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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: 164

Aristotle a picker-up of ethics from a Jew, Seneca a correspondent of St. Paul, were due 'in some cases to ignorance, in some to a want of perfect honesty in controversial dealing.'[287:2]

"His arguments would be even more conclusive if applied to the Bhagavad-gita, the author of which was probably contemporaneous with Seneca.[287:3] It must, indeed, be admitted that the flames of true light which emerge from the mists of pantheism in the writings of Indian philosophers, must spring from the same source of light as the Gospel itself; but it may reasonably be questioned whether there could have been any actual contact of the Hindoo systems with Christianity without [Pg 288]a more satisfactory result in the modification of pantheistic and anti-Christian ideas."[288:1]

Again he says:

"It should not be forgotten that although the nations of Europe have changed their religions during the past eighteen centuries, the Hindu has not done so, except very partially. Islam converted a certain number by force of arms in the eighth and following centuries, and Christian truth is at last slowly creeping onwards and winning its way by its own inherent energy in the nineteenth; but the religious creeds, rites, customs, and habits of thought of the Hindus generally, have altered little since the days of Manu, five hundred years b. c."[288:2]

These words are conclusive; comments, therefore, are unnecessary.

Geo. W. Cox, in his "Aryan Mythology," speaking on this subject says:

"It is true that these myths have been crystallized around the name of Crishna in ages subsequent to the period during which the earliest vedic literature came into existence; but the myths themselves are found in this older literature associated with other gods, and not always only in germ. There is no more room for inferring foreign influence in the growth of any of these myths than, as Bunsen rightly insists, there is room for tracing Christian influence in the earlier epical literature of the Teutonic tribes. Practically the myths of Crishna seems to have been fully developed in the days of Megasthenes (fourth century B. C.) who identifies him with the Greek Hercules."[288:3]

It should be remembered, in connection with this, that Dr. Parkhurst and others have considered Hercules a type of Christ Jesus.

In the ancient epics Crishna is made to say:

"I am Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, and the source as well as the destruction of things, the creator and the annihilator of the whole aggregate of existences. While all men live in unrighteousness, I, the unfailing, build up the bulwark of righteousness, as the ages pass away."[288:4]

These words are almost identical with what we find in the Bhagavad-gita. In the Maha-bharata, Vishnu is associated or identified with Crishna, just as he is in the Bhagavad-gita and Vishnu Purana, showing, in the words of Prof. Williams, that: the Puranas, although of a comparatively modern date, are nevertheless composed of matter to be found in the two great epic poems the Ramayana and the Maha-bharata.[288:5]


FOOTNOTES:


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