— 2.J.1 Hindu Response by Anant Rambachan

(Response to 2.J.1 Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, The Lights of Penitence, Chapter 2, Sudden and Gradual Penitence, presented by Alon Goshen-Gottstein)


These texts draw me immediately into a religious and linguistic world that is less familiar than the world of Zen Buddhism. It is a world of penitence, sin, and divinely inspired illumination. There are fewer points of connection for me as I read text and commentary and many more questions.

  1. What understanding of the human nature and the human problem is reflected here? What is the significance of penitence? What does it mean?
  2. Sudden penitence that comes through divine agency is higher than the gradual form. Why? Is sudden penitence possible without spiritual seeking and preparation?
  3. How central is penitence in defining the human relationship with God? Why the centrality of penitence?
  4. How is the “unified vision of all being” related to the non-dual understanding of Advaita and Zen?
  5. The sense of personal sin is pervasive in these texts. How is sin related to ignorance in Advaita or the ego in Zen?