. The machine has no feeling. To extract the last drop of milk sometimes traces of blood get mixed with the milk.

"Since cows produce the most milk after pregnancy, they are kept pregnant for their entire fertile life through artificial insemination.

"Every morning hormones or drugs are injected into the cows. They are also fed a diet geared toward high production of milk. The dairy cow produces about 8 times the amount of milk a cow on the traditional family farm produces.

"The gestation period of cow is 9 months same as human does. If a male calf, of no use to the dairy industry, is born, he is shipped to the veal industry within two or three days of birth. The evening I was there, the farm was shipping three baby calves in a truck to a veal factory. The mother cows were crying when their babies were separated from them. I cannot forget the scene and can still hear the cries of the mother cows.

"The veal industry is the most cruel meat industry in the world. It produces very tender meat that is considered a delicacy. The baby calves are raised in darkness in a very confining crate, which allows practically no movements. They are fed an iron-deficient diet. This way the meat gets very tender and properly textured. They slaughter the baby calves after six months. There is much literature available about cruelty in the veal industry.

"Within two months of delivery, the cows are impregnated again. I did not have the stamina to watch the process of artificial insemination that the farm was showing off.

"About four to five times a year, this farm would take the cows outside for a walk. Otherwise, the cows are tied in one place and they have no choice but to defecate where they are confined. It badly stunk when I was there; the farm would wash the confinement areas once or twice a day, and the remaining times the cows would live in their own waste.

"The life expectancy of cows is about 15 to 20 years. However, after about 4 to 5 years, their milk production capacity drops significantly so these cows are sent to the slaughterhouse for cheap meat which is used in fast food restaurants, hot dog filler, dog & cat food and a variety of other 'foodstuffs’. The rest of the body material (by products) turns up in the products like floor wax, pet-food, medicines, insulin, gelatin, footwear, upholstery, taco filling, cosmetics, candles, and soaps.”

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” (Jiddu Krishnamurti)

Compassionate Vegan and Vegetarian Quotes From Supreme Master Ching Hai, and Buddhism

“A true vegetarian diet is vegan: Most of the milk production causes suffering, first of all because the babies of the mother cows are taken away at birth. Deprived from mother’s milk and mother’s love, they’ll be killed as soon as they’re taken away. Then, the mother is forcefully hooked up to a machine that can cause tormenting pain along with illness, just so that humans can take her milk.”

“This killing of other beings must be stopped for humanity to evolve as a civilization.”

“Making a vegan choice is thus a true advancement in the evolution and goodness of our humanity. And then we also know that like attracts like, goodness attracts more goodness. As we share this compassionate truth with others, not only will our own humanity be further uplifted, so will the world’s.”

“It’s the high time that the human race should rise to a higher level of consciousness. They should be noble, kind and compassionate. Go veg, be green, do good, is not just for the planet, it’s for the whole human race ennobling, spiritual merit and quality. They should do it, just for the sake of being noble.”

“We have to turn back to our caring and compassionate nature inside our heart. That’s very simple. We are that. We are compassion. We are merciful; we are caring.”

“If we truly wish to see real harmony born between humans and animals and nature and Heaven, we must be the harmony, we must live in harmony and act also in harmony, which includes the act of eating harmoniously each time we come to the table.”

“Even if the world reduces greenhouse gas emissions, the planet will take time to recover from the gases already in the atmosphere. This is why it is necessary to focus on short-lived gases, namely methane. Organic vegan will produce a beneficial, cooling effect as it will cut down methane and other greenhouse gases which are fatal to our survival.”

Change the World by Changing Ourselves: “It begins with us. Since time immemorial, evolution always begins with the individual. If we want to change the world, we change ourselves first. Now, even if the government forbids smoking or drinking or drugs, but if people individually continue, then we have not made much difference. So now, we have to change.“

“The more people who eliminate meat and, indeed, all animal products from their lives, the more we have a chance to save the planet and not only that, to actually restore our earthly home to her original grace and beauty and even more so, more than what we have known, more beautiful, more abundant, more peace, more gladness than what we have known up to now.”

– Quotes above are from Supreme Master Ching Hai, SMCH Association, from the online book: “From Crisis To Peace: The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer”

“The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.” (The Buddha, “Mahaparinirvana Sutra”)

“Veganism is simply letting compassion guide our choice of food. As such, it is a basic Buddhist practice that ought to be expected of everyone who takes refuge vows.” (Norm Phelps, “The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights”)

“The Buddha’s teaching leads us to the realization that we must always strive to harm no sentient being, human or nonhuman, whether or not it is in our selfish interest to do so.” (Norm Phelps, “The Great Compassion: Buddhism & Animal Rights”)

“Meat eating and a compassionate religion do not go hand in hand.” (Bodo Balsys, “Ahimsa: Buddhism and the Vegetarian Ideal”)

Vegetarian Diet, Guru Nanak, Guru Kabir, Other Sikh Gurus and Scriptures

Nanak abstained from animal food and enjoined against cruelty to animals: “Having prohibited his disciples to drink wine and eat pork, he (Nanak) himself abstained from eating flesh and ordered not to hurt any living being.” (the Persian historian Mohsin Fani, DABISTAN-E-MAZAHIB)

“To take what rightfully belongs to another, is like a Muslim eating pork, or a Hindu eating beef. Our Guru, our Spiritual Guide, stands by us if we do not eat those carcasses. By mere talk, people do not earn Liberation. Salvation only comes from the practice of truth. By adding spices to forbidden foods, they are not made acceptable. O Nanak, from false talk, only falsehood is obtained”. (Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 141)

“Countless are the cutthroats who trade in violence. Countless are sinners who keep on sinning. Countless are liars, wandering lost in their lies. Countless are the impious who live on unwholesome food.” (Guru Nanak, Jap Ji, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 4)

“Living by neglect and greed, the world eats dead carcasses. Like a goblin or a beast, they kill and eat the forbidden carcasses of meat. Control your urges, or else you will be thrown into the tortures of hell.” (Guru Arjan Dev, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 723).

“Kabeer says, the dinner of beans and rice is excellent when flavored with salt. Who would cut throats to have meat with his bread?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1374)

“Kabeer: for those who consume marijuana, fish and wine, no matter what pilgrimages, fasts and rituals they follow, they will all be consigned to hell”. (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1377)

“You keep your fasts to please Allah, while you murder other beings for pleasure. You look after your own interests, and so not see the interests of others. What good is your word? O Qazi, the One Lord is within you, but you do not think or contemplation on Him. You do not care for others, you are mad about religion, this is why your life is wasting away.” (Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 483)

“You kill living beings, and call it a righteous action. Tell me, brother, what would you call an unrighteous action? You call yourself the excellent sage; then whom would you call a butcher?” (Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 1103).      

Bhai Gurdaas Ji said: “They eat meat by cutting throats, what will their own condition be?” (Vaar 24, Pauree 17)

“One who does not steal, commit adultery, slander anyone, gamble, eat meat or drink wine will be liberated in this very life (i.e. Jeewan Mukt)”. (Guru Gobind Singh, 10th Sikh Guru, “Sudharam Marag Granth”)

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(New) Index of Religions

Okay, this is a NEW post showing the complete list of everything I have included on this blog so far. Additions, editions, and new content will be listed on this page.

Abrahamic Religions:

  1. Judaism
    -Orthodox (Yeshivah, Hasidic/Haredim, Breslov, Chabad)
    -Conservative
    -Reform
    -Reconstructionist
    -Humanistic
    -Kabbalah (Mysticism)
    -Karaism (Lithuanian)
    -Shabbetaianism
    -Misc.: Abayudaya, Afghani, Amazigh, Ashkenazi, Bebe, Bukharian, Bulgarian, Cochin, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Igbo, Iranian, Iraqi, Japanese, Kaifeng, Libyan, Moroccan, Sephardi, Tunisian, Yemeni
  2. Christianity
    -Eastern Orthodox (Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Greek, Oriental, Romanian, Russian, Serbian)
    -Catholicism (Ambrosian, Chaldean, Chinese, Coptic, Croatian, Ge’ez, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Maronite, Melkite, Syro-Malabar; Nueva Jerusalen “cult”)
    -Protestantism (Amish, Anglican, Christadelphian, Disciples of Christ, Episcopalian, Holy Ghost People, Hutterite, Lutheran, Mennonite, Moravian, Pentecostal)
    -Adamites
    -Bardaisanites
    -Brethren of the Free Spirit
    -Christadelphianism
    -Christopaganism
    -Christian Science
    -Ebionites
    -Jehovah’s Witnesses
    -Millerites
    -Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
    -Nestorianism
    -Quakers (Religious Society of Friends)
  3. Islam
    -Sunni (Hanabali, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafai’i)
    -Shi’a (Alawites, Alevism, Ismaili, Twelver, Zaidi)
    -Ahmadi Muslims
    -Ibadi Muslims
    -Khajirite
    -Moorish Science Temple of America
    -Mourid
    -Quranist
    -Sufism (Mysticism- Bosnian, Chinese, Cuban, Japanese, Macedonian, Mexican)
    -Wahhabism 
  4. Druze
  5. Babism
  6. Baha’i
  7. Samaritanism
  8. Marian Religions: Collyridianism, Ebionism, Helvidianism, Nestorianism, Valentinianism

Dharmic/Indian Religions:

  1. Hinduism
    -Shaivism
    -Vaishnavism (ISKCON)
    -Shaktism
    -ISKCON (Hare Krishna)
    -Samkhya
    -Mimamsa
    -Misc.: Bali, Cham (Vietnam), South Africa, Thailand
  2. Buddhism
    -Mahayana (Huayan School, Nyingma School, Pure Land, Sakya School, Tibetan Buddhism, True Buddha School)
    -Theravada
    -Vajrayana (Tantra, Tibetan)
    -Zen/Chan (Chinese, Japanese)
    -Falun Dafa/Falun Gong “cult”
  3. Jainism
    -Digambara
    -Svetambara
  4. Sikhi (Sikhism)
    -Akhand Kirtani Jatha
    -Brahm Bunga Trust
    -Dam Dami Taksal
    -Gurdwara Tapoban Ontario
    -Happy Healthy Holy
    -International Institute of Gurmat Studies
    -Kes Dhari
    -Namdhari
    -Neeldhari Panth
    -Nihang Akali
    -Nirankari
    -Nirmala
    -Radha Soami
    -Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee
    -Sikh Dharma International
    -Sindhi
    -Udasi
  5. Mahima Dharma

African/African Diaspora Spiritual Traditions & People:

  1. Akan (West African- Ghana & Ivory Coast)
  2. Ancient Egyptian
  3. Atenism (Ancient Egyptian monotheism)
  4. Berber (Moroccan- Amazigh)
  5. Bori (Nigerian)
  6. Bororo (Cameroon)
  7. Candomble (Brazilian- diaspora)
  8. Galla (Ethiopian)
  9. Hoodoo
  10. Kemeticism (Egyptian revivalist)
  11. Moorish Science Temple of America
  12. Obeah (Caribbean- diaspora)
  13. Quimbanda (diaspora)
  14. Rastafarianism (Jamaican)
  15. Santeria (Cuban- diaspora)
  16. Suri (Ethiopian)
  17. Tuareg
  18. Umbanda (Brazilian- diaspora)
  19. Voodoo/Vodoun (Haitian, Benin)
  20. Yoruba (Nigerian)
  21. Misc.: Efe, Ibibi, Luba, Yaka, Zulu

Asian Religions & People:

  1. Bon Po (Indigenous Tibetan religion)
  2. Caodaism (Vietnamese)
  3. Chinese Popular(Folk) Religion
  4. Confucianism (Chinese, Korean)
  5. Dao Mau (Vietnamese)
  6. Hmong (China, Laos, Vietnam)
  7. Ifugao (Philippines)
  8. Juche (North Korean ideology/”cult”)
  9. Kejawen (Javanese)
  10. Muism (Korean)
  11. Onmyodo (Japanese)
  12. Phillipines: Indigenous
  13. Ryukyuan (Okinawan)
  14. Sanshin (Korean)
  15. Sarnaism (Indian)
  16. Shinto (Japanese)
    -Jinja
    -Konkokyo
  17. Shugendo (Japanese indigenous- syncretic)
  18. Tana Toraja (Indonesian)
  19. Taoism/Daoism
    -Wu Wei
  20. Tengriism
  21. Vedic Religion (ancient Indian)
  22. Vietnamese Folk Religion
  23. Wuism (Chinese)
  24. Yakut (Siberian)
  25. Yiguandao (Chinese)

Australian Cultures & People:

  1. Australian Aboriginal
  2. Yolngu

European Religions, Mythology, & People:

  1. Arthurian mythology
  2. Asatru (Nordic)
  3. Baltic mythology
  4. Celtic mythology (Irish, Scottish, Welsh)
  5. Church of the Last Testament (Russian cult)
  6. Damanhur “cult”
  7. Dievturiba (Latvian)
  8. Druidism (Neo-druidry)
  9. Etseg Din
  10. Finnish mythology
  11. Greek mythology
  12. Hellenism (ancient and revivalist Greek & Roman religions)
  13. Icelandic
  14. Kukeri (Bulgarian)
  15. Mari (Russian)
  16. Minoan (ancient Crete)
  17. Mithraism (ancient Roman cult)
  18. Norse mythology (Nordic)
  19. Religio romana (Roman religion/paganism)
  20. Rodnovery (Slavic: Russian, Ukrainian, Polish)
  21. Roman mythology
  22. Romani
  23. Romuva (Lithuanian)
  24. Sami (Indigenous: Scandinavia, Russia)
  25. Sicilian Folk Religion
  26. Stregheria (Italian witchcraft)

Mesoamerican Religions & People:

  1. Aztec
  2. Curanderismo
  3. Huichol
  4. Maya
  5. Mexican Folk Religion
    -Narco
    -Santa Muerte
  6. Nahuatl (Aztec, etc.)
  7. Zapotec

Middle Eastern Religions & People:

  1. Ashurism (ancient Sumerian)
  2. Babylonian mythology
  3. Canaanite mythology
  4. Collyridianism (pre-Islamic Arabia)
  5. Ebionism (heretical early Christian movement)
  6. Etseg Din (eastern Iranian folk)
  7. Kalash
  8. Mandaeism
  9. Manichaeism (ancient Gnostic Persian religion)
  10. Mesopotamian mythology
  11. Pre-Islamic polytheism (ancient Arabian paganism; Wathanism)
  12. Ugaritic (ancient Syria)
  13. Valentinianism (heretical Gnostic)
  14. Wathanism (ancient Arabian paganism)
  15. Yazdanism (Kurdish: Yarsanism)
    -Yezidi/Yazidi (people)
  16. Zoroastrianism (Persian & Parsi)

North American People & Cultures:

  1. Aleut
  2. Apache
  3. Cahuilla
  4. Cherokee
  5. Chumash
  6. Comanche
  7. Dakota
  8. Haida
  9. Hopi
  10. Inuit
  11. Iroquois
  12. Kiowa
  13. Lakota
  14. Maricopa
  15. Midewiwin
  16. Mohawk
  17. Native American Church
  18. Navajo
  19. Nez Perce
  20. Ojibwe
  21. Peyote
  22. Pueblo
  23. Seminole
  24. Sioux (Dakota, Lakota, Nakota)
  25. Ute
  26. Yup’ik (Alaskan)

South American Religions & People:

  1. Incan
  2. Kyikateje-gaviao (Brazilian)
  3. Mapuche (Chile & Argentina)
  4. Munduruku (Brazilian)
  5. Q’ero (Peru)
  6. Quyllurit’i (Peru)
  7. Santo Daime
  8. Yanomamo (Venezuela) 
  9. Misc.: Candomble, Santeria, Umbanda

Polynesian Religions & People:

  1. Hawaii’an
  2. Maori (New Zealand)
  3. Polynesian mythology (Maori)

Others:

  1. Agnosticism
  2. Astrology
  3. Atheism
  4. Christopaganism
  5. Dadaji
  6. Deanism/Filianism
  7. Discordianism
  8. Eckankar
  9. Elevationism/ International Church of Cannabis
  10. Folk Religion: China, Congo, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korean, Kyrgyzstan, Lakota, Laos, Mexico, Ossetia, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Seto, Sicily, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thaliand, Ukraine, Vietnam
  11. Freemasonry
  12. Gnosticism
  13. Humanism
  14. Luciferianism
  15. Magic
  16. Mysticism
  17. Omnism
  18. Paganism (Neo paganism)
  19. Philosophy
  20. Rosicrucianism
  21. Satanism
    -Demonolators
    -Devil Worship
    -Duotheism
    -Laveyan
    -Luciferianism
    -Theistic Satanism
  22. Shamanism
  23. Thelema
  24. UFO Religions: Aetherius Society, Church of the SubGenius, Heaven’s Gate, Nuwaubian, Raelism, Scientology
  25. Unitarian Universalism
  26. Wicca
  27. Witchcraft


If you see anything missing that you’d like added to the blog, please let me know! I’m constantly trying to find new content for this blog; this is my passion <3

Against Messianic Judaism

           There is a small, but vocal, movement among Christians who wish to “restore” Christianity as a sect of Judaism. They primarily rely on Jewish converts to Christianity to bolster their claims to legitimacy, however, large numbers of people who claim to be Jewish in Messianic communities are not Jewish at all. Messianic Judaism is in fact a misnomer as their central beliefs and authoritative scriptures are Christian, not Jewish. A more accurate, and older, name would be Hebrew Christianity. As I will demonstrate, the Messianic movement is riddled with inconsistencies, contradictions, deceitful or incorrect terminology, and theological confusion. Messianic Judaism has the unique distinction of so thoroughly misunderstanding Christianity and Judaism that it is considered a heresy by both. While my criticisms will not likely sway a committed Christian in this movement to abandon their mistaken, anti-Semitic sect, I do hope that it will help to prevent anyone who may wish to join them from doing so. In this essay, I will bring forth arguments against Messianic Judaism, this will include criticism of Christianity itself. However, I do not wish this to be seen as an attack on Christianity. I respect committed, honest Christians and their right to practice their faith. My criticism of Christianity will only be for the sake of demonstrating why Judaism and Christianity cannot be joined in a syncretic religion and how Messianic Judaism disrespects both Judaism and Christianity.

           Before going further, we must define what we mean by Messianic Judaism. Primarily, it must be kept in mind that this sect is not a sect of Judaism at all. All of its central beliefs, which can be found at mjaa.org, are Christian in nature. Their statement of faith is primarily concerned with the Christian Trinity and salvation from sin through faith in Jesus, who they identify as the Jewish messiah (a claim that will be examined later). They also accept the Christian New Testament as authoritative scripture which will prove problematic to their claims of practicing Judaism in any sense of the term. Another important aspect of their purpose in existing is a desire to not assimilate into the larger church and to “share this way, this truth, and this life with their Jewish brothers and sisters.” They simultaneously wish to remain separate from the goyische churches and convert other Jews to Christianity. Both of these goals will be analyzed below.

           The fundamental problem with Messianic Judaism is their insistence on calling their religion Judaism. Despite their claims to be practicing a “complete” form of Judaism, they negate the entirety of Judaism. As the late Orthodox Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan wrote, “Christianity negates the fundamentals of Jewish faith, and one who accepts it rejects the very essence of Judaism. Even if he continues to keep all of the rituals, it is the same as if he abandoned Judaism completely.” Although Messianic Jews retain some Jewish rituals, their Christian beliefs, and the Christian New Testament itself, subvert and destroy the essentials of Jewish faith and practice.

           The Christian New Testament explicitly claims that the Law (i.e. the Torah) is obsolete and believers in Jesus are free from both the Law and sin (Romans 7:6; Galatians 3: 23-29; Hebrews 8:13). In fact, Paul makes an explicit connection between sin and following the law, claiming, “Sin, seizing an opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and through it put me to death” (Romans 7:11). Considering that all Jewish religious rituals are grounded on the commandments of the Torah or Talmud, the Messianic insistence on holding to any of them places them in direct contradiction with their own scriptures that declare such rituals null and void. A perfect example would be the laws of kashrut, which are directly overturned in the book of Acts by one of the first church councils (Acts 15). Kashrut is an important part of traditional Jewish religious observance based on the Torah and Talmud; yet the Christian scriptures explicitly reject this Jewish practice and the argument made by some in the council to have gentile converts to Christianity “observe the Mosaic law” (Acts 15:5). And the rejection of Jewish law was not limited to gentile converts, but was practiced by Jewish Christians as well, as depicted in Acts 10. Throughout the Christian New Testament, Jewish law is rejected, the Torah is denigrated, and the essentials of the Jewish faith are subverted.

The rejection of Jewish law and practice in the Christian scriptures becomes important in later church history and church councils which explicitly forbade the “Judaizing” of Christianity as heresy (known as the Ebionite heresy). It was argued, based on the teaching of Paul, that “if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing” (Galatians 2:21). The practices of the Jews were further tarred by the antisemitism of the gospels, which portray the Jews as obstinate children of the devil and the killers of Jesus (John 8:44; Matthew 27: 22-25). Jewish practice was even further tarred by the portrayal of the Pharisees in the gospels and their position in Judaism as the rabbis who established the Talmud as the authoritative interpretation of the Torah. The authority of the rabbis was rejected by Jesus himself, most explicitly in Mark 7:13, claiming that the Pharisees/rabbis “nullify the word of God in favor of tradition.” Because Jewish rituals are largely based on the interpretations of Jewish law given in the Talmud, and Jesus himself rejected the authority of the rabbis, the church also rejected Jewish rituals, traditions, practices, and interpretations. Messianic Judaism neglects this anti-Jewish aspect of Christian history, teaching, and scripture for ideological reasons, i.e. the conversion of Jews to Christianity and the desire for a Jewish aesthetic in their worship services.

           Furthermore, the Messianic insistence on keeping themselves apart from the larger goyische church violates the teachings of the Christian New Testament. In Galatians 3:23-29, Paul states that there is “neither Jew nor Greek” and that all Christians are children of God and through Jesus they are all descendants of Abraham. Paul is essentially arguing that goyim have been grafted into the people of Israel through faith in Jesus. Ephesians 4:1-5 calls all Christians to live together in unity as “one body and one spirit […] one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.” Paul further teaches in 1 Corinthians 12:13 that “in one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons.” He gives this exhortation after lambasting the Corinthian church for having divisions and factions (1 Corinthians 11:18-19). The insistence on maintaining Jewish traditions not only doesn’t fit the theology of Christianity, it creates factions and divisions in the community which is also explicitly forbidden by Christian scriptures.

           Moving away from the problems implicit in trying to make Christianity more Jewish, there is the problem of theology in Messianic Judaism. Theologically, they are Christian, not Jewish. In fact, their beliefs about the Trinity and Incarnation are remarkably orthodox for Christianity. They believe that there is one God in three persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They believe that Jesus is the son of God and God incarnate who died for the forgiveness of sins, and that the Holy Spirit dwells in the church and in the hearts of believers. These beliefs are adhered to by all mainstream Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox churches. However, this creates problems for the sect in claiming to be an expression of Judaism because Judaism denies all of these beliefs. Furthermore, the entire religious paradigm of Judaism is different from that of Christianity. Judaism is not primarily concerned with salvation from sin, but in living according to the will of God as expressed through the Torah.

           First and foremost, the divide between Judaism and Christianity has to do with the role of Jesus, not simply if he was the messiah, but whether or not he was a god. Judaism explicitly rejects Jesus as the messiah because of his failure to fulfill the requirements of the role. Judaism also rejects the idea that a human being can be God and on principle will not worship other gods. The Christian deification of Jesus violates both the concept of monotheism and the rejection of a human incarnation of God. Both principles can be found in the Bible. Furthermore, the Torah explicitly warns against false prophets, which by any rational standard Jesus (and the apostles) would fall into, even if we accepted the idea that he (they) performed miracles.

           The Jewish commitment to monotheism can be found throughout the Bible. The first and second commandments state, “I the Lord am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage: You shall have no other gods besides Me. You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image […] You shall not bow down to them or serve them” (Exodus 20:2-5). The central statement of Jewish faith can be found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” And finally, God declares his utter singularity in Isaiah 45:5, “I am the Lord and there is none else; beside Me there is no god.” These verses reveal the absolute unity of God in Jewish theology. God identifies himself as the savior of the Jews from Egyptian slavery, and declares that the Jews will worship no other gods, in fact that there are no gods beside (with) him. Jewish interpretations of these verses have led them to completely reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as having no basis in the Bible. Moses Maimonides, one the greatest and most authoritative Jewish legal scholars in history, included in his 13 principles of faith belief in the absolute unity of God. Divisions like those of the Trinity are rejected.

           Maimonides also included a rejection of divine incarnation as one of his principles of Jewish faith, which he grounded in the Bible. The Jewish faith rejects the idea that God would have a physical body. The prophet Hosea quotes God as saying, “I am God and not a man” (Hosea 11:9). In the Torah, the idea that God could be a human being is explicitly rejected, “God is not a man to be capricious, or mortal to change his mind. Would he speak and not act, promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19). Moving away from the Bible there is also the logical inconsistency of the idea of an infinite, eternal God truly becoming a finite, contingent human being. The concept of God is inherently mutually exclusive from that of humanity. One cannot truly become the other without totally leaving behind the nature of the former being. I.e. if God were to truly become a human being, he would cease to be God. The Incarnation not only violates the fundamental teaching of Jewish theology, but also flies in the face of logic.

           Moving away from these irreconcilable theological differences between Judaism and Christianity, there is the issue of the messiah. Christians, including Messianic Jews, believe that Jesus was the messiah, while Jews, in keeping with the teachings of halakha and the Bible, reject this claim. The reason for the rejection of the claim that Jesus was the messiah has to do with the standards which Jews have for the messiah. Primarily, the messiah will reestablish the Davidic line of kings, gather the Jewish exiles to Israel, and establish a world rule marked by world peace and mass recognition of the Jewish understanding of God as the correct one (Daniel 7:13-14; Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-4; Ezekiel 39:9; Ezekiel 36:24; Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9,16). There are other, less dramatic requirements which I will not list here. None of these things have happened. Furthermore, Jesus failed to be properly descended from King David. The gospels state that Jesus was born of a virgin and did not have a human father. This in itself bars him from being the messiah if it is true because royal succession is passed through the father, not the mother. Assuming the validity of Jesus genealogy in the gospels, we must also take into account that he was not descended through the proper royal line. Luke shows Jesus as descended from Nathan, not Solomon, but the messiah must be descended from David through Solomon (Luke 3:31; II Samuel 7:12-17; I Chronicles 22:9-10). Because Jesus failed to have the proper pedigree and failed to fulfill the role of the messiah, Jews reject his claim to be the messiah.

           There is one other problem with the Christian understanding of the messiah, i.e. that the messiah must suffer and die for the sins of humanity. This idea is completely foreign to Judaism which explicitly rejects human sacrifice. It is, however, completely at home in pagan understandings of a dying and rising savior god, like Osiris, Horus, or Mithra. The Bible repeatedly and consistently states that human sacrifice is abhorrent to God (Deuteronomy 12:30-31; Jeremiah 19:4-6; Psalm 106:37-38; Ezekiel 16:20). Nor does Judaism, or the Bible, teach that a blood sacrifice must be made for the forgiveness of sin (Leviticus 5:11-13; Jonah 3:10; Jeremiah 7:22-23; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 51:16-17; etc. etc.). Judaism is consistent in teaching that repentance is what God looks for to forgive sins, not sacrifice. Furthermore, Judaism does not teach that someone can atone for the sins of another, each person must atone for their own sins (Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-4, 20-24, 26-27; Jeremiah 31:29-30). For all these reasons the death of Jesus, a human sacrifice, has no place in Jewish theology, nor would the God of Judaism accept such a sacrifice.

           And finally, there is the issue of false prophets. Deuteronomy 13:2-6 states in part, “If there appears a prophet or dream diviner and he gives you a sign or portent, saying, ‘let us follow and worship another god’ […] even if the sign […] comes true, do not heed the words of that prophet […] the Lord is testing you.” Jesus claimed to be the son of God (perhaps even God himself) in John 8, and Paul taught throughout the epistles that “Jesus is Lord.” Considering the Jewish adherence to strict monotheism, these proclamations amount to Jesus, Paul, and any other Jewish Christian falling under the label of a false prophet, someone claiming to speak for God while violating the Torah, specifically the commands to worship God alone and obey his commandments. When a Jewish Christian proselytizes another Jew and exhorts him or her to worship Jesus, they are explicitly violating the dictates of the Torah as laid out above, not “fulfilling” or “completing” their Jewish faith.

           The Torah teaches that the Torah is binding on all Jews for all time (Deuteronomy 29:9-14). There is no escape clause in the Torah. Judaism also views the Torah as a blessing, not a curse. It is through observing the teachings of the Torah that Jews are able to obey and draw close to God and live a good life (Deuteronomy 30:11-20). Therefore, the Messianic/Christian claim that the Torah leads to sin and death and has been discarded or superseded by the “new covenant” established by a false messiah is fundamentally incompatible with Judaism. If the Messianic movement accepts the teachings of the Christian New Testament, then they are fundamentally opposed to the essential teachings of Judaism, and therefore, the religion that they practice is not Judaism at all. It is Christianity deceitfully calling itself Judaism and appropriated Jewish rituals for the sake of converting Jews to Christianity. Christianity and Judaism are not compatible religions to be syncretized. Each has its own internal rationale and belief system. While there may be Jewish Christians (people born Jewish who converted to Christianity), there is no such thing as Christian Judaism. It is a contradiction of terms.

Ancient Ebionite Gospel Praised Hindus in India


This Ebionite Christian author has very nice things to say about those in India who worship One God, follow peaceful customs and laws, and are vegetarian or vegan. Imagine! Clearly he sees parallels between his own religion and that of his brothers and sisters “in the Indian countries.” This is one of the most amazing passages I know of in the extra-canonical scriptures, as it is a rare example of one religion (Ebionite, Hebrew Christianity) recognizing “Truth” in another religion (Hinduism). Rather than literature written by followers of the apostle Paul, “Recognitions of Clement” and the "Clementine Homilies” are affiliated with James the Just, the original inner circle of disciples and family of Jesus, and represent surviving Jewish-Christian texts with an Ebionite point of view.


"There are likewise amongst the Bactrians,
in the Indian countries,
immense multitudes of Brahmans,
who also themselves,
from the tradition of their ancestors,
and peaceful customs and laws,
neither commit murder nor adultery,
nor worship idols,
nor have the practice of eating animal food,
are never drunk,
never do anything maliciously,
but always revere God.”


– "Recognitions of Clement”, Book 9, Chapter 22, “Brahmans”, Volume Eight, of the, “Ante-Nicene Fathers”, page 187, T & T Clark Eerdmans edition

medium.com
Collection of Ebionite (Jewish Christian) Scriptures Online — Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality
PHOTO: The Second Leader of the Ebionites, James the Brother of Jesus.
By SantMat

All in one location, links to most all the Nasorean/Mandaean/John the Baptist/Ebionite/Vegetarian Gospels/Hebrew Christian texts: https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/collection-of-ebionite-jewish-christian-scriptures-online-fdd406d051b6#.d7h294u43