Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 124On the first day of the week some of Jesus' followers came to see the sepulchre, when they found that, in spite of the "sealing" and the "watch," the angel of the Lord had descended from heaven, had rolled back the stone from the door, and that "Jesus had risen from the dead."[215:1]
The story of his ascension is told by the Mark[215:2] narrator, who says "he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God;" by Luke,[215:3] who says "he was carried up into heaven;" and by the writer of the Acts,[215:4] who says "he was taken up (to heaven) and a cloud received him out of sight."
We will find, in stripping Christianity of its robes of Paganism, that these miraculous events must be put on the same level with those we have already examined.
Crishna, the crucified Hindoo Saviour, rose from the dead,[215:5] and ascended bodily into heaven.[215:6] At that time a great light enveloped the earth and illuminated the whole expanse of heaven. Attended by celestial spirits, and luminous as on that night when he was born in the house of Vasudeva, Crishna pursued, by his own light, the journey between earth and heaven, to the bright paradise from whence he had descended. All men saw him, and exclaimed, "Lo, Crishna's soul ascends its native skies!"[215:7]
Samuel Johnson, in his "Oriental Religions," tells us that Râma—an incarnation of Vishnu—after his manifestations on earth, "at last ascended to heaven," "resuming his divine essence."
"By the blessings of Râma's name, and through previous faith in him, all sins are remitted, and every one who shall at death pronounce his name with sincere worship shall be forgiven."[216:1]
The mythological account of Buddha, the son of the Virgin Maya, who, as the God of Love, is named Cam-deo, Cam, and Cama, is of the same character as that of other virgin-born gods. When he died there were tears and lamentations. Heaven and earth are said equally to have lamented the loss of "Divine Love," insomuch that Maha-deo (the supreme god) was moved to pity, and exclaimed, "Rise, holy love!" on which Cama was restored and the lamentations changed into the most enthusiastic joy. The heavens are said to have echoed back the exulting sound; then the deity, supposed to be lost (dead), was restored, "hell's great dread and heaven's eternal admiration."[216:2]
The coverings of the body unrolled themselves, and the lid of his coffin was opened by supernatural powers.[216:3]
Buddha also ascended bodily to the celestial regions when his mission on earth was fulfilled, and marks on the rocks of a high mountain are shown, and believed to be the last impression of his footsteps on this earth. By prayers in his name his followers expect to receive the rewards of paradise, and finally to become one with him, as he became one with the Source of Life.[216:4]
Lao-Kiun, the virgin-born, he who had existed from all eternity, when his mission of benevolence was completed on earth, ascended bodily into the paradise above. Since this time he has been worshiped as a god, and splendid temples erected to his memory.[216:5]
Zoroaster, the founder of the religion of the ancient Persians, who was considered "a divine messenger sent to redeem men from their evil ways," ascended to heaven at the end of his earthly career. To this day his followers mention him with the greatest reverence, calling him "The Immortal Zoroaster," "The Blessed Zoroaster," "The Living Star," &c.[216:6]
Æsculapius, the Son of God, the Saviour, after being put to death, rose from the dead. His history is portrayed in the following lines of Ovid's, which are prophecies foretelling his life and actions: