Difference in Scriptures.

14. Difference in Scriptures.

Read from this angle, we find that the two scriptures are very different in their atmosphere.

1. The scriptures of Semitic inspiration are hortative, admonitory; they urge, they reprove, they enjoin, they warn, they even enforce. There is a note of feverishness in them. But the atmosphere of the Hindu scriptures is unhurried, relaxed and expositional.

2. The first variety seems to goad you; the second one to lead you step by step.

3. The first one is passionate, zealous; the second one calm and detached.

4. The first one plays on your hopes and fears; it threatens you with a hell and promises you a paradise; while the second one aims at opening up your understanding.

There are other differences along the same line.

5. The Hindu approach is speculative, pluralistic, introvert; the Christian and the Islamic approach is extrovert, monolithic, dramatic and spectacular. There is Adam and Eve, the forbidden fruit, the Devil and the Original Sin. Then the only God sends his only Son and he pays the ransom for the original transgres­sion with his blood. Then there a final Day of Judgment and a throne surrounded by angels. On this day, some are saved but many more are damned.

These differences are not merely differences of idioms and expressions. They are of a more fundamental nature. They arise because the two scriptures deal with two different though not unconnected subjects. The Upanishads and the Gita are mystical works taking for granted the ethical back­ground; the Bible and the Quran, both in their own ways, deal after a fashion with moral edification that can point to the next initial step on the mystical path to those who are ready to take it. This difference leads to other differences even in such fundamental concepts as God, man, mankind, fellow- creation, ethics, revelation.