Analysis of "Christian Conversion" text.

Someone was kind enough to give me a link to a text which is intended persuade people to covert from Hinduism to Christianity. It is interesting to see how full of holes and untruths this text is. I will show truth from the “conversion site” as indented italic coloured text, whereas my responses are full width and black. The text starts:

Question: “I am a Hindu, why should I consider becoming a Christian?”

Well, that is a very good question. I have provided many reasons why people should be interested in Hinduism in “What Hinduism has to Offer“. I will be interested to see what possible reason there could be to convert from Hinduism to Christianity.

Answer: Comparing Hinduism and Christianity is difficult, in part, because Hinduism is a slippery religion for westerners to grasp. It represents limitless depths of profundity, a rich history, and an elaborate theology. [continues with overview and claims that the text will show why Christianity should be given special attention]….

First, Christianity should be considered for its historical viability. Christianity has historically rooted characters and events within its schema which are identifiable through forensic sciences like archeology and textual criticism. Hinduism certainly has a history, but its theology, mythology, and history are so often blurred together that it becomes difficult to identify where one stops and the other begins. Mythology is openly admitted within Hinduism.

I see a confusion here by mythology and what was not intended to be taken literally. Christianity has its parables, and the Old Testament many mythological stories. These, like the Hindu myths, are not intended to be taken literally. So myths are not just found in Hinduism but Christianity also.

But, where a religion is not historical, it is that much less testable. It may not be falsifiable at that point, but neither is it verifiable. It is the literal history of the Jewish and eventually Christian tradition that justifies the theology of Christianity. If Adam and Eve did not exist, if Israel did not have an exodus out of Egypt, if Jonah was just an allegory, or if Jesus did not walk the earth then the entire Christian religion can potentially crumble at those points. For Christianity, a fallacious history would mean a porous theology.

This is an extraordinary claim that even many Christians would not make. Many Christians believe in evolution rather than creation of the world less than 10,000 years ago. Also note that much of what is put here is not testable. I would defy anyone to find archaeological evidence that Jonah was swallowed by a fish (a story that may have been copyed from Matsya and Manu), or that of Adam and Eve. You will find historical evidence of the exodus, and of some biblical events, but generally at a similar level to that for the Mahabharata. You will find a lot of scientific evidence against the earth being as young as the story of Adam and eve claims.

As I pointed out in my post “Quantum theory and Vishnu“, it is interesting that Hinduism fits very well with scientific theories, showing a universe that is millions of years old and is cyclicy destroyed and recreated. This is despite the fact that it is ultimately not important to Hinduism that observations in Maya should reflect spiritual truth. Some Christians on the other hand are obsessed with trying to show that scientific observation does not contradict the Bible, even though to do so they have to deny many scientific observations.

Well at this point by the author’s own criteria we have demonstrated that Christianity is a “porous theology”, but since this literal interpretation of the Bible is a view only of Christian Fundamentalists I will continue.

Second, while both Christianity and Hinduism have key historical figures, only Jesus is shown to have risen bodily from the dead. Many people in history have been wise teachers or have started religious movements. Hinduism has its share of wise teachers and earthly leaders. But Jesus stands out. His spiritual teachings are confirmed with a test that only divine power could pass, death and bodily resurrection—a fact which he prophesied and fulfilled in Himself.

Well, we know that Krishna appeared on earth before as Rama, Parashurama, etc. This is hardly a unique claim.

Moreover, the Christian doctrine of resurrection stands apart from the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation. These two ideas are not the same. And it is only the resurrection which can be deduced convincingly from historical and evidential study.

The only “historical” evidence presented by Christians is the Christian Bible. Christians claim that witnesses like St Paul were “hostile witnesses”, who had no interest in supporting Christianity. That might have been true when the resurrection occurred, but not at the time the events were written in the bible. Compare that with the numerous accounts and evidence for reincarnation. Now I am not trying to prove that the resurrection did not take place, just to show it does not have a higher level of evidence than reincarnation has.

Third, the Christian Scriptures are historically outstanding, deserving serious consideration. In several tests the Bible surpasses the Hindu Vedas, and all other books of antiquity for that matter. One could even say that the history of the Bible is so compelling that to doubt the Bible is to doubt history itself, since it is the most historically verifiable book of all antiquity.

Ram Sethu seen from the Space Shuttle Endeavour

I would dispute that. Consider the picture of Ram Setu (Rama’s Bridge) taken By NASA. Existence of this could not be proved until modern times, yet it is predicted in the Ramayana. As mentioned before the level of historical evidence for the bible is similar to that of the Mahabharata.

Consider the following.

1) More manuscripts exist for the New Testament than for any other of antiquity. 5,000 Ancient Greek Manuscripts, 24,000 in all w/ other languages.

Of course there are a large number of manuscripts in Hinduism, though I don’t know how many. I don’t consider the “say it many times and it must be right” argument valid.

2) The manuscripts of the New Testament are closer in age to its originals than are any other document of antiquity. All of the originals were written within the time of the contemporaries (eyewitnesses), in the first century AD.

Perfectly true, but the Hindu documents are much older and passed on orally. Great care was taken to ensure that students learned the exact sound of the original unchanged, with checks and controls.

3) The New Testament Documents are more accurate than any other of antiquity. John R. Robinson in Honest To God reports that the New Testament documents are 99.9% accurate

See above. I have no doubts about the accuracy of Vedic literature. Note also that the 99.9% accuracy refers to discrepancies between different historical bible texts. It does not imply that the story of the bible is correct, nor that there are not contradictions in the bible. In fact the bible contains many contradictions.

Fourth, Christian monotheism has advantages over pantheism and polytheism. … Polytheism and pantheism both have a questionable basis for their ethics. With polytheism, if there are many gods, then which god has the more ultimate standard of ethics for humans to keep? When there are multiple gods then their ethical systems either do not conflict, conflict, or do not exist. If they do not exist, then ethics are invented and baseless. The weakness of that position is self-evident. If the ethical systems do not conflict then on what principle do they align? Whatever that aligning principle is would be more ultimate than the gods. The gods are not ultimate since they answer to some other authority. Therefore there is a higher reality to which one should adhere.

Of course most forms of Hinduism are not polytheistic, so this is a bit of a wasted argument. Let’s examine it however. On this basis of God and a follower had moral principles that aligned, would it would mean that they must align on a principle higher than God? Of course not. Agreement is possible without imposition from a higher level.

On the third option, if the gods conflict in their standards of right and wrong, then to obey one God is to risk disobeying another incurring punishment. Ethics would be relative. Good for one god would not necessarily be “good” in an objective and universal sense. For example, sacrificing one’s child to Kali would be commendable to one stream of Hinduism but reprehensible to many others. But surely, child sacrifice, as such, is objectionable regardless. Some things by all reason and appearance are right or wrong, regardless.

Note how the author has picked an example of worshippers of Kali sacrificing Children. If this were a neuteral argument they should also mention Christian groups killing children accused of witchcraft and child abuse in Christian groups, as well as historic attrocities like those I documented in “The Cathars from a Hindu Perspective“. Anyway this argument again makes two assumptions that I have already dismissed; that Hinduism is polytheistic, and that agreement without a higher authority is impossible.

Pantheism does not fair much better than polytheism since it asserts that ultimately there is only one thing—one divine reality—thus disallowing any ultimate distinctions of “good” and “evil.” If “good” and “evil” were really distinct then there would not be one single indivisible reality.

Firstly, Hinduism in the form of Vedanta Advaita is closer to panentheism than pantheism, there is much more to God than the physical world. Secondly Hinduism certainly does have distinctions between good and evil – just read the Gita to see many references to this. Evil arises through avidya or ignorance.

The Hindu idea of a universe encompassing God is not that different from that of a universe which was created solely by God and over which God has complete power. In the Christian worldview it is also not easy to see the origin of evil. The argument given is a straw man.

.…. And even if such distinctions as “good” and “evil” could be made, the context of karma voids the moral context of that distinction. Karma is an impersonal principle much like a natural law such as gravity or inertia. When karma comes calling on some sinful soul, it is not a divine policing that brings judgment. Rather it is an impersonal reaction of nature.

Hang on so the author has just been arguing that everything is God so there can be no good or evil and now he is saying that Karma is not of God? Krishna clearly says that devotion to Him can make up for bad karma. Karma is a natrural law, but God is above this and can intervene. “Love, nonviolence, good conduct and the law of dharma define the Hindu path” (from Dancing with Shiva).

Fifth, the question remains “What do you do with your sin?” Christianity has the strongest answer to this problem. Hinduism, like Buddhism, has at least two ideas of sin. Sin is sometimes understood as ignorance. It is sinful if one does not see or understanding reality as Hinduism defines it. But, there remains an idea of moral error termed “sin.” To do something deliberately evil, to break a spiritual or earthly law, or to desire wrong things, these would be sins. But, that morality definition of sin points to a kind of moral error that requires real atonement. From where can atonement rise? Can atonement come by adherence to karmic principles?

Well, Swami Vivekananda says:
Advaita and Advaita alone explains morality. Every religion preaches that the essence of all morality is to do good to others. And why? Be unselfish. And why should I? Some God has said it? He is not for me. Some texts have declared it? Let them; that is nothing to me; let them all tell it. And if they do, what is it to me? Each one for himself, and somebody take the hindermost — that is all the morality in the world, at least with many. What is the reason that I should be moral? You cannot explain it except when you come to know the truth as given in the Gita: “He who sees everyone in himself, and himself in everyone, thus seeing the same God living in all, he, the sage, no more kills the Self by the self.” Know through Advaita that whomsoever you hurt, you hurt yourself; they are all you.

This to me is a real motivation for morality and atonement. The article goes on to say we should look to Jesus as a saviour, but as I already mentioned in “What Hinduism has to Offer“, it is in accepting the religion that the spiritual journey in Christianity ends. For Hinduism it is where it begins. Real atonement is to make amends and to act correctly in the future, not to punish yourself for the wrongdoing.

Christianity however treats sin as moral error against a single, ultimate, and personal God. Ever since Adam, humans have been sinful creatures. Sin is real. And it sets an infinite gap between man and bliss. Sin demands justice. Yet it cannot be “balanced out” with an equal or greater amount of good works. If someone has 10x’s more good works than bad works, then that person still has evil on his or her conscience. What happens to these remaining bad works? Are they just forgiven as if they were not a big deal in the first place? Are they permitted into bliss? Are they mere illusions thus leaving no problem whatsoever? None of these options are suitable. Concerning illusion, sin is too real to us to be explained away as illusion. Concerning sinfulness, when we are honest with ourselves we all know we have sinned. Concerning forgiveness, to simply forgive sin at no cost treats sin like it is not of much consequence.

Hinduism agrees, there is a price for sin. Karma will ensure that everyone faces the consequence of the sin. When the karma is paid the sin is balanced. Christians really believe that if someone sins once in their life, make up for the sin and devote the rest of their lives to God and good work, the sin has not been made up for. They also really believe that the punishment of any sin should be eternal torture. To me the Hindu view corresponds more to what you would expect from a loving God. Remember the above sentence: “Sin demands justice”.

With Christianity, however, all sin is punished though that punishment has already been satisfied in Christ’s personal sacrifice on the cross.

If sin demands justice then is justice satisfied by punishing someone else? Also since Christians believe Jesus is God, what is described is an act of simple forgiveness of sin by God without consequence, just what the author says is wrong!

Hinduism requires correct action and says that we all face the consequence of sin. It also says that sin holds back spiritual progress. Christianity says that the most debauched believer is forgiven whereas the purest non-believer is condemned. It is clear to me which has the superiour attitude to sin, the one most likely to motivate sinlessness.

Finally, in Christianity we can know that we are saved. We do not have to rely on some fleeting experience, nor do we rely on our own good-works or fervent meditation, nor do we put our faith in a false God whom we are trying to “believe-into-existence.”

Is a God that condemns the good based on their belief whilst rewarding the evil based on their beliefs a true God? I am sure that true Christians can find God through their religion, but those who just convert to be saved and then progress no further will be as far from God after becoming Christians as they were before. Christianity does not do as much as Hinduism to ensure spiritual progress, and many see “being saved” as meaning “now I can behave as I like”; a cop-out from true morality.

Also what is this fleeting experience? To follow Hinduism is to try to Know God all the time in everything you do. This is no immediate reward, but something that needs to be worked towards.

So, what does this mean for you? Jesus is the ultimate reality! Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins. God offers all of us forgiveness and salvation if we will simply receive His gift to us (John 1:12), believing Jesus to be the Savior who laid down His life for us – His friends. If you place your trust in Jesus as your only Savior, you will have absolute assurance of eternal bliss in Heaven.

As I said, Christianity encourages people to sign up rather than encouraging right living. Some people will take the spiritual cop out. Again and again, in life after life they will take it, perhaps feeling that they are missing something real. Eventually God and them will find eachother, but not through this type of religious belief.

If you want to receive Jesus as your Savior, simply speak to God, verbally or silently, and tell Him that you receive the gift of salvation through Jesus. If you want a prayer to say, here is an example: “God, thank you for your love for me. Thank you for sacrificing yourself for me. Thank you for providing for my forgiveness and salvation. I accept the gift of salvation through Jesus. I receive Jesus as my Savior. Amen!”

If you want to discover the reality of your divine nature it will take more than that. I cannot claim that just saying “I receive Shiva or Krishna” will give you instant salvation, it is just not true. You can start on the true path towards self realisation. A prayer will help you get started. I would suggest praying to Ganesh, the form of God associated with removing obstacles. Just let Ganesh know you want to find true meaning and to help you find your path. Your path may be different to mine; everyone has different karma and spiritual needs. Hinduism has many paths and I do believe that everyone can find spiritual progress in Hinduism.

Have you made a decision to trust Jesus as your Savior because of what you have read here today? If so, please click on the “I have put my faith in Jesus today” button below. If you would like us to contact you, please enter your email address as well.

If you realise that you are responsible (with God’s help) for your own actions and your own spiritual progress, and wonder whether Hinduism has the answers, I would look at http://hinduism.about.com/. You may have heard many incorrect things about Hinduism, so you might want to check out the “Frequent errors in media coverage of Hinduism” page of the Hindu American Foundation. A good move would be to visit a local Hindu temple and talk to the priest, but I know how difficult that can be. It took months for me to become courageous enough to do that (you can read about that here). I would also recommend that you sign up with Orkut, which has a lot of helpful Hindu groups, and join the “Converts to Hinduism -reloaded” group. You will find helpful advice from many people there, most questions on the forum get a reply within a day. You can join anonymously if you just want to “put your toe in the water”. Finally, you could leave a comment on this article and I will try to answer it!

(use of material from http://www.gotquestions.org/ permitted under fair use for criticism. As you may have gathered I do not endorse that site!)

21 responses to “Analysis of "Christian Conversion" text.

  1. Well argued .. requre to good amount of time as also sensibility to understand your view point.. continue writing…

  2. Hello again. I found some time to come back and read some more of your writing.

    Your arguments are well thought out and I agree on all except one:

    “As I said, Christianity encourages people to sign up rather than encouraging right living.”

    The person who’s article you’re responding to may believe it’s enough to just sign up, but I can guarantee the teachings of Jesus Christ do not!!

    The author of the other article suffers from the the same trait as many who would claim exclusivity: he fails to see Hindu belief from the point of view of one of it’s believers. Until he’s willing to open his mind, he will never present a reasoned argument.

    I thinks the button labeled ‘I have accepted Christ today!’ at the end of the article is pretty indicative of the sites mindset. There is no button for ‘No thanks! I’m happy just the way I am!’. They’re only interested in counting heads!

    Thanks for the informative article.

  3. Thanks for your incisive and insightful arguments. I think you’ve done a good job of cutting through the logical structure of most contemporary Christian evangelical arguments (Rick Warren, author of the wildly popular best-seller “The Purpose Driven Life,” uses some of the self-same psychological arguments that the author of the Christian article used). Underneath the cover so-called philosophical thought, these type of ‘thinkers’ use a combination of fear, appeal, and cajoling to manipulate their potential converts to their brand of Christianity. Thanks for your efforts in countering these charlatans.

  4. Once I was asked by a Hindu friend of mine”Why don’t you consider our gods as yours when we consider Christ as one of our gods?”I didn’t have to think before saying “If you can show anyone of those gods who lived as morally as Christ did I will certainly worship him “. He could not answer that.

    I just don’t understand why Hinduism has so many gods whose acts like polygamy, polyandry, incest are punishable today.It is argued that such behaviour is acceptable in that yuga.Can human or divine values change with yugas?!! Even if we assume so, why should the deities from those yugas be worshipped in this kaliyuga(Ironically kaliyuga is considered bad when it is in this period that the above way of life of the deities is considered criminal!!!).It may be argued that the behaviour is just symbolic of some profound inner truth. Why all the time try to take refuge of such absurd explanations when there is possibility of creating an entire set of gods whose ethics cannot be made fun of by the Christians or others? Why worship unethical deities when we can just have that bare inner truth as our inspiration to lead an ethical life? If we want a personification of that blemishless truth who else fits the perfect ethical image than Jesus Christ? Can you imagine Hinduism without unethical deities and the oppressive caste system? Can you devise one?

    To conclude…There was a man who I know who always talked of Indian moral values and how the immoral westen culture is polluting the younger generation in India. I have never understood which god inspired the so called hindu morals as this person or most of the self professed guardians of sacred Indian values claim. I realised the innermost truth when I saw him fondling his elder brother’s 12 yearold daughter against her wishes and demanded an explanation for his crime. His reply – “When gods themselves do it why not I?!!!!!!! “

  5. Once I was asked by a Hindu friend of mine”Why don’t you consider our gods as yours when we consider Christ as one of our gods?”I didn’t have to think before saying “If you can show anyone of those gods who lived as morally as Christ did I will certainly worship him “. He could not answer that.

    I just don’t understand why Hinduism has so many gods whose acts like polygamy, polyandry, incest are punishable today.

    I think you are conveniently forgotten all the accounts of polygamy in the Bible, though evidence for polyandry is rather thin. Of course there is the incest between the children of Adam and Eve also. There are many saintly people in Hinduism, Yudhisthira for example.

    It may be argued that the behaviour is just symbolic of some profound inner truth. Why all the time try to take refuge of such absurd explanations when there is possibility of creating an entire set of gods whose ethics cannot be made fun of by the Christians or others?

    There seems to be something that makes Christians want to take things literally, even the creation story that has so much evidence against it. To take these stories literally rather than symbolically would be like reading the parable of the wheat and the tears and wondering why the bible advocated such bad agricultural practice! The Hindu stories only make sense when you understand that there is one God with many aspects, so (for example) Shiva killing Kama indicates spirituality overcoming lust.

    If you want to invent your own religion, why not invent someone with the goodness of Jesus who did not think that eternal torture was a just destiny for those of other faiths? perhaps you will find that Krishna (who accepts prayers even offered to other Gods) is near what you come up with.

    The man you speak of has despicable behaviour, which would be condemned by any real Hindu. Of course there are many accounts of Christians abusing people in the name of their religion Chidren of God for example.

  6. I was only talking of the inspiration provided by the lives of gods to the people that follow them and not any parables or mythical and absurd stories that are mentioned in any religious texts. I beg to be understood with an open mind. I was talking about gods’ behaviour and not about any ordinary mortal men like Adam and his children or Yudishtara who is much more Christlike than the immortal gods.

    The children of God u mentioned or the heartless crusaders are not true Christians. A true Christian is the one who tries to emulate Christ. Who forgives his persecutor and offers the other side of his face to slap. This divine forgiveness has inspired even the father of our nation. It inspired him even to love his enemies.

    The man with his despicable behaviour cannot be condemned since he says he was simply inspired by his gods’ lives. Regarding the alternative u suggested to Jesus , I am afraid the above man has mostly quoted Krishna’s life as his inspiration in his effort to justify himself. Furthermore don’t u think ‘loving thy enemy’ is more divine than ‘dushta sikshana’ [I believe this means a difficult or cruel lesson: Chris]? I can’t imagine a Person who loves His enemies is capable of recommending eternal torture to peoples of other faiths. Religion or faith is only a recent term to classify peoples following different cults and practices. Christianity is not any religion and christians are not any race or group. True Christans are those people (including people of other faiths) who are ready to sacrifice their life even for their enemies ala Christ Mr.Chris.

    Don’t u have a comment on the caste system?

  7. Prasad,
    I stand by what I say about the stories of the Hindu Gods having to be taken as allegorical. I think that there are many cases of ‘dushta sikshana’ (if I have understood the term correctly) in the Christian Bible, Abraham not being able to enter the promised land, the plagues on Egypt – think of these from the point of an ordinary citizen rather than the Pharoe; Sodom and Gomorrah, and Jehrico.

    “They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it — men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.” (Joshua 6:21)”

    I honour and respect the form of Christianity that you support. I acknowledge that many Christians do not believe in eternal punishment, but eternal punishment is the doctrine of the Christian faith, and is certainly what is pushed by most evangelical missionaries. Historically many Christians believe in enforced conversion of non Christians, and the killing of those who refuse to convert. Due to the doctrine of papal infallibility Catholics are obliged to believe that this was the right course of action in the past.

    Christianity is not any religion and christians are not any race or group. True Christans are those people (including people of other faiths) who are ready to sacrifice their life even for their enemies ala Christ

    As you acknowledge there are people of many faiths that are ready to do this, Sikhs in particular are obliged to do this. I also believe it is strongly supported by Hinduism, which teaches that we are all children of God.

    Briefly, about the caste system, I am strongly opposed to the idea of a hereditary caste system. Many born-Hindus also oppose this idea, and there is a lot of evidence that it was a cultural addition to Vedic Hinduism. Sometime I will expand on this in an article.

  8. I have a book titled ‘Conversion-A National Debate’ by Sunder Raj Ebe.
    I wish I could send u the book to you. But I think it would easier for u to obtain it from the book store

    Contact Details

    Bookshop 21, YMCA Road,
    Opp YMCA International
    Mumbai Central,
    Mumbai – 400 008

    Tel: 91-22-23076941
    91-22-23095656
    Fax: 91-22-23076941

    Editorial Office

    2-A, Sharon Apts,
    I C Colony
    Borivli(W),
    Mumbai – 400 103

    Tel: 91-22-28920426

    I strongly recommend this book to u as it gives native details, historical perspective, the untouchable’s plight, brahminical religion’s invasion etc.,
    I think it will help u to get some essential understanding in depth in the subject of ur interest and in ur promised comments on caste system. Please do read the book at the earliest.
    Best wishes

  9. Also search ‘Christ in vedas’ in the net
    (one small excerpt I give hereunder from the result of my search)

    Vedas Foretell About the Sacrifice of Christ

    By Taken from Balidan tract
    Author -Anubhavanand Keshav Ray Sharma Mandapaka

    All have sinned disobeying the law of God. So they try to find different ways in order to escape from the wrath of God. In our country (India) some make offerings to Brahmins, and others sacrifice animals.

    Vedas declare sacrifice as the only way for salvation. “Dharmani prathamani” it means that sacrifice is most important of all our duties.

    “Yagyo vay bhuvanasya nabhih” – Sacrifice is the base of the world.
    “Yagye sarvam pratishtitham” – Through sacrifice all things can be obtained.
    “Yagyo vay sutram nouh” – Sacrifice is a boat by which life can be driven smoothly.
    “Yagyem va deva divangatah” – gods got to heaven only through sacrifice.
    “Ritasya nah pathinay ati vishvani durita” – get saved through sacrifice.

    “These theories which are declared in Vedas show that sacrifice should get the highest place in all the penance and it should be done for the remission of sins.

    Come let us see what the message of BhagvatGeeta’s is:

    “Sah-yagyah prajah srushtva purovach prajapathih Annen pravishyadhvamesh vo s sitvasht kamdhuk”
    It means:

    When God made man in the beginning, He did sacrifice and He said, “by this your heart’s desire may be full.”
    “Yagya shapith kalmashah” – Those whose sins are washed by sacrifice.
    “Nayam loko-sthya yagyasyakutho-nyah kurusatham” – O, holy guru when those who did not sacrifice a single time has no place in this world, then how can he get to heaven?

    The importance of sacrifice has been shown in this way. We see in Madakopnishad, “Plava hyeth adhrada yagya rupah” – The timber of sacrifice-boat would be silent.

    In the 7th chapter of yagya vaibhav khand in Skandha Puran we can read like this:-
    “Plava hyete sura yagya adrudashch na shamsayah” -O gods, The timber of sacrifice – boat is undoubtedly silent.

    Tandya mahabrahmin says, “Yagyo va avati tasya chaya criyate”- Only sacrifice can give deliverance, whatever is done is only a shadow of sacrifice.

    In Rig -Veda we read, “Atmada balda yasyachaya-mrutam… yasya mrityuh” – whose shadow and death became life (Amrit – or immortality), by his shadow and death He will give soul and strength.

    All these above writings clearly states that sacrifice itself never brings deliverance but they are only the shadow of sacrifice which brings great deliverance. Ethray brahmin says, “Yagyamanah pashu yagyamanmev swarga lokam gaymati” – “He Who donates animal for sacrifice, does the sacrifice and goes to heaven.”

    Shathpath brahmin says, “Prajapathi yagyah” – God Himself is sacrifice.

    In tandya mahabrahmin of Sam-Veda, it says, “Prajapathi devemya atmanam yagyam drutva praikshat” – God will offer give Himself as sacrifice and receive the repentance of sins.

    Shathpath brahmin says, “Tasya prajapathirdharmev martyamasidharth marutham” -God became half mortal and half immortal. It means He became man and heavenly the mixture of both.

    Purushsukta says, “sacrifice of Brahmadev is done.

    All these teachings clearly indicates that the master of this creation himself will perform a true and great saving sacrifice. He would become both mortal and immortal and anointed God – man and by becoming the sacrificial animal, He would give Himself for the deliverance of the sins of mankind.

    Rig-Veda gives the following facts regarding the sacrificial animal:

    1. It should be a lamb without blemish.
    2. Around his head ‘Bulusu’ bush should be placed.
    3. It should be on the altar of sacrifice.
    4. Its four legs should be nailed in such a way that until they bleed.
    5. The cloth which covers the lamb should be distributed in four parts.
    6. No bones should be broken
    7. Gal should be given for the drink of the lamb.
    8. After it is sacrificed, it should come back to life again.
    9. Its flesh should be eaten.

    From this we can come to the conclusion that the anointed Lamb of God who gave Himself for sacrifice and died for us, complied with all these descriptions.

    It can be said that God took the form of a man first and then to save the sinners He gave Himself to be sacrificed. In our country we never read about this type of anointed one in our scriptures. No one who is God’s anointed ever had this type of sacrificial death for the redemption of sinners. But in the meditarian seashore of western Asia there is a country called Palestine that is situated in the midst of dense population of the world. In this country an anointed son was born to a holy virgin in whom all these above written qualities were complete. He was completely innocent and blameless. He lived a holy and pure life. He was both mortal and immortal means both man and God. From the beginning itself He prophesied about His sacrificial death for the deliverance of mankind and victorious resurrection from the death. He delivered Himself to those evil people who not only loved sin and sinful ways of this world but also wanted to kill Him.

    If we see about His death, we can see that as the Rig-Veda describes the qualities of the sacrificial lamb they are exactly fulfilled in this anointed person as explained below:

    1. It should be a blameless lamb – He was a blameless (or without sin) God – man.
    2. Around his head ‘Bulusu’ bush should be placed – A crown of thorn was put on His head.
    3. It should be on the altar of sacrifice – He was laid on the Cross.
    4. Its four legs should be nailed in such a way that until they bleed – His hands and legs were nailed.
    5. The cloth which covers the lamb should be distributed in four parts – Those who crucified Him distributed His cloths by themselves.
    6. No bones should be broken – None of His bones were broken.
    7. Gal-juice should be given for the drink of the lamb – He was given vinegar for drink.
    8. After it is sacrificed, it should come back to life again- He rose up from the dead on the third day.
    9. flesh of it must be eaten- Before His death, He said to his disciples that they should eat His flesh and drink His blood, which was sacrificed for the salvation of the world; and for the remembrance of His death take bread and grape juice and for this He started a holy ritual which is still being performed.

    In this anointed person, the sacrifice of repentance which can save sinners, is completed. All these things clearly states that this is the anointed one of God through whom sinners can get salvation of their souls. This anointed one is none other than JESUS.

    Purushsukt says, “Nanya panthah vidhyatey nyayah” – Even by the thousands of good works you can not get to heaven, except through Brahmdev who gave Himself as sacrifice,.”

    So there is none other than “JESUS” who can save you from your sins.

  10. With the search you suggested you will also find many sites (both Hindu and Christian) that dispute the association between Jesus and Prajapti in the Rig Veda that you claim.

    As I am sure you are aware that it is also possible to view Jesus as a misunderstood Hindu, for example The Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta. From what you say your unorthodox version of Christianity does not include the hatred for other religions, and belief in an evil God who will punish those of the wrong faith. It seems to me that though we are of different faiths our core beliefs are similar. We believe in a good and merciful God who will redeem all, and the need for spiritual purity and sacrifice.

    From what I have heard there are Greek Orthodox Christians who have lived in India for centuries, without trying to denigrate other faiths and instill hatred as the modern missionaries have. If all Christians were like them or like you, there would not be a problem.

  11. I sincerely suggest u to study untouchable’s or the original inhabitant’s plight in India owing to the brahminical religion’s invasion. I’m sure it will move u to tears to know what treatment the aryan invaders meted out to the original inhabitants. The book I suggested earlier or a simple net search will throw ample light on the darker side of hinduism and casteism. Even westerners like Anna Sarah Kugler,who came to India with noble mission of providing medical services was considered untouchable by the socalled highcaste hindus despite getting lifesaving medical care from her. Why mention others. Even u cannot gain an entry into an orthodox hindu house as a rent paying tenant in India. They won’t welcome u with open arms like u embraced their pagan religion. I lovingly suggest u get back to Christ’s embrace rather than into the religion of the people who do not let u step into their house.
    ‘I stand by what I say about the stories of the Hindu Gods having to be taken as allegorical’.
    The truth in this statement of urs is ignored by the people indulging in violence claiming physical birth of Ram or Krishna in Ayodhya and Madhura (demolishing Babri masjid) and claiming naturally formed structure between Srilanka and India as Ramsetu. If they also share ur above belief they will realise that allegorical stories cannot have physical and real world implications. I’m afraid u have’nt fully grasped whatever I tried to convey right from my first comment.

  12. Prasad,
    Thank you for your comments. I am not really sure that we are going to get anywhere with this conversation, as it appears to me that you are seeing Christianity with rose-tinted spectacles and Hinduism with a jaundiced eye. If I may address your later post first, you know of course that the Aryan invasion theory is by no means proven or universally accepted. Anyway, even if you accept it for the sake of argument, if you have to go back to the bronze age to show aggression by Hindus I think it compares favourably with the record of Christianity. As “John Singh” commented on this blog, Christianity and Islam are cut from the same cloth. Since we are looking at iron-age events I could go back to the battle of Jehrico and so on, but this type of destruction has continued throughout history. An example is the Albigensian Crusade, where Pope Innocent III ordered the destruction of the pacifist Cathars, because of their difference in belief. In one battle of Béziers more than 20,000 men, women and children were massacred. This included many Christians, because the commander a Cistercian abbot famously said “Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.” — “Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own”, a sentiment echoed by many fanatics and terrorists since then.

    What really makes this different from the Aryan invasion, is that almost every Hindu would condemn such an action, if it ever happened. In contrast, because of the dictate of Papal Infallibility Catholics have to believe that this was the correct course of action, that the instruction to kill the Cathars was a divine revelation to the Pope. To say that they acted wrongly would be heresy.

    Even u cannot gain an entry into an orthodox hindu house as a rent paying tenant in India. They won’t welcome u with open arms like u embraced their pagan religion. I lovingly suggest u get back to Christ’s embrace rather than into the religion of the people who do not let u step into their house.

    I don’t doubt that there are some Hindus who would not be welcoming. I have never met any though. I think you will find that there are plenty of Christians who won’t accept you, from the racists within mainstream churches to explicitly racist Christian groups, including the Ku Klux klan, which says

    THIS IS A WHITE CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION, exalting the Caucasian Race and teaching the doctrine of
    white pride.

    You also say “If they also share ur above belief they will realise that allegorical stories cannot have physical and real world implications.” Does this mean you skip the parables in the Bible.

    Finally, when it comes to people misusing the religion to justify their actions, remember that Christianity was used to justify slavery. Also Gandhi wrote of a Christian who said that “the advantage of being a Christian is you don’t have to feel the guilt for your actions”, and matched it with his deeds, regularly committing immoral acts in the knowledge that he was forgiven. Personally I believe that the Christian creed is more likely to lead to this type of behaviour than Hinduism, but the truth is that there are people who will misinterpret any religion.

    I think I have grasped your comments, but like I said I think this is a futile argument. As I have said before I think that your interpretation of Christianity is admirable. However, to many it would be heresy. I think it is a shame that you cannot see the good in other religions, but I realize that your beliefs will not let you see that.

    Hari Om
    Chris

  13. My last comment.

    We Christians are so fortunate to have been born as untouchables who are not allowed entry into temples of profound philosophy. Thus we were denied satisfaction of spiritual needs. But this very discrimination is what gave us entry into simple and plain love of Christ.

    white man’s racism cannot be compared to casteism though both are barbaric. Casteism is the discriminatory treatment by small minority socalled high caste hindus of majority of the people of their own race and country. in short racism is race against another race and casteism is race against their own race! If people argue that high caste hindus are a superior race to the untouchables than obviously they admit that aryans are foreign invaders! But, in order to claim that the high castes are also original inhabitants,if they are ready to concede, that the aryans are the same race as the untoucables how much more criminal is it than the whiteman’s racism!

    As the last comment from my side. conscience is the best judge of what is wrong and what is right. But it is beyond the grasp of even the conscience to conceive forgiveness to persecutor. This amply demonstrates that there is a perfect Being( apart from self – advaita) whose blemishless love and sanctity alone can be a perfect yagna for our sins.

    Any loving friend willingly takes the punishment that is meant for his friend just for the satisfaction of knowledge that his friend is safe. So what is wrong if Christ offers to sacrifice for His friend-you?

    Further no amount of goodness we are capable of can qualify us for eternal bliss. It has to be only God’s unmatched love and fogiveness that gifts us the bliss. For even the most blemishless humanbeing is worse than the worst in the heaven.

    Lastly whether it is heaven or hell you have the same situation. There are untouchables there that you HAVE to serve. The sinner does it against his wishes and so he is in hell and the compassionate does it most willingly and so he is in heaven!

    Signing up with Christ to have the privilege of sinning again and again knowingly and being forgiven again and again is an interpretation of criminals. It is human to err and stumble sometimes. But there has to be a blessed assurance that such human shortcomings will not condemn you for ever but lovingly lends a pierced hand to make you stand on your feet again! Even if somebody wants to cheat or not he is entitled only to the above situation where it is hell or heaven for him.

    I am very sorry if I hurt your feelings. I feel Christ is simple and obvious where as Profound philosophy is misleading and covers something undesirable.

    Somebody misled you. You are the missing lamb. Let the Shepherd feel the joy of finding you. I am a complete stranger to u. But something has compelled me to write to you again and again.

    I will not disturb u again.

    Good bye

  14. Prasad,
    Thanks for your message. I want you to know that you have not hurt my feelings, I just feel that the conversation is not going anywhere.

    We Christians are so fortunate to have been born as untouchables who are not allowed entry into temples of profound philosophy. Thus we were denied satisfaction of spiritual needs.

    I think it is a terrible wrong that this happened, and a mistaken belief of those who did it. All the scriptures are clear that God is in everyone, so everyone is worthwhile. Fortunately this is changing, with untouchables trained as priests, and general moves to alleviate the problem. Of course I know that this is not much comfort to someone who has had to live through it.

    white man’s racism cannot be compared to casteism though both are barbaric. Casteism is the discriminatory treatment by small minority socalled high caste hindus of majority of the people of their own race and country. in short racism is race against another race and casteism is race against their own race!

    British society also has problems of discrimination against people of the same race, the Irish in particular feel discrimination, less so in England than in Scotland but it’s still present. In my view all discrimination is wrong, we are all human and all have a divine soul. Discrimination between races or within a race is never justified.

    As the last comment from my side. conscience is the best judge of what is wrong and what is right. But it is beyond the grasp of even the conscience to conceive forgiveness to persecutor. This amply demonstrates that there is a perfect Being( apart from self – advaita) whose blemishless love and sanctity alone can be a perfect yagna for our sins.

    There are a few that can forgive persecution, Gandhi for one. Martin Luther King Jr. In America also forgave persecutors, begging his supporters not to harm a racist who had attacked him. I agree it is a rare thing, and I don’t know if I would be capable of it, but I hope that in time I would.

    Further no amount of goodness we are capable of can qualify us for eternal bliss. It has to be only God’s unmatched love and fogiveness that gifts us the bliss. For even the most blemishless humanbeing is worse than the worst in the heaven.

    In general I think in this lifetime few of us can attain liberation. I totally agree that “even the most blemishless humanbeing is worse than the worst in the heaven”, and this is one of the reasons I believe in the Hindu philosophy of development in many worlds over many lives. If Christians go straight to heaven as they are, heaven cannot be perfect. Even if it were filled with good Christians like yourself there would still be imperfection. Since Christianity says the worst Christians are admitted, those who ask for forgiveness knowing that they will sin again and those filled with hate (see some of the other comments here!) it cannot possibly be so. You may say that God will magically make you all perfect, but if change does not come from within yourselves how much is it really “you” that goes to heaven?

    Lastly whether it is heaven or hell you have the same situation. There are untouchables there that you HAVE to serve. The sinner does it against his wishes and so he is in hell and the compassionate does it most willingly and so he is in heaven!

    If I understand this then again I agree. Part of spiritual development is to see God in all, and to be able to treat all as holy and as the same.

    I am very sorry if I hurt your feelings. I feel Christ is simple and obvious where as Profound philosophy is misleading and covers something undesirable.

    Somebody misled you. You are the missing lamb. Let the Shepherd feel the joy of finding you. I am a complete stranger to u. But something has compelled me to write to you again and again.

    Well, Christianity also has a profound philosophy, though most don’t know of it. I find it odd that even the Creed is not explained to many Christians, for example many don’t know that the “Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father” is to imply that God is the cause but did not come before the spirit. Hinduism can be seen at many levels, just stories with morals, allegories of spiritual philosophy, or an underlying reality below Maya. In any religion there are those who interpret it in an undesirable way, but the heart of the religion is pure. Love God with all your heart (bhakti), and all your being. Truly you and your neighbour are the same, so Hinduism teaches us to love our neihbours as ourselves. In truth there is much in common at the heart of true belief in all religions.

    Somebody misled you. You are the missing lamb. Let the Shepherd feel the joy of finding you. I am a complete stranger to u. But something has compelled me to write to you again and again.

    I have not been mislead, neither am I a missing lamb, at least no more than anyone is when on this physical plain. I have found a path, a true path that teaches how to find God and our own true nature. I am sorry that people who should have held this path open to you did not do so.

    I will not disturb u again.

    I find your comments sincere and I am not in the least bit upset by them. When I wrote that I thought that it was a futile argument I just mean that if you think your posts will somehow convert me then it is a waste of time. I can see why you have the view of Hinduism that you do, and I think it is a shame. You have taken on board some of the exclusivity that plagues Christianity, but you have avoided some of the worst beliefs, so I think it can be a good path for you in this life.

    Thank you for your comments, I do not want you to think you have hurt my feelings in any way.
    Namaste
    Chris

    P.S. I will get round to a post on the caste system, I have just been rather busy!

  15. Pingback: The Caste System « Westerner Interested in Hinduism

  16. Wow, this was one Long Argument. I enjoyed your insights very much. Many of your questions(and subsequent answers) are very similar to mine. I guess in a way it validates my own beliefs and hence gave me a “feel good” feeling. Another Maya that I seem to like :). I have stayed with Hinduism because it let me grow as I my thinking changed. It had lessons/explanations/reasoning that made me use my God given Brain while choosing to stay away from that which doesnt appeal to my temperment.

  17. Namaste. This is a masterpiece of a post, and your replies to readers’ comments continue that masterpiece. I applaud your research and presentation. A valuable resource that deserves to be read by any Hindu considering conversion to Christianity as well as by Christians around the world to better understand the issues. Aum Namah Shivaya.

  18. Namaste,
    I personally consider myself a Spiritualist and a devotee of Shree Maa.

    From what I understand of the Harrapan culture that existed in the Indus Valley prior to the Aryan invasion, it would seem that their culture worshiped the Mother Goddess in her myriad of forms both dark and benign. It would seem they also had male deities, the Fathers, who were portrayed as meditating under trees with a host of animals, much like Lord Shiva. From what I’ve studied from Archeology/Anthropology, the earliest traces of spirituality/religion involve worship of the divine feminine and cycled through to include male divinity in representation. Personally, I believe the feminine was used to express the concept of the divine act of creation and as it’s the female of the species that gives birth as a homo sapiens, then it was this iconography that was used and not that Deity has any singular sex. But this is not to say that past cultures and current cultures don’t use religion to justify their own actions as is common enough in historical and anthropological records. What is done is done. Both Christian and Hindu traditions have had disagreeable acts, all cultures do, and some would say this is God’s lila, play, and some would say it’s the struggle between good and evil, but does it matter what term we use or is the main purpose to remind us to strive for something more pure, more self-less, more enlightened within ourselves and to allow it to radiate out into all creation?

    Is it not enough that each of us find our paths to enlightenment through whatever form God/dess has shown to us and inspire us to a more moral and enlightened way of existing that we must dispute the titles of our paths? Honor one-another as they are, if not a part of God, then as a creation of God, and their path to enlightenment should be respected so long as it does not hurt others. No one needs to force conversion on anyone. Allow others to learn and to make their own choices as God deems to show to them.

    Om Aim Hrim Kilm Chamundai Vicce
    cj

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