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Gregorianum 2016 Fasc. 2

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06 - Pavulraj, Michael - Avatar and Incarnation: Gita Spirituality and Ignatian Spirituality at the Crossroads - P. 323

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Avatar and Incarnation: Gita Spirituality and Ignatian Spirituality at the Crossroads

PAVULRAJ, MICHAEL - PAG. 323-342

ABSTRACT

In order to appreciate and dialogue between the core-experiences of Hinduism and Christianity, one must enter into their collective memories. A Christian who wishes to enter into a core-to-core dialogue with Hinduism must have two qualifications: a preliminary empathic apprehension of the real nature of the other religion’s coreexperience, and an uninhibited willingness and readiness to enter into a communicatio in sacris with the Hindus. The notion of avatar in the Bhagavad Gita is the most central formulation of the relationship between God and human beings in Hinduism and hence the appropriate concept for entering into dialogue with the Incarnation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius. In this article we first deal with the doctrine of avatar in the Bhagavad Gita and then discuss the doctrine of Incarnation in the Spiritual Exercises. In the last part of the article, we bring the Bhagavad Gita and the Spiritual Exercises together, comparing and contrasting them in the spirit of affirmation and focusing on the theme of dialogue between avatar and Incarnation. The writer through this article believes that the understanding and living of mystery can grow through dialogue by sharing the insights and riches of religious traditions of humankind.

Keywords: Ignatius, Bhagavad Gita, Spiritual Exercises, Incarnation, Avatar.

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Avatar and Incarnation: Gita Spirituality and Ignatian Spirituality at the Crossroads

PAVULRAJ, MICHAEL - PAG. 323-342

ABSTRACT

In order to appreciate and dialogue between the core-experiences of Hinduism and Christianity, one must enter into their collective memories. A Christian who wishes to enter into a core-to-core dialogue with Hinduism must have two qualifications: a preliminary empathic apprehension of the real nature of the other religion’s coreexperience, and an uninhibited willingness and readiness to enter into a communicatio in sacris with the Hindus. The notion of avatar in the Bhagavad Gita is the most central formulation of the relationship between God and human beings in Hinduism and hence the appropriate concept for entering into dialogue with the Incarnation of the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius. In this article we first deal with the doctrine of avatar in the Bhagavad Gita and then discuss the doctrine of Incarnation in the Spiritual Exercises. In the last part of the article, we bring the Bhagavad Gita and the Spiritual Exercises together, comparing and contrasting them in the spirit of affirmation and focusing on the theme of dialogue between avatar and Incarnation. The writer through this article believes that the understanding and living of mystery can grow through dialogue by sharing the insights and riches of religious traditions of humankind.

Keywords: Ignatius, Bhagavad Gita, Spiritual Exercises, Incarnation, Avatar.

RIASSUNTO

Per il dialogo tra le esperienze centrali dell’induismo e del cristianesimo, uno deve entrare nelle loro memorie collettive. Un cristiano che vuole entrare in un dialogo con l’induismo deve avere due qualifiche: una preliminare apprensione empatica della natura dell’esperienza centrale della religione e una volontà disinibita e disponibilità a stabilire un communicatio in sacris con gli indù. La nozione di avatar nella Bhagavad Gita è la formulazione più centrale del rapporto tra Dio e gli esseri umani nell’induismo e quindi il concetto appropriato per entrare in dialogo con l’incarnazione

negli Esercizi spirituali di Sant’Ignazio. In questo articolo prima si affronta la dottrina dell’avatar nella Bhagavad Gita e poi si discute la dottrina dell’incarnazione negli Esercizi spirituali. Nell’ultima parte dell’articolo, collegando la Bhagavad Gita e gli Esercizi spirituali, confrontiamo e contrastiamo le loro affermazioni e ci concentriamo sul dialogo tra la nozione di avatar e quella d’incarnazione. Lo scrittore attraverso questo articolo ritiene che la comprensione e la vita del mistero possono crescere attraverso il dialogo, condividendo le intuizioni e le ricchezze delle tradizioni religiose dell’umanità.

Parole chiave: Ignazio, Bhagavad Gita, Esercizi Spirituali, Incarnazione, Avatar.

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