Three in One

Many people want to conquer the world with their knowledge. That’s why some people formulate their collective belief that knowledge is power, Scientia potestas est. Some other people correctly give the right content to it, but some others misunderstand, and they thought as if human knowledge were everything.

I was taught about Indonesian official religions when I was in elementary school, and it was effortless to understand that all religions proclaim their belief in one God. But later, I had a problem with Hinduism and Buddhism. In Hinduism, it was mentioned Trimurti as the three gods. I hadn’t heard about Greek mythology at that time and, in my opinion, three gods were already too much. Buddhism was even worse to me because it didn’t provide any clue about what God looked like. I was not so comfortable with my religion’s expression: one God, three persons (why so limited).

Thanks to the word “loving relationship,” I gradually dismantle my discomfort of the different ways of understanding God. Power tends to corrupt, and if knowledge is power, then knowledge itself tends to damage too. How does this knowledge corrupt? It objectifies God in the same way it objectifies other things outside the observer/subject.

Put it simply: people try to count ‘God,’ i.e., whether it is singular or plural as if it were really singular or plural as other countable objects. This Prambanan Temple is dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). Why should I say that there are three Gods according to Hinduism, whereas they are not talking about numbers!

I perceive this Prambanan Temple as a way to worship: i.e., a way to relate with the mystery. It is a loving movement, though limited by some circumstances, from human beings to the Transcendence as a response to the latter, which has revealed itself first. The revelation has such tremendous and fascinating characteristics that human beings recognize it as the power of creating, preserving, but also destroying.

The same dynamics also happen to other religious movements with their own idiosyncratic expressions, which differ from each other. Consequently, plurality is a certainty, and no religion would be justified to evaluate other religions without going back to the relationship between divinity and humanity.

5 thoughts on “Three in One

  1. That Trimurti in the Prambanan Temple may perhaps be more a unity than the Trinity in Christendom, where that three-headed god has different qualities of the main god, whilst in the “Triple deity” of supreme divinity in Hinduism it may be about “three forms” of one and the same godhead.

    In Christianity(opposite to Christendom) there is only room for One Godhead and no Trinity or Duality. According to the Holy Scriptures there is only One True God, Who is an Unseen Spirit Being, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. I do not have any expertise in Hinduism nor do I understand the opposition between Christianity and Christendom. My standpoint is, that “One True God”, the “Unseen Spirit Being”, the “Elohim Hashem Jehovah” cannot be reduced into any single human effort. Man does not find the Truth. Instead, the Truth finds man through its own ways, which may vary according to man’s disposition.

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      1. The Truth can find man, like man has to search for the Truth in Scripture where it is clearly said God does not tell lies and is an eternal all-knowing Spirit no man can see. In Christendom there are lots of people who have made the Nazarene man Jesus (Jeshua) into their god, instead of accepting that he is the son of man who is also the son of God (like God calls Him).

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  2. Thanks for the information. It makes me wonder how those people in Christendom made the Nazarene man into their god. Is it through their doctrine of Trinity? But how does this doctrine place this man Jesus as God? I have never heard about it.

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