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Thursday, July 16, 2020

【SEAnews】 Review:The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Aramaic roots VII) -e

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Review:The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Aramaic roots VII)

 Jesus said, "Perhaps people think that I have come to impose peace upon the world. They donot know that I have come to impose conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. For there will be five in a house: There will be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father and they will stand alone." (Thomas 16)
According to Mr. Sasagu Arai, author of the Japanese version of The Gospel of Thomas, the verse sixteen of the Gospel of Thomas is almost in line with parallel articles in the Gospel of Matthew (10: 34-36) and the Gospel of Luke (12: 51-53), except for the last phrase. But the verse sixteen of the Gospel of Thomas does not describe the split between women (daughter and mother, wife and mother-in-law). Because the whole theme of the Gospel of Thomas is the independence of child (son = male) from father on earth (Thomas 23/49), and a woman must become a man to enter heaven. And the last sentence of the verse is certainly an addition by Thomas. Q source describes the split that takes place in a family by believing in Jesus and following Him, while, in the Gospel of Thomas, beyond that, the split, as the process in which "a child" becomes "One" especially from "father" together with Jesus, is emphasized. As confirming in the verse 4, becoming 'One' or 'Single one,' for Thomas, means 'recovering the original integration in himself.'
'Three-One mysterious substance' and the statue of Maitreya

By the way, in the sphere of influence of the Eastern Church, there are many portraits of Jesus in a pose in which a ring is made with the ring finger and the thumb of his right hand, and the remaining three fingers are raised. This kind of portrait cannot be found in the sphere of influence of the Western Christian Church. These portraits are probably icons that symbolizes the doctrine of the Eastern Church's 'Three-One mysterious substance (三一妙身).'
The words, "For there will be five in a house: There will be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father," in the verse sixteen of 'The Gospel of Thomas' may also have something to do with these icons.
Regarding 'Three-One mysterious substance,' at the beginning of its inscription, Daqin Jingjiao Popular Chinese Monument (大秦景教流行中国碑: Nestorian Stele) says, "Lo the unchangeably true and invisible, who existed through all eternity without origin; the far-seeing perfect intelligence, whose mysterious existence is everlasting; operating on primordial substance he created the universe, being more excellent than all holy intelligences, inasmuch as he is the source of all that is honorable. This is our eternal true lord Allah (阿羅訶歟), Three-One mysterious substance. He appointed the cross as the means for determining the four cardinal points, he moved the original spirit, and produced the two principles of nature;" and describes 'Three-One mysterious substance (三一妙身)' as the substance of Allah (Yahweh). In other words, the guardian deity of Jingjiaotu (景教徒: Believers of Luminous Religion) was Allah, and the Muslims are also considered to have followed it.
Then what is 'three'? In light of the 'Trinity' doctrine in the Western Church, the general interpretation is to say "God" as Father, "Jesus" as the Son, and "the Holy Spirit." While, Laozi (老子), a Chinese thinker in Spring and Autumn period (BC770-BC500), wrote in his book, 'Tao Te Ching (道徳経)' that "everything consists of 'yin (陰)' and 'yang (陽),' but 'the way of humanity' is neither 'yin' nor 'yang.' It is 'qi ([?]),' and 'qi' is the chaos, which is not yet divided into 'yin' and 'yang' like the primordial universe." It is reminiscent of 'recovering the original integration in oneself' taught by 'Gospel of Thomas' and the doctrine of 'Three-One mysterious substance' described on the Nestoriam Stele. By the way, the pronunciations of "[?]" and "気" in Chinese are the same, and they have almost the same meanings, but the former is used as a philosophical term. In English, they correspond to 'Holy Spirit' and 'spirit.'
Regarding 'One', 'Daodejing' says, "All things are produced because they have "One" and kings have sovereignty because they have "One". "One" gives them their essence.(Ch 39)" And it also says, "'The way' produces One. One produces Two. Two produces Three. Three produces all things. All things are carrying 'yin (陰)' and holding 'yang (陽).' These two are harmonized by the mediating breath (沖気). (Ch 42)" Wang Bi(王弼 226-249), a great thinker of the Xuanxue (玄学: Dark Learning, Mysterious Learning or Profound Learning) during the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern Dynasties (魏晋南北朝) era, said, "'One (一)' is the beginning of the number, and this is the extreme of things, so called 'Miaoyou (妙有mysterious-being),' he who wants to be called 'You (有being),' doesn't see its shape, so it is not being, therefore, it's called 'miao (妙mysterious).' Though someone wants to call it 'Wu (無nothing),' but things are born because of this, so it is not 'Wu,' that is why it is 'You (有).' This is 'You (有)' existed in 'Wu (無),' thus it is called 'Miaoyou (妙有mysterious existence).' As it means that 'Miaoyou (妙有) is 'One (一)' that is the beginning of the number and is the extreme of things, and it is neither 'You (有)' nor 'Wu (無)' but exists both in 'You (有)' and 'Wu (無).' By the way, Xuanxue (玄学) is a scholarship that interpreted Yijing (易経), Laozi (荘子) and Zuangzi (荘子), which were called the 'sanxuan (三玄three mysteries),' and was popular during the Wei, Jin, and Southern and Northern Dynasties era of China.
Sengzhao (僧肇), who was known as one of the four Sages among Kumaarajiiva (鳩摩羅什350-409)'s three thousand students and the best 'emptiness' theoretician, said in his book 'Zhaolun Niepanwuminglun (肇論:涅槃無名論),' Chapter 4, "The true way is in the complete enlightenment, and the complete enlightenment is in the bare truth. If you have got the bare truth, you would see both presence and absence. If you see both presence and absence, there is no difference between the other and you. Therefore heaven, earth, and I have the same root and myriad things and I are one body."
The doctrine of 'Three-One mysterious substance' reflects the experiences that Thomas gained in his trip of preaching India and China, and the influences of Buddhism and Taoism are strongly felt. Moreover, this kind of influence is bidirectional, and it is considered that the Mahayana Buddhist schools that were prosperous in India at that time and the philosophies of Tiantai (天台) and Hua-yan (華厳) that emerged in China after that were also greatly stimulated by the Gnostic Christianity taught by Thomas. It can be said that the Buddha's three-body theory (仏陀三身説), that is, 'Dharmakaya (法身) which symbolizes the absolute truth or Li (理: universality), Nirmanakaya (応身) which symbolizes actual Buddha appeared in this historical world under spatial and temporal limitations or Shi (事: particularity) and Sambhogakaya (報身) which symbolizes interfusion between Li (理: universality) and Shi (事: particularity)' is a typical example. It may be mentioned that just around that time Fazang (法蔵643–712). who became a priest in obedience to the Imperial order and succeeded to the third patriarch of the Huayan school of Buddhism (華厳宗) and lectured to Empress Wu ZeTian (則天武后) and other high ranked officials on Huayan philosophy (華厳哲学) in the court, was from Sogdiana, one of Aramaic countries in western region of China.
The statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva (弥勒菩薩像), which is said to have been given to Japan by Silla in 603 AD, in Koryuji Temple (広隆寺), makes that shape of fingers of its right hand. At that time, Koguryo, Silla, and Baekje stood on the Korean Peninsula, each striving to strengthen their relationship with Japan. Though the tribe in Kitakyushu, led by Emperor Jimmu (神武天皇)'s older brother Inainomikoto (稲飯命), seems to have had a blood relation with Kingdom of Silla (新羅), Yamato Kingdom (大和王権) had taken a diplomatic stance supporting Baekje (百済) since the Emperor Ojin (応神天皇)'s reign. When Baekje, which had invaded by Silla, asked Japan to rescue. Emperor Keitai (継体天皇) tried to send an expeditionary force to Korean Peninsula, but Iwai (磐井), a clan of Tsukushi in Kitakyushu, revolted joining hands with Silla. Even in the days of Prince Shotoku (聖徳太子), Soga (蘇我) and other clans linked Baekje were preparing to dispatch troops to Korea. Therefore, Silla sent to Japan the statue of Maitreya Bodhisattva, which symbolizes the doctrine of 'Three-One mysterious substance,' perhaps in order to restore old relations with the Yamato Imperial Court returning to the Emperor Jimmu's era. At that time in Silla there were several groups of knights called Hwa-rang (花郎) composed of children of the noble families who worshiped Mireuk-posal(弥勒菩薩) and played an active role in the Kingdom. The Maitreya Faith of Silla seems to have incorporated the doctrine of 'Three-One mysterious substance' of the primitive Christianity which had been believed by Yamato Imperial family and Hata clan (秦氏).Click here to read more.

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