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Jewish orthodox religious authorities and Hindu religious authorities, recognize each other as legitimate religious and cultural expressions, both recognize a single unified divine source as the sole underlying reality. Neither seeks to proselytize the other. "There are "certain rules, certain dictates which it is his will all men should conform their actions to" and "this will of his is sufficiently promulgated and made known to all mankind." Like divine positive law, natural law is binding because it is "the will of a supreme Godhead" it is the will of an "omnipotent lawmaker, known to us by the light and principles of nature."

The archaeological record of India is of a monumental civilization that persisted from 3000 BCE (if not earlier) into the late ancient era, (Egypt), with a continuity to the present. In India, today we find the same types of rituals and temple worship still being practiced as once occurred in ancient Egypt and Babylonia (both nations in antiquity in which Judaism developed). The Bible places Abraham, about 1800 B.C., in a Vedic land at the time the Rig-Veda (early Hindu scripture) was created. Abraham migrated west into Canaan (Israel), and into Egypt (the Exodus). This corresponds with the migration of the “Mitanni” people, many of which settled in Canaan and Egypt. At about this time the Mitanni and Egyptian Monarchies intermarried and the Egyptians adopted Vedic (Hindu) Gods. Vedic gods were also worshiped in Canaan.

Philosophy in India, in contrast to philosophy in the West, is focused on “the basic questions”, what is this world, from where does it come, what is its value, and what is man’s place in it. Indian philosophy shares such questions with the Kabbalah. There are many parallels between the traditions of India (Hiindu, Jaina, and Buddhist) and the Kabbalah. These include an extensive set of fundamental principles as well as specific concepts and symbols.

Indian philosophy reveals that it embodies the same concept of unity in difference that is expressed in the Kabbalistic concept of the Sefirot (Divine architypes). Indian philosophy and all the higher religious traditions of Asia, while not discarding their early polytheistic mythologies, reworked those mythologies into a monism in which a single energy or principal, usually spoken of as “Brahman”, is regarded (like the Kabbalists regarded Ein-Sof) as the sole underlying reality. Each of the Hindu gods and goddesses are understood to be just another aspect or manifestation of this single unitary principal in Brahman, much as, for the Kabbalists, Sefirot of Partzufim, (personalities of God), are understood as aspects of Ein-Sof.

In a section of the Rig-Veda known as “The Song of Creation” (1,800 B.C. – The time of Abraham’s migration) we read that “at a time when there was neither nonbeing or being, when darkness reigned in chaos and all that existed was hidden in the void, the One evolved and became desire.” Desire the Rig-Veda affirms, is “the first seed of mind”. In the Upanishad, we find the entire world was brought forth through “death” for out of “death” there emerged “desire” and death discovered that he was desirous of a “self”. In this myth of creation, we have a dialectical development (every concept gives rise to its opposite, the synthesis of opposites creates a new concept which gives rise to its own opposite), that in many ways anticipates the Kabbalistic movement from Ayin (nothingness) to Keter (desire and delight).

What is most interesting from the perspective of the Kabbalah, is the fact that the world that, per the Uupanishad, emerges from death’s desire which takes the form of a cosmic, primordial man. The primordial man enters a cosmic erotic relationship (merger of opposites) which results in the creation of a temporal finite world (a new synthesis). This parallels Kabbalistic thought. In Kabbalah, we have the union of “Wisdom” and “Understanding”, in the Hindu we have the union of “desire” with “speech”. In both accounts his union results in the (dialectical) creation of a temporal, finite world.
In the Upanishad, the self of man reflects or even embodies the self of the cosmos. This idea appears in Kabbalah in the idea that the human soul is a perfect reflection of the divine cosmic order. Man is created in God’s image.

Sanford Drob proposes Indian/oriental religion including Gnosticism (which may have originally had Jewish origin), Greek thought, and the Biblical tradition interacted to produce the prototypes for the symbols and ideas that later came to be embedded in the Sefer Yetzirah (first century Jewish) mysticism and much later in the writings of the first Kabbalists in Provence and Gerona which were transmitted through written and oral form and reappeared in a new and more powerful form in the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria.

It is noted that another line of Jewish thought represented by Moses Maimonides, also grounded in the biblical tradition but understood through the lens of Greek philosophy, rejected kabbalah.

Posted 2 years ago in OTHER