Quote Comparisons - A work in Progress...

The Path of the Masters
Letters to Gail II
Introduction to ECKANKAR
Dialogues With The Master
The Far Country



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[Based on: The Path of the Masters, by Julian Johnson, Copyright 1939, Sixteenth Edition 1997, Chap. Five: God and the Grand Hierarchy of the Universe, pp. 242-245. - The Path of the Masters was reportedly written in the 1930s.]

God and the Grand Hierarchy of the Universe

[....]

4. NAMES OF THE SUPREME BEING

In the literature of the saints, God is expressed by many words, such as Soami, Ekankar, Nirankar, Radha Soami, Akal, Nirala, Anami, Agam, Alakh, Sat Purush, Prabhu, Prabhswami, Hari Rai, Akshar, Parameshwar, Akshar Purush, etc. All of these words have been coined in an effort to convey to human intelligence some idea of what the saints think of God, or Lord God, the highest power. Ekankar means the 'one oneness', the body of oneness. Nirankar means 'without body or form'. Soami or Swami means the 'all-pervading lord'. Radha Soami — radha, 'soul', and soami, 'lord' — 'the lord of the soul'. The word radha, in Hindi, when reversed becomes dhara. This means 'current' or 'stream of energy', the attribute of the soul. When the dhara is reversed, when it turns upwards away from the creation, it becomes radha, the soul.

Akal means 'timeless'. Nirala means 'peerless', having none like him. Anami means 'without name'. Agam means 'inaccessible'. Sat Purush, 'true lord', is the really existing Lord as distinguished from all hypothetical gods. That which is not sat does not really exist. Sat means 'truth', 'reality', 'existence'. Hence the fundamental idea of truth is existence. The untrue does not exist; the true does. Hence truth and existence are synonymous terms. Purush implies 'being', and 'being' implies 'creative energy' — predominating and presiding Lord, the source of creative energy. Prabhu means 'lord, having power and control'. Prabhswami means 'all-pervading lord, having power'. Hari Rai means the 'lord who has real power', the actual king of all, like Sat Purush. This is used in contradistinction to Dharam Rai, the negative power, who controls the Three Worlds. It implies law and order. Dharam is 'law', 'order', 'system', and it is used also to designate religion or any religious system. Hari Rai is Sat Purush, or Akal Purush, while Dharam Rai is Kal Purush, Kal, or Brahm.

The whole universe is considered as one, the true Ekankar. There is perfect oneness in the universe, which is also coexistent with God — infinite, unlimited. Hence, the Soami is nirankar, that is, formless. As such, he is without personality, hence without name. He cannot be said to be 'anywhere' as he is everywhere. Since he is everywhere, all and everything, he must be impersonal. Of course, he may assume any number of forms, but none of these forms embrace his entire being any more than one sun embraces the sum total of physical matter.

When Soami limits himself to some extent, however slightly, he becomes Agam Purush. If a little more limited, he is Alakh Purush, and when he takes a definite form for the purpose of administering the affairs of the universe, he then becomes Sat Purush, or Sat Nam. Sat Nam then becomes the first definitely limited manifestation of the supreme one. But he is not limited, except as to form. Sat Nam, 'true name', is that which defines his individuality, and points definitely to the first personal manifestation of the infinite one.

The names of the supreme being in other languages besides the Sanskrit and Hindi are as many as are the ideas of him. God is an Anglo-Saxon adaptation of 'good'. He is the chief good or the sum total of good. Deus is the Latin name, signifying something like 'supreme emperor'. Theos is the Greek appellation, meaning the chief of those august powers who sat upon Mount Olympus and ruled the world. Adonai Elohim or Yahveh are some of the Hebrew names assigned to the god who was first a tribal deity of the Jews, but was later proclaimed Lord over all gods and worlds. He was the supreme lawgiver, the commander of all the armies of Israel. He was the majestic warrior whose wrath was so much to be feared. This is the God to whom Sir Richard Burton refers when he writes in his Kasidah of Abdul el Yezdi: "Yahveh, Adon, or Elohim, the God that smites, the man of war!" Fancy the psychological reaction of tender childhood under the teaching which daily held up such a god to them! No wonder Kingsley, in Alton Locke, says: "Our God, or rather, our gods, until we were twelve years old were hell, the rod, the ten commandments, and public opinion."

[....]

The saints are not sticklers for names. They frankly concede that the supreme one is anami, 'nameless', and so they say, in substance, "Take your choice as to names."

There is Allah the merciful, of Islam, who sent his last and greatest Prophet, Mohammed, to gather into one army the desert tribes and break up all their idols. There are Indra and Varuna, the ancient gods who shine out in great majesty among the hosts of gods mentioned in Vedic literature. There are Brahm, Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh, and a host of others, all gods of the sacred books. There are Akshar, Parameshwar, Purush, and Purushottam, Sanskrit names for the creative and governing power. Zarathustra spoke of Ormuzd, and the Norseman spoke of Thor.

Om is the Sanskrit sound symbol for the supreme one. The North American Indians speak of Manitou, the father of them all, who ruled over all the tribes.

[....]

The saints have given many names to the supreme being, according to the country in which they lived and the language used by them. But all saints recognize that no name is adequate. No name can ever describe God or convey any fair conception of his attributes. It is not good to contend for a name. What is the difference whether we say Radha Soami or Ram or Allah? It is quite immaterial whether we say pani (Urdu), eua (French), amma (Cherokee Indian), hudor (Greek), aqua (Latin) or water. They all mean exactly the same.

[....]

[Based on: pp. 242-245 The Path of the Masters, Sixteenth Edition 1997]

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