Demands from God(s) of various faiths. Cults and not-Cults

Aghora
10 min readJun 17, 2023

There are two systems of faith in the world.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are the conventionally recognized Middle Eastern or Abrahamic religions. All began with Judaism.

In contrast, eastern systems are referred to as "ways of life." The majority of them originated with Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism).

I requested that ChatGPT list the various demands or expectations that each system places on its adherents.

First Judaism

In Judaism, the expectations or “demands” of God are primarily outlined in the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Here are some of the key ones:

  1. Monotheism: Judaism is a monotheistic religion, and the belief in one God is a fundamental principle. This is expressed in the Shema, a key Jewish prayer: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4).
  2. Observance of the Mitzvot (Commandments): The Torah contains 613 commandments, or mitzvot, that Jews are expected to follow. These include both positive commandments (things to do) and negative commandments (things to avoid).
  3. Study of Torah: The study of Torah and other Jewish texts is a key duty in Judaism. It is seen as a way to understand God’s will and to live a righteous life.
  4. Prayer: Jews are expected to pray three times a day: in the morning (Shacharit), afternoon (Mincha), and evening (Maariv). These prayers include the Shema and the Amidah, a series of blessings.
  5. Ethical Conduct: Ethical conduct, including honesty, kindness, and justice, is highly valued in Judaism. Many of the mitzvot are related to ethical behavior.
  6. Observance of the Sabbath (Shabbat): The Sabbath, from Friday evening to Saturday evening, is a day of rest and worship. Work is prohibited during this time.
  7. Kashrut (Dietary Laws): Jews are expected to follow kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws. These include prohibitions on certain foods (such as pork and shellfish) and rules about the slaughter and preparation of meat.
  8. Circumcision: Male infants are circumcised on the eighth day after birth in a ceremony called a brit milah. This is seen as a sign of the covenant between God and the Jewish people.
  9. Love of God and Others: Love of God and love of others are key principles in Judaism. The Torah commands: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18).

Next Christianity:

The New Testament of the Bible, which is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, outlines several expectations or “demands” of God. Here are some key ones:

  1. Faith in Jesus Christ: One of the central teachings of the New Testament is the belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of humanity. This is seen in passages such as John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
  2. Love God and Others: In Matthew 22:37–39, Jesus summarizes the law as: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
  3. Repentance: The New Testament calls for repentance, which means turning away from sin and turning towards God. This is seen in Acts 3:19: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out…”
  4. Baptism: In the New Testament, baptism is seen as an important act of faith. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus commands his disciples: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”
  5. Forgiveness: Forgiving others is another key demand in the New Testament. In Matthew 6:14, it is written: “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
  6. Living Righteously: The New Testament calls for believers to live righteously, which means to live in a way that is morally right and just. This includes being honest, kind, humble, and just, among other virtues.
  7. Spreading the Gospel: The New Testament encourages believers to spread the teachings of Jesus Christ, often referred to as the “good news” or the “gospel.”. This is seen in Matthew 28:19–20, where Jesus instructs his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations.

Next Islam:

In Islam, the expectations or “demands” of God, known as Allah in Arabic, are outlined in the Quran and Hadith (the sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad). Here are some of the key ones:

  1. Shahada (Faith): The most fundamental requirement in Islam is the declaration of faith, known as the Shahada: “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” This statement affirms monotheism and the prophethood of Muhammad.
  2. Salat (prayer): Muslims are required to perform five daily prayers facing the Kaaba in Mecca. These prayers are performed at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and night.
  3. Zakat (charity): Muslims are required to give a portion of their income to the poor and needy. This is typically 2.5% of a person’s savings and is seen as a type of purification and growth.
  4. Sawm (fasting): Muslims are required to fast from dawn until sunset during the holy month of Ramadan. This includes abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs. It’s a time of purification and spiritual growth.
  5. Hajj (Pilgrimage): If physically and financially able, Muslims are required to perform a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
  6. Tawheed (monotheism): Muslims believe in the oneness of God. This is a fundamental aspect of Islam and is reflected in the first part of the Shahada.
  7. Adl (justice): Justice is a significant part of Islam. Muslims are required to act justly in all aspects of life, including in their relationships with others.
  8. Ihsan (doing good): Muslims are encouraged to do good deeds and act kindly towards others. This is seen as a way of demonstrating their faith and serving Allah.
  9. Avoidance of Haram (Forbidden): Certain actions and substances are considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam. These include consuming pork or alcohol, engaging in dishonest behavior, and committing acts of violence or injustice.

Two themes emerge from the three religions discussed above: Demands directed at God, such as faith, only me, no one else, etc. Second, moral behavior—dos and don'ts—in two spheres: physical and social.

Now let's look at the eastern systems. First Hinduism

Hinduism is a complex and diverse religion with many different beliefs and practices. However, there are some common principles and duties that are generally accepted across different traditions within Hinduism. These are often referred to as “dharma” or duties rather than “demands” from God. Here are some of them:

  1. Dharma (righteousness): Dharma is a central concept in Hinduism. It refers to the moral and ethical duties and responsibilities that individuals must follow in their lives. These duties vary depending on a person’s age, caste, gender, occupation, and other factors.
  2. Artha (Wealth): Artha refers to the pursuit of wealth and material success, but this should be done in a way that is in line with dharma. It is not seen as wrong to seek wealth, but it should not be done at the expense of one’s moral duties.
  3. Kama (desire): Kama refers to the pursuit of desire, including both physical and emotional desires. Like artha, it should be pursued in a way that does not conflict with one’s dharma.
  4. Moksha (liberation): Moksha is the ultimate goal of life in Hinduism. It refers to liberation from the cycle of birth and death (reincarnation) and union with the divine.
  5. Ahimsa (non-violence): Ahimsa is the principle of non-violence, which extends to all living beings. It is one of the key virtues in Hinduism.
  6. Satya (truth): Speaking the truth and living a life of honesty is another important duty in Hinduism.
  7. Bhakti (Devotion): Many Hindus practice bhakti, or devotion to a particular deity. This can involve prayer, ritual, and other forms of worship.
  8. Yoga and Meditation: Many Hindus practice yoga and meditation as a way to achieve spiritual growth and, eventually, moksha.

Next Budhism

In Buddhism, the expectations or “demands” are not from a god, as Buddhism is a non-theistic religion. Instead, the Buddha, or “Enlightened One,” provided teachings to help individuals attain enlightenment and escape the cycle of rebirth. Here are some of the key principles and practices:

  1. The Four Noble Truths: These are the core teachings of Buddhism. They are: the truth of suffering (dukkha), the truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya), the truth of the end of suffering (nirodha), and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering (magga).
  2. The Noble Eightfold Path: This is the path that leads to the end of suffering, as described in the Fourth Noble Truth. It includes right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
  3. The Five Precepts: These are basic ethical guidelines for Buddhists. They include refraining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxication.
  4. Meditation and Mindfulness: Meditation is a key practice in Buddhism, used to develop mindfulness and concentration and to gain insight into the nature of reality.
  5. Compassion and loving-kindness: Buddhists are encouraged to develop compassion (karuna) and loving-kindness (metta) towards all beings.
  6. Non-Attachment: Buddhists strive to let go of attachment to the self and to the material world. This is seen as a key part of achieving enlightenment.
  7. Understanding of Anatta (No-Self): One of the key insights of Buddhism is the concept of anatta, or no-self. This is the understanding that there is no permanent, unchanging self.
  8. Understanding of Anicca (Impermanence): Another key insight is the concept of anicca, or impermanence. This is the understanding that all things are constantly changing and impermanent.

Now Jainism

Jainism, an ancient religion from India, does not posit a creator god, but it does have a set of principles and practices that followers are expected to adhere to. Here are some of the key ones:

  1. Ahimsa (non-violence): Ahimsa, or non-violence, is the fundamental principle of Jainism. Jains believe in causing no harm to any living being, including animals and insects. This principle extends to thoughts, words, and actions.
  2. Satya (truthfulness): Jains are expected to always speak the truth. Lying or deceiving others is considered a form of violence.
  3. Asteya (non-stealing): Jains should not take anything that is not willingly given. This includes stealing, fraud, and exploitation.
  4. Brahmacharya (chastity): Jains are expected to control sensual pleasures. For laypeople, this generally means being faithful in marriage. For Jain monks and nuns, it means complete celibacy.
  5. Aparigraha (non-attachment): Jains should detach themselves from material possessions and emotional attachments. They believe that these attachments are a source of suffering.
  6. Asceticism: Jainism encourages practices of asceticism, such as fasting and renunciation of material comforts, to help detach from worldly desires and attain spiritual progress.
  7. Three Jewels: Jains are expected to follow the “Three Jewels,” which are right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct. Right faith involves having faith in the teachings of the Tirthankaras (spiritual teachers). Right knowledge involves understanding the nature of the universe. Right conduct involves following the ethical principles of Jainism.
  8. Respect for All Forms of Life: Jains believe in the sanctity of all life, and they strive to minimize harm to other beings. This is reflected in practices such as vegetarianism and carefulness in walking to avoid stepping on insects.

Now Taoism

Taoism, also known as Daoism, is a philosophical and religious tradition from China that emphasizes living in harmony with the Tao (also spelled Dao), which can be roughly translated as “the way” or the fundamental nature of the universe. Here are some of the key principles and practices:

  1. Following the Tao: The primary expectation in Taoism is to live in accordance with the Tao, which is seen as the natural, spontaneous, and effortless process that all things in the universe follow. This involves understanding and aligning oneself with the natural flow of life.
  2. Wu Wei (Non-Action): Wu Wei does not mean literally doing nothing but rather taking action that is in harmony with the natural flow of the Tao. It involves letting things take their course and not forcing or resisting the natural order of things.
  3. Simplicity and contentment: Taoism values simplicity and contentment over ambition and desire. It encourages individuals to be satisfied with what they have and to avoid unnecessary striving or effort.
  4. Harmony with Nature: Taoism emphasizes living in harmony with nature and respecting the natural world. This can involve spending time in nature and living in a way that is sustainable and respectful of the environment.
  5. Yin and Yang: Taoism teaches that the universe is made up of opposing yet complementary forces, known as Yin and Yang. Balancing these forces within oneself and in one’s life is a key aspect of Taoist practice.
  6. Cultivation of Qi (Life Force): Many Taoists practice techniques such as Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation to cultivate and balance their Qi, or life force energy.
  7. Immortality: Some Taoist traditions focus on practices and rituals aimed at achieving physical immortality, though this is often understood metaphorically as living a long, healthy, and harmonious life.

It is fairly evident from the preceding lists that in Eastern systems, THERE ARE NO REQUIREMENTS FOR GOD(S); rather, the emphasis is on a personal/social attitude geared toward bettering YOU.

Demands from God are an immediate temptation to engage in cultic, violent behavior. It is always easier to become a mindless cult member, requires less psychological energy, and one can always say, "I am following God's demands," than to undergo self-improvement in order to become a better person.

No wonder Abrahamic religions have been the most violent over the past two thousand (2000) years, inflicting pain and suffering non-followers and followers as well.

Imagine that.

Say no to cults. Adopt Eastern Way

Ekum Sat

Disclaimer: chatGPT was used to gather information

--

--

Aghora

Ekum Sat There is only one truth. This is the sum and total of Eastern thought, Santana Dharma.