World Religions

Christianity and the Vedic Teachings Within It – Part 3

By Sri Nandanandana Dasa

In any case, the Christian Church began with what Paul said about the resurrection of Jesus. Whether the resurrection actually happened or not cannot be proved. Nonetheless, a new faith was born. But through the years there has been much controversy about the nature of Jesus and whether he was actually God as some Christians seem to believe. None of his direct disciples believed that he was, and, indeed, there are many Bible verses which state directly that he was the son of God, such as Luke 1.35, Matthew 17.5, John 4.15, 8.28, 14.28, and others. Only Paul put forward the idea that Jesus was God. But historically it is said that Paul never met Jesus personally, and was converted to Christianity several years after Jesus’ disappearance. Other than that, most of Jesus’ followers thought that perhaps he was the Jewish Messiah. But the Jewish Messiah, according to their prophecies, was not God but rather a Jew who was empowered by God. This actually fits into the Vedic view because there are many empowered living beings who appear from time to time who are sent by God to represent and disseminate His law. Furthermore, Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati, one of the great Vaishnava spiritual masters in the Madhava-Gaudiya line of disciplic succession, has stated that Jesus was a shaktyavesha avatar, or an empowered living entity meant to preach the glories of God.

People may say that Jesus walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead, so he must have been God. But even today in India there have been yogis who have walked on water or who can do other amazing things, like walking over hot coals. This is not like the Hollywood fad of fire walking, but the yogis let the coals burn for days and get so hot that you cannot even get near them without burning your clothes. Then, after spending one month in penance, praying to Durga, they walk across the fire and do not even burn their feet. But some people will say this is the work of the devil. However, is this not peculiar logic to say that walking across fire is of the devil, but if one walks across water he is God? This kind of thinking that is usually found amongst fundamentalists simply shows a great ignorance of yogic powers, which is all walking across fire or water is. Therefore, the miracles of Jesus are a sign of his knowledge of the mystical powers that come from practicing yoga. But it is not a proof that someone is God.

One important part of Eastern knowledge that was present in early Christianity was the understanding of karma and reincarnation. I have already discussed this and pointed out some of the verses that showed the acceptance of reincarnation in the Bible in The Secret Teachings of the Vedas; so, I will not go into it so deeply here. But it is known that the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 A.D. threw out all references to reincarnation and stated that the idea of it was a myth, and anyone who believed in it would be excommunicated. Of course, this action would not be unexpected in light of the other things the Church has done throughout history in order to place itself as the only way to reach heaven and attain the mercy of God. By eliminating the possibility of reincarnation and the soul’s existence prior to this life, there could be no chance for the soul to reach the state of spiritual perfection over a period of several lifetimes. There would only be this one lifetime in which the soul came into existence, and one chance for a person to reach either heaven or eternal hell, which would be determined by the intervention of the Church. In other words, the Church felt threatened by the fact that the soul has an eternal and personal relationship with God that must be rekindled either in one, two, or however many lifetimes it takes, and this relationship does not necessarily depend on one’s good standing in any religious organization. Thus, people could try to re-establish their relationship with God by other means than the dictates of the Church, which is what the Church could not tolerate.

Unfortunately, by taking out the knowledge of reincarnation and karma, the Church has created huge gaps in its philosophy which leave questions it cannot answer. For example, the Christians cannot explain why one person may be born blind, poor, deformed, or sickly, while another may be born healthy and rich. They do not understand why reversals in life may happen to some, and others seem to have a life of ease. They cannot explain why these differences take place and, in fact, they sometimes blame God for such things, which only shows their ignorance of spiritual knowledge. Furthermore, they do not understand the science of the soul and our spiritual identity, the nature of the spiritual realm, the characteristics of the personality of God, nor the pastimes and incarnations of God, and so on. Thus, the spiritual knowledge that the Christians utilize in their philosophy is very elementary and incomplete. And as we have already established in our previous writings, reaching complete spiritual perfection is not possible in such an incomplete spiritual process. At best, it promotes good moral values, detachment toward worldly life, attachment and devotion to God, and the possibility of reaching the heavenly planets. However, the heavenly planets are still within the material cosmic manifestation and not in the spiritual realm. A real religionist or transcendentalist is interested only in reaching the level of spiritual realization that enables him to directly perceive his spiritual identity and enter the spiritual strata far beyond this material creation.

Actually, Christians still must accept the understanding of karma and reincarnation to some extent in order to explain logically how one can have a life after death in heaven or hell. According to the Christian doctrine, qualifying for heaven or hell depends on one’s actions in this life. That is called karma in Vedic literature. And as one enters heaven or hell in his next life, he takes on or incarnates in a different form. This is reincarnation. So Christians must, at least to this degree, accept karma and reincarnation whether they fully understand it or not. But to understand it more completely, as explained in the philosophy of the Vedic literature, allows us to realize that our good or unpleasant situations in this life depends on our activities from past lives. And by our activities in this life we can cause our future existence to be good or bad, or we can reach the heavenly or hellish planetary systems to work out our karma. This understanding is accepted by many cultures throughout the world. In fact, the scholar Max Muller remarked that the greatest minds humanity has produced have accepted reincarnation.


Admin: All references from Sri Nandanandana Dasa are included below for all parts of the post, so anyone can go and look them up.

Via
Stephen Knapp.com
Source
Stephen-knapp.comA History of India, Hermann Kulke and Dietmar Rothermund, Dorset Press, New York, 1986Bharat (India) As Seen and Known by Foreigners, By G. K. Deshpende, Swadhyaya--Mandal, Killa Pardi, District Surat, 1950Bhavisya PuranaBible, New York International Bible Society, 1981Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions, by T. W. Doane, reprinted by Health Research, P. O. Box 70, Mokelumne Hill, CA 95245, 1985Book of Jasher, Published by The Rosicrucian Order, San Jose, California, 1934Book of Morman, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1976Breakthrough, Clifford G. Hospital, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 1985Buddhist and Christian Gospels, Albert J. Edmonds, Yukwan Publishing House, Tokyo, 1905Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War, translated by T. Rice Holmes, Macmillan & Co. Ltd., St. Martins Street, London, 1908Chips From a German Workshop, Max MuellerCollectania De Rebus Hibernicus, Lt. Gen. Charles Vallancy, Craisberry and Campbell, 10 Back Lane, Dublin, 1804Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion, Reese, Humanities Press, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, 1980Egyptian Civilization, L. A. Waddell, Christian Book Club, Hawthorne, CAElements of Hindu Iconography, by T. A. Gopinatha Rao, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 1985Encyclodaedia Judaica, Heter Publishing Co., JerusalemHindu Influence on Greek Philosophy, Timothy J. Lomperis, Minerva Associates (Publications) PVT. LTD., Calcutta, 1984The Indo-Sumerian Seals Deciphered, L. A. Waddell, Omni Publications, Hawthorne, California, 1980Inner Reaches of Outer Space, Joseph Campbell, Harper & Row, New York, 1986In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, Georg Feuerstein, Subash Kak, & David Frawley, Quest Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1995In Search of the Indo-Europeans, J.P.Mallory, Thames & Hudson, New York, 1989India in Greece, by Edward PocockeIndia's Past, A. A. MacdonellIndia--What Can It Teach Us, Max MuellerIndian Architecture--Its Psychology, Structure and History, E. B. HavellIndian Wisdom; or Examples of the Religious, Philosophical, and Ethnical Doctrines of the Hindoos, by Monier Williams, M.A., Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford, London, W. H. Allen, 1875.Islam, Alfred Guillaume, Penguin Books Ltd., Hammomnds Worth, Middlesex, UK, 1954Jesus Lived in India, Kersten, Element Book Ltd., Dorset England, 1986The Jesus Mystery, Bock, Aura Books, Los Angeles, 1980Jesus the Magician, Smith, Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1978Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile, Colonel John SpekeMahabharata, Kamala Subramaniam, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, 1982Mahabharata: Myth and RealityBDiffering Views, edited by S. P. Gupta and K. S. Ramachandran, Agam Prakashan, Delhi, 1976The Makers of Civilization, L. A. Waddell, Hollywood, CA. 1929Matter, Myth and Spirit, or Keltic and Hindu Links, by Dorothea Chaplin, Scot Rider & Co., Paternoster Row, London, 1935.Millennia of Discoveries, Alexander Adams, Vantage Press, New York, 1994Memoirs of India, R. G. Wallace, 1824Monumental Christianity, or the Art and Symbolism of the Primitive Church as Witness and Teachers of the One Catholic faith and Practice, by John P. Lundy, Presbyter, New York: J. W. Bouton, 1876.Narrative of a Journey Overland From England to India, Mrs. Colonel Elwood, published by Henry Calhoun, London, 1830Oriental Mythology, Joseph Campbell, Penguin Books, New York, 1962Origines, by Sir W. Drummond, printed by A. G. Valpy, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, LondonReadings From World Religions, Selwyn Champion, Dorothy Short, Fawcett World Library, New York, New York, 1951Revisiting Indus-Sarasvati Age and Ancient India, Editors Bhu Dev Sharma and Nabarun Ghose. Published by World Association for Vedic Studies, c/o Dr. Deen B. Chandora, 4117 Menloway, Atlanta, GA. 30340. 1998Primitive Mythology, Joseph Campbell, Penguin Books, New York, 1959Sanskrit and Its Kindred Literatures--Studies in Comparative Mythology, Laura Elizabeth Poor, C. Kegan Paul & Co., Paternoster Square, London, 1881Story of Civilization, by William DurantThe Celtic Druids, Godfrey Higgins, Rowland Hunter, St. Paul's Churchyard, Hurst & Chance, St. Paul's, Churchgate & Radgway & Sons, Picadilly, 1929The Chosen People, John M. Allegro, Granada Publishing Ltd., Park Street, St. Albans, Herts, England, 1973The Diegesis: Being a Discovery of the Origin, Evidences, and Early History of Christianity, by Reverend Robert Taylor, J. P. Mendum, London edition, 1873The Mystical Life of Jesus, H. Spencer Lewis, published by Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, San Jose, CA., 1953The Origins of the Aryans, by Sir Isaac TailorThe Pentateuch and Book of Joshua Critically Examined, by the Right Reverend John William Colenso, D. D., Bishop of Natal. Longmans, Green & Co., London, 1863The Problem of Aryan Origins (From the Indian Point of View), K. D. Sethna. Published by Rakesh Goel for Aditya Prakashan, 4829/1 Prahlad Lane, 24 Ansari Road, New Delhi. 1992The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall, The Philosophical Research Society, Inc., Los Angeles, California, 1962The Secret Doctrine of Jesus, H. Spencer Lewis, published by Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, San Jose, CA., 1953The Sphinx Speaks or The Story of Prehistoric Nations by Jwala Prasad Singhal, M.A., LL.B., Ph. D., Published by Sadgyan Sadan, 7A, Pandara Road, New Delhi, India, 1963The Story of Indian Music and its Instruments, Ethel RosenthalThe Sumerians, C. Leonard Woolley, W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1965The Teachings of the Vedas, Reverend Morris PhilipThe Theogony of the Hindus, Count BiornsttiernaThe Wanderings of a Pilgrim in Search of the Picturesque, by Fanny Parks, Oxford University Press, London, 1975The Wonder That Was India, A. L. Basham, Fontana, London, 1971Travels in Arabia, by John Lewis, published by Henry Calhoun, London, 1829Tibetan Buddhism, L. A. Waddell, Dover, New York, 1972Vedic Aryans and The Origins of Civilization, by Navaratna S. Rajaram and David Frawley. Published by World Heritage press, Quebec, Canada, and Voice of India, 2/18, Ansari Road, New Delhi 110 002, 1995, 1997Vimana Aircraft of Ancient India & Atlantis, David Childress, Adventures Unlimited Press, Stelle, IL 60946, 1991. (Contains a translation of The Vimaakia Shastra of Maharshi Bharadvaja.)Vimana in Ancient India, Dileep Kumar Kanjilal, Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar, 38, Bidhan Sarani, Calcutta, India, 1985What the Great Religions Teach, Health Research, Mokelumne Hill, California, 1958Who Wrote the Bible?, Richard Elliott Friedman, Harper SanFrancisco, a division of Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 1989Who Wrote the New Testament?, Burton L. Mack, Harper SanFrancisco, a division of Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 1995World Religions, From Ancient History to the Present, Parrinder, Facts on File Publications, New York, 1971World Vedic Heritage, by Purushottam Nagesh Oak, published by P. N. Oak, 10, Good Will Society, Aundh, Pune, India, 411 007World-Wide Hindu Culture and Vaisnava Bhakti, Dr. S. Venu Gopalacharya, 1471-D, Jains’ Colony, Ashoka Nagar, Mandya, 571 401, India, 1997World-Wide Kannada-Tamil & Sanskrit Vocabulary, Dr. S. Venu Gopalacharya, 1471-D, Jains’ Colony, Ashoka Nagar, Mandya, 571 401, India, 1989
Tags

Raman

I started this blog with the assistance of great vaisnavas, to try and bridge the gap between technology and Krishna Consciousness, whilst at the same time providing a platform for everyone to share their articles, experiences, thoughts and comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close
Close
× Available from 00:00 to 23:59