In a way, all humans are divine because we were made in the likeness of God. If we look at Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Also, look at how the verse right before this one starts off; Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likenessâ€¦..So we were made in the image of God, so in a sense all humans are somewhat divine. However, that being said, the texts we read this week all had a divine character, mostly God himself, interacting in them.
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In all of the texts we read this week, the main divine character was God himself. In Genesis, God creates mankind in the likeness of himself and then he forms special bonds with some of his creations. There is not enough room to talk about all of them is this essay so let us just take a look at Noah and Abraham.
The relationship between God and Noah is from Genesis 6:8 to 9:28. It is pretty much a one sided relationship in which God comes to Noah and tells him to do certain things. God seen that the wickedness of man was great on earth and decided to wash them away, all except for Noah and his family. In Genesis 6:8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Genesis 6:13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh; behold I will destroy them with the earth. Then God told Noah to make an ark and how specifically to make it. Genesis 7:1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you are righteous before me in this generation. There was a flood for forty days in which everything on earth was washed away. Genesis 8:15 Then God said to Noah, “Go forth from the ark, you and your wife, and your son and your sons wives with you.” God told him to let all the animals in the ark free so that they may multiply. Noah built an altar to the Lord and the Lord said he would never curse the ground because of man again. Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to him, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” God also made covenant to Noah and his family that never again shall a flood be used to destroy the earth.
Next, there is also the relationship of God and Abraham. The life of Abraham is Genesis 11:26-25:10 of the Hebrew Bible. Abraham’s original name was Abram. In Genesis 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your fathers house to the land that I will show you.” So Abram took his wife and his nephew and started travelling. He traveled in many different directions and to many people when the Lord came to him again. Genesis 13:15 for all the land in which you see will give to you and your descendent forever.” God also came to Abram through visions. Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Fear not Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” God came Abraham many times and many ways and influenced and changed his life greatly. Abraham never questioned the voice of God, even when God told him to leave his country and his kin. Abraham always put his trust in the Lord.
The next part of our assigned reading this week that had the inclusion of a divine character was The Bhagavad-Gita. There are four main characters in the Bhagavad-Gita. Lord Krishna, who is its author and hero, and the three other main characters.
Lord Krishna is said to be the human avatar of Visnu. Visnu is the god who keeps order in the universe. So in this story we still have a god (divine character) interacting with humans in some way. These three other main characters can be used to represent three methods in which man can receive divine knowledge from God.
Arjuna represents method number one. He receives his knowledge using the direct method. He is one of the few people in our human history who have ever stood face to face and conversed with God. He got to speak to God personally. He is the direct descendent of the Gita.
Sanjaya can be used to represent method number two. He received divine knowledge through his advance psychic abilities. He received the entire Gita through his mind. Not only did he have perfect psychic powers, but he was also a “pure” soul that the Lord seen fit to use as a vehicle to transport knowledge to Dhrtarastra.
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Dhrtarastra, the blind king, gets his knowledge through method number three. The most common way. He received his knowledge from another person. Dhrtarastra received his knowledge from Sanjaya who had already received his knowledge from God. His blindness in the Gita can be symbolic for his ignorance or spiritual blindness. You can say he was a tainted soul, too driven by his desires and very deeply attached to his family and Kingdom. His blind passion for the throne is what leads to the battle of Mhabharita.
All of these people can be defined as divine characters because of Gods influence in their lives. God has come to them in in dreams, visions, prophecies, or miracles and as a result of that divine power has changes their lives.
Let us take a look at the core value of Respect at Saint Leo University;
Respect-Animated in the spirit of Jesus Christ, we value all individuals’ unique talents, respect their dignity and strive to foster their commitment to excellence in our work. Our community’s strength depends on the unity and diversity of our people, on the free exchange of ideas and on learning, living and working harmoniously.
When reading religious texts and stories from other religions we need to keep Saint Leo University’s core value of Respect in mind. Because these texts and stories may not be our own religious beliefs, but they are someone else, and may be very important to others. Therefore they should be respected.