The Trinity in World Religions
The Trinity is found in many different world religions. The study of comparative religion gives Man the opportunity to examine the commonalities, as well as differences, between diverse belief structures. The Trinity is definitely a commonality, one of which is most commonly recognized in the Western World as existing within Christianity. This is, however, not original or unique to this one faith. It is found within Paganism, Hinduism, and many other faiths.
Within the Christian religion, the Trinity is composed of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit. The Second member of this Trinity is God made Man. Jesus is God incarnate, who walks the earth to illumine the soul of Man, and to instruct Man in the processes of the Divine and the proper way in order to commune with that Unknowable Essence.
Within the Hindu religion there is Brahman. Brahman is considered to be the only One and True God, from which all other manifestations arise and are merely faces, much akin to the idea of emanationism. Brahman is One God in Three Persons. These are Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Together, these make Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer. Brahma is the aspect of God that continually creates the universe and all within it. Vishnu is the aspect of God that is incarnate upon earth many times in order to save the world and sustain it. Shiva is the Destroyer of the old that the new may arise. Once again, the Second Member of the Trinity is God made Man. It is also notable that Vishnu, under the incarnation of Krishna was brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts when He was born, also being crucified to a tree with arrows piercing His hands and feet. Many Hindus believe that Krishna, and Buddha were all incarnations of Vishnu. Vishnu is merely the name that Hindus give to the aspect of God that is born among men.
Quite similar to the Creator-Sustainer-Destroyer ideology of Hinduism, the Neo-Pagan faith of Wicca also has a Triple Divinity. This is called the Maiden, Mother, and the Crone.Wiccans see the Divine as manifesting as Male and Female, id est a Goddess and God. To them, creation is the reflection of the Divine. All things within Nature. Thus, the passage of the seasons, the phases of the moon, even the path a salmon takes within a pool are all reflections into the mind of God. Within the universe is found divine Order and knowledge of Nature's laws leads to divine contemplation and understanding. The Goddess, or Female Principle of God, is the Maiden, Mother, and the Crone. Being an older Pagan faith, this Goddess is worshipped under the symbol of the moon. As the moon grows, the Wiccae see the Maiden. This is the Aspect of Deity that is Creator, symbolized by the image of a young girl. this is new beginnings and innocence. The full moon reveals the Mother. She is Nurturer and Sustainer, caring for Her children. When the moon wanes and when it is dark reveals the Destroyer aspect of the Goddess. This is symbolized by an old woman, representing the forces of decay and death in the universe. The moon is revered as the symbol of the Goddess because the moon's cycle is akin to the menstral cycle within women, which encompasses the Female Principle of creation. Most Christian holidays were borrowed from Paganism, including Easter and Christmas.
As one may clearly see, the concept of a Trinity is a commonality found within various world religions. The study of comparative religion reveals many things that show how Man has, throughout 2 million years of human history, reached out and conceptualized the Creator and Sustainer of our world. Man is, by His very nature, a spiritual creature. Since the dawning of His conscousness Man has always worshipped things as representative of the One Unknowable Thing, concerning which He can learn basically nothing, being beyond mortal comprehension.
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