I have recently received a number of scraps on my orcut profile from a Christian who seems to want to convert me. To do so he has posted inaccurate information. Now from his reaction I think that he was not aware that the information he was using was anything but genuine. I think there is a good chance that he had been conned himself. The person concerned keeps his scrapbook private, so I cannot see who else he is communicating with. I suspect he has been passing the same information to other non-Christians. I have written down the information that he passed in the hope that any other non-Christians who are told the same will be able to quickly see that it is not genuine.
Evidence based on the Bhavishya Purana
The following verse appears to predict Jesus Christ. There are also many other verses predicting Jesus.
isha muurtirt-dradi praptaa
ishamasihah iti ca
mama nama pratishthitam
“Having placed the eternally pure and auspicious form of the Supreme Lord in my heart, O protector of the earth planet, I preached these principles through the mlecchas’ own faith and thus my name became ‘isha-masiha’ (Jesus the Messiah).”
This may at first appear to be remarkable. The Wikipedia article shows that the same purana also remarkably predicts Queen Victoria. Other sources show that it even used words in English (‘Sunday’, ‘February’ and ‘Sixty’), a language that would not exist in any recognisable form for over a thousand years from the supposed date of this document. It also predicted the East India Company and Mugal Rule. This would appear to be a remarkably predictive document indeed!
Unfortunatley there are a number of things that make it look much more likely to be tempered with. Firstly, no editions of this purana dating from before British rule can be found. Secondly the predictions stop at 1900, so there are no predictions of events occurring after the first recorded edition of this document. Steven Knapp points out that there is documented evidence of Christians plotting to write such false documents:
In 1784, the famous Indologist Sir William Jones wrote the following letter to Sir Warren Hastings, Governor General of India, confirming our suspicions that this was indeed part of their program:
“As to the general extension [spreading] of our pure faith [Christianity] in Hindoostan [India] there are at present many sad obstacles to it… We may assure ourselves, that Hindoos will never be converted by any mission from the church of Rome, or from any other church; and the only human mode, perhaps, of causing so great a revolution, will be to translate into Sanscrit… such chapters of the Prophets, particularly of ISAIAH, as are indisputably evangelical, together with one of the gospels, and a plain prefatory discourse, containing full evidence of the very distant ages, in which the predictions themselves, and the history of the Divine Person (Jesus) is predicted, were severally made public and then quietly to disperse the work among the well-educated natives.” (Asiatic Researches Vol. 1. Published 1979, pages 234-235. First published 1788).
Over all I think we can assume that this is more likely to be a forgery than a genuine prediction, though there is evidence that the Bhavishya Purana did exist historically and it is likely that it is a genuine document that has been added to and altered rather than a complete forgery.
Just suppose however that the sages really could predict the life of Jesus, Muhammad and the rise of the British Empire (but not be able to see a few decades later to its decline). Would that mean that we should become Christians? More likely it would validate the mystical powers of the Rishis. If we are to believe this part of the Hindu Scriptures then surely we should believe all! In this unlikely event we should see Jesus as an incarnation of God, but also believe the other predictions such as Krishna, samsara and reincarnation. It seems to me that this was not only an attempt at forgery but a futile one at that.
The Mantra Om Shri Brahamaputra Namaha
It was suggested that this mantra means “we salute to the illustrious son of God”, showing that Hindus really worshiped Jesus. Certainly the translation of Brahamaputra means the son of Brahma. Is this likely to be a reference to Jesus? Well, Wikipedia shows that Brahamaputra is a sacred river. This in itself does not sound likely to refer to Jesus, but more than that the article gives the origin of the name to be a sanskritisation of the Bodo name Bhullam-buthur, meaning gurgling river. I could not find any references to the mantra, but this being a regional sacred place I am willing to accept that it isn used locally.
So, the “son of God” here is a sanskritisation of a word, a coincidence. This does not sugest any link with Jesus.
We should also remember that there are many references in the bible that can be seen as validating Hinduism; “God of Gods”, “light of the world”, and “in the beginning was the word”. Finding a reference that looks like Jesus (but ould also cover many Hindu Gods) does not automatically mean that we should assume that we should all switch to Christianity as there are more references in the Bible to Hinduism. Perhaps Christians should become Hindus – if the Muslims did too the world really would be a much more peaceful and better place.
Some may say that the name of the river sounding like the Sanskrit for “son of God” is not a coincidence. However there are many cases of places having meanings in other languages. The Mayan civilisation for one. And near where I live there is a valley called Shugden Fold, but I don’t see that as a validation of Tibettan Buddhism.
The Mantra Om vidyshtayaha Namaha
It has been suggested that this mantra means “we salute the circumcised one”, again referring to Jesus. It may do, I have been unable to find a translation of ‘vidyshtayaha’ anywhere other than on a Christian site. Without any evidence of this word used elsewhere I would assume that this is something they wrote themselves.
Several other claims have been made, none of them stand up to scrutiny. It is worth remembering that even if a Christian appears sincere, which they may be personally, there is documented evidence of Christians lying and forging to gain converts. Unlike Hindus, who believe that untruth has consequences, they are taught that the end justifies the means and they will be forgiven. Many will not debate on a level playing field. If they make a claim check it – then think if what they say is true does it really validate Christianity more than Hinduism.