PODCAST: The Original Jesus Movement (Ebionites) Recognized Those in India Who Worship the One God, are Vegetarians, and Follow the Same Peaceful Ethical Precepts -- Spiritual Awakening Radio With James Bean
The Clementine scriptures are surviving Jewish-Christian writings from antiquity that represent the teachings of the Ebionites, a movement founded by Christ, and eventually lead by James the Just and his spiritual successors during the first few centuries AD. I was expecting this group to be very legalistic and tribal, believing that only they have access to the true God and spiritual Truth, but the reality turned out to be rather surprising! In Recognitions of Clement, Book 9, Chapter 20, "Brahmans", an Ebionite author has very nice things to say about their brothers and sisters in India who worship the One God, follow peaceful customs and laws, and are vegetarian or vegan. Clearly he sees parallels between his own religion and those like-minded devotees and disciples residing “in the Indian countries.” (India was divided into many separate states or kingdoms 2,000 years ago.) It's one of the most amazing passages I know of in the extra-canonical apocryphal scriptures, as it is a rare example of one religion (Ebionite Christianity) recognizing “Truth” in another religion from elsewhere (Hinduism in India). Imagine that! A rare inter-faith moment in human history. And I just know the Ebionites would have really loved Kabir and the Sants of India that emerged during the medieval period. So I also share some key teachings of the Sant tradition, the Way of the Saints (Sant Mat), the Path of the Masters, very much in agreement with the Ebionites: 1) belief in, and meditation upon, the One God, 2) opposition to the worship of idols (all forms of idolatry), 3) opposition to ritual animal sacrifice in various religious temples, and 4) strictly adhering to a vegetarian (or even vegan) diet as part of their peaceful (ahimsa) ethical foundation for living.
Spiritual Awakening Radio (and Sant Mat Satsang Podcasts), with James Bean, heard on various community, public radio stations and the web, explores the world of spirituality, comparative religion, world scriptures and other books, East and West, God, meditation, out of body or near death experiences (inner space), the vegan diet and other ahimsa ethics -- education for a more peaceful planet.