The Indwelling of the Spirit: A Hindu-Christian reflection
Author: Dr Christina Manohar, Associate Chaplain at the University of Gloucestershire and Visiting Lecturer in Hinduism, Redcliffe College.
Hindu theology and, to be precise, the Upanisadic tradition is much oriented towards ‘spirituality’ ‘interiority’ ‘self–realization’ and a deep yearning to move from the incomplete to the complete (pūrnam). The following Upanisadic prayer found in Brhadāranyaka Upanisad 3:8 describes the spiritual longing of the Hindus.
Asato ma sad gamaya (from unreal lead me to real)
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya (from darkness lead me to light) Mrtyor ma amrtam gamaya (from death lead me to immortality)
It is to the Spirit that most Upanisadic texts point. What comes through the texts of the Upanisads is the deep yearning to listen to the internal voice of Supreme Life-force. Hence in this context the understanding of the Holy Spirit as indweller and inspirer is a relevant theme to explore. Our aim here is not to offer a new theologoumena or to meditate on Christian faith as mere concepts but to start with the experience of the Spirit which is at the centre of Christian theological tradition as well as Upanisadic tradition of Hinduism.
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The Indwelling of the Spirit – A Hindu Christian Reflection
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