Supreme Being: Wikis

  

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Creator · Architect · Demiurge · Devil
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Personal · Unitarianism · Ditheism · Trinity
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Eternalness · Existence · Gender
Names ("God") · Omnibenevolence
Omnipotence · Omnipresence · Omniscience


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Faith · Prayer · Belief · Revelation
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Related topics

Philosophy · Religion · Ontology
God complex · Neurotheology
Euthyphro dilemma · Problem of evil
Portrayal in popular media
List of religious texts


The term Supreme Being is often defined simply as "God",[1] and it is used with this meaning by theologians of many religious faiths, including, but not limited to, Christianity,[2] Islam,[3] Hinduism,[4] and Deism.[5] However, the term can also refer to more complex or philosophical interpretations of the divine. Many fraternal organisations, especially those which admit members of diverse religious backgrounds (such as Freemasonry) use the term as a generic description, allowing the candidate to adhere to whichever deity or concept he holds to be appropriate.[6][7]

Contents

Use of the term in religious contexts

Christianity

In Christian Theology, the term Supreme Being can refer to God, the Father.[8] It can also be used to refer to the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.[9]

Hinduism

Shiva (pronounced /ˈʃiːvə/; Sanskrit: शिव, Śiva, IPA: [ˈɕivə]; Hindi: [ˈʃɪʋə], meaning "Auspicious one"), also known as Rudra (the "Feared One") is a major Hindu god and one aspect of the concept of Trimurti, or divine "Hindu triad". In the Shaiva tradition of Hinduism, Shiva is seen as the Supreme Being.[10] Shiva, who is Parameshwara (The Transcendent Lord), who is Satchitananda, issued Shakti. Shakti is not coexistent with Parameshwara but is that Power of Him that is necessary for creation. Shiva and His Shakti are more than the creation which He/She manifests! Shakti, who is the first desire (Kama) of Shiva, is Herself the Divine Mother of the cosmos. When the diverse cosmos emerged from Shiva’s Shakti, the original desire that is the Primordial Will to be pervaded all manifestation. Microcosmically and macrocosmically, as above so below, all is Shiva/Shakti.[11]

Svayam Bhagavan is a Sanskrit term for the original deity of the Supreme God worshiped across many traditions of the Vaishnavism, the monotheistic absolute deity. This term is often applied to Krishna in some branches of Vaishnavism.[12][13][14]Traditions of Gaudiya Vaishnavas, the Nimbarka Sampradaya and followers of Swaminarayan Vallabha considers him to be the source of all avataras,[15] and the source of Vishnu himself, or to be the same as Narayana. As such, he is therefore regarded as Svayam Bhagavan.[12][13][16]

When Krishna is recognized to be Svayam Bhagavan, it can be understood that this is the belief of Gaudiya Vaishnavism,[17] the Vallabha Sampradaya,[18] and the Nimbarka Sampradaya, where Krishna is accepted to be the source of all other avatars, and the source of Vishnu himself. This belief is drawn primarily "from the famous statement of the Bhagavatam"[19](1.3.28).[20] A different viewpoint differing from this theological concept is the concept of Krishna as an avatara of Narayana or Vishnu. It should be however noted that although it is usual to speak of Vishnu as the source of the avataras, this is only one of the names of the God of Vaishnavism, who is also known as Narayana, Vasudeva and Krishna and behind each of those names there is a divine figure with attributed supremacy in Vaishnavism.[21] Para Brahman and Para-Vasudeva also sometimes referred to as the Supreme Being, as the main force, power or energy, and all forms of divinity are considered to be merely His diverse divine descents, expansions, aspects, or manifestations.

Islam

Islamic scholars have used the term Supreme Being to refer to 'Allah', an Arabic name for God.[22]

Sikhism

The holy scripture of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, states there is only one Supreme Being and that different people use different names but He is still only One. Sikhs personally use Waheguru, or the term Ek Onkar, meaning One God.

Deism

Deists use the term Supreme Being to refer to the Divine (although the Divine is not defined).

Use in non-religious contexts

Freemasonry

In Masonic ritual the Supreme Being is referred to as Great Architect of the Universe, which alludes to the use of architectural symbolism within Freemasonry.[23][24]

Candidates for regular freemasonry are required to declare a belief in a Supreme Being.[6] However, the candidate is not asked to expand on, or explain, his or her interpretation of Supreme Being. The discussion of politics and religion is forbidden within a Masonic Lodge, in part so a candidate or Mason will not be placed in the situation of having to justify his personal interpretation.[25] Thus, reference to the Supreme Being will mean the Christian Trinity to a Christian Mason, Allah to a Muslim Mason, Para Brahman to a Hindu Mason, etc. While most Freemasons would take the view that the term Supreme Being equates to God, others may hold a more complex or philosophical interpretation of the term.

See also

References

  1. ^ definition according to Miriam-Webster on line dictionary.
  2. ^ http://www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=1431&d=2&c=2 and http://www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/articles/dogmatics/baroudy_god_supreme_being.htm
  3. ^ Revelation - Sacred Theology
  4. ^ The Hindu Online edition of India's National Newspaper, Monday, Sep 22, 2003
  5. ^ website showing usage by Deists during the French Revolution.
  6. ^ a b "Is Freemasonry a religion?". United Grand Lodge of England. http://www.ugle.org.uk/masonry/A2L-religion.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-06.  
  7. ^ MQ MAGAZINE Issue 13 - God and the Craft
  8. ^ God - the Supreme Being
  9. ^ The Sense of a Supreme Being
  10. ^ http://www.himalayanacademy.com/resources/books/dws/dws_mandala-02.html
  11. ^ http://www.premahealing.com/3.html
  12. ^ a b Delmonico, N. (2004). "The History Of Indic Monotheism And Modern Chaitanya Vaishnavism". The Hare Krishna Movement: the Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&id=mBMxPdgrBhoC&oi=fnd&pg=PA31&dq=Vaisnava+monotheism&ots=r4RVWf2w7X&sig=ml4nbiFNep6SCtqVbOZsCv5s6g0. Retrieved 2008-04-12.  
  13. ^ a b Elkman, S.M.; Gosvami, J. (1986). Jiva Gosvamin's Tattvasandarbha: A Study on the Philosophical and Sectarian Development of the Gaudiya Vaisnava Movement. Motilal Banarsidass Pub.  
  14. ^ Klostermaier, K. (1974). "The Bhaktirasamrtasindhubindu of Visvanatha Cakravartin". Journal of the American Oriental Society 94 (1): 96–107. doi:10.2307/599733. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0003-0279(197401%2F03)94%3A1%3C96%3ATBOVC%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E. Retrieved 2008-04-12.  
  15. ^ Bhagawan Swaminarayan bicentenary commemoration volume, 1781-1981. p. 154: ...Shri Vallabhacharya [and] Shri Swaminarayan... Both of them designate the highest reality as Krishna, who is both the highest avatara and also the source of other avataras. To quote R. Kaladhar Bhatt in this context. "In this transcendental devotieon (Nirguna Bhakti), the sole Deity and only" is Krishna. New Dimensions in Vedanta Philosophy - Page 154, Sahajānanda, Vedanta. 1981
  16. ^ Dimock Jr, E.C.; Dimock, E.C. (1989). The Place of the Hidden Moon: Erotic Mysticism in the Vaisnava-Sahajiya Cult of Bengal. University Of Chicago Press.   page 132
  17. ^ Kennedy, M.T. (1925). The Chaitanya Movement: A Study of the Vaishnavism of Bengal. H. Milford, Oxford university press.  
  18. ^ Flood, Gavin D. (1996). An introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 341. ISBN 0-521-43878-0. http://books.google.com/books?id=KpIWhKnYmF0C&printsec=frontcover&dq=gavin+flood&sig=q_waAYpO_WokCivKS2OtlwsG2dw#PPA118,M1. Retrieved 2008-04-21.  "Early Vaishnava worship focuses on three deities who become fused together, namely Vasudeva-Krishna, Krishna-Gopala, and Narayana, who in turn all become identified with Vishnu. Put simply, Vasudeva-Krishna and Krishna-Gopala were worshiped by groups generally referred to as Bhagavatas, while Narayana was worshipped by the Pancaratra sect."
  19. ^ Gupta, Ravi M. (2007). Caitanya Vaisnava Vedanta of Jiva Gosvami. Routledge. ISBN 0415405483.  
  20. ^ Essential Hinduism S. Rosen, 2006, Greenwood Publishing Group p.124 ISBN 0275990060
  21. ^ Matchett, Freda (2000). Krsna, Lord or Avatara? the relationship between Krsna and Visnu: in the context of the Avatara myth as presented by the Harivamsa, the Visnupurana and the Bhagavatapurana. Surrey: Routledge. p. 4. ISBN 0-7007-1281-X.  
  22. ^ Allah, al-llah
  23. ^ William K. Bissey (Spring 1997). "G.A.O.T.U.". The Indiana Freemason. http://srjarchives.tripod.com/1997-08/Bissey.htm.  
  24. ^ S. Brent Morris. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry. Alpha/Penguin Books. pp. 212. ISBN 1-59257-490-4.  
  25. ^ Becoming a Mason - To become one, ask one: What is Freemasonry? accessed 10 June 2007







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