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

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"I am dearer to the wise than all possessions, and he is dearer to me." (Comp. Luke, xiv. 33; John, xiv. 21.)

"The ignorant, the unbeliever, and he of a doubting mind perish utterly." (Comp. Mark, xvi. 16.)

"Deluded men despise me when I take human form." (Comp. John, i. 10.)

Crishna had the titles of "Saviour," "Redeemer," "Preserver," "Comforter," "Mediator," &c. He was called "The Resurrection and the Life," "The Lord of Lords," "The Great God," "The Holy One," "The Good Shepherd," &c. All of which are titles applied to Christ Jesus.

Justice, humanity, good faith, compassion, disinterestedness, in fact, all the virtues, are said[285:1] to have been taught by Crishna, both by precept and example.

The Christian missionary Georgius, who found the worship of the crucified God in India, consoles himself by saying: "That which P. Cassianus Maceratentis had told me before, I find to have been observed more fully in French by the Living De Guignes, a most learned man; i. e., that Crishna is the very name corrupted of Christ the Saviour."[285:2] Many others have since made a similar statement, but unfortunately for them, the name Crishna has nothing whatever to do with "Christ the Saviour." It is a purely Sanscrit word, and means "the dark god" or "the black god."[285:3] The word Christ (which is not a name, but a title), as we have already seen, is a Greek word, and means "the Anointed," or "the Messiah." The fact is, the history of Christ Crishna is older than that of Christ Jesus.

Statues of Crishna are to be found in the very oldest cave temples throughout India, and it has been satisfactorily proved, on the authority of a passage of Arrian, that the worship of Crishna was practiced in the time of Alexander the Great at what still remains one of the most famous temples of India, the temple of Mathura, on the Jumna river,[285:4] which shows that he was considered a god at [Pg 286]that time.[286:1] We have already seen that, according to Prof. Monier Williams, he was deified about the fourth century B. C.

Rev. J. P. Lundy says:

"If we may believe so good an authority as Edward Moor (author of Moor's "Hindu Pantheon," and "Oriental Fragments"), both the name of Crishna, and the general outline of his history, were long anterior to the birth of our Saviour, as very certain things, and probably extended to the time of Homer, nearly nine hundred years before Christ, or more than a hundred years before Isaiah lived and prophesied."[286:2]

In the Sanscrit Dictionary, compiled more than two thousand years ago, we have the whole story of Crishna, the incarnate deity, born of a virgin, and miraculously escaping in his infancy from Kansa, the reigning monarch of the country.[286:3]

The Rev. J. B. S. Carwithen, known as one of the "Brampton Lecturers," says:

"Both the name of Crishna and the general outline of his story are long anterior to the birth of our Saviour; and this we know, not on the presumed antiquity of the Hindoo records alone. Both Arrian and Strabo assert that the god Crishna was anciently worshiped at Mathura, on the river Jumna, where he is worshiped at this day. But the emblems and attributes essential to this deity are also transplanted into the mythology of the West."[286:4]

On the walls of the most ancient Hindoo temples, are sculptured representations of the flight of Vasudeva and the infant Saviour Crishna, from King Kansa, who sought to destroy him. The story of the slaughtered infants is also the subject of an immense sculpture in the cave temple of Elephanta. A person with a drawn sword is represented surrounded by slaughtered infant boys, while men and women are supplicating for their children. The date of this sculpture is lost in the most remote antiquity.[286:5]

The flat roof of this cavern-temple, and that of Ellora, and every other circumstance connected with them, prove that their origin must be referred to a very remote epoch. The ancient temples can easily be distinguished from the more modern ones—such as those of Solsette—by the shape of the roof. The ancient are flat, while the more modern are arched.[286:6]

[Pg 287]

The Bhagavad gita, which contains so many sentiments akin to Christianity, and which was not written until about the first or second century,[287:1] has led many Christian scholars to believe, and attempt to prove, that they have been borrowed from the New Testament, but unfortunately for them, their premises are untenable. Prof. Monier Williams, the accepted authority on Hindooism, and a thorough Christian, writing for the "Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge," knowing that he could not very well overlook this subject in speaking of the Bhagavad-gita, says:

"To any one who has followed me in tracing the outline of this remarkable philosophical dialogue, and has noted the numerous parallels it offers to passages in our Sacred Scriptures, it may seem strange that I hesitate to concur to any theory which explains these coincidences by supposing that the author had access to the New Testament, or that he derived some of his ideas from the first propagaters of Christianity. Surely it will be conceded that the probability of contact and interaction between Gentile systems and the Christian religion of the first two centuries of our era must have been greater in Italy than in India. Yet, if we take the writings and sayings of those great Roman philosophers, Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, we shall find them full of resemblances to passages in our Scriptures, while their appears to be no ground whatever for supposing that these eminent Pagan writers and thinkers derived any of their ideas from either Jewish or Christian sources. In fact, the Rev. F. W. Farrar, in his interesting and valuable work 'Seekers after God,' has clearly shown that 'to say that Pagan morality kindled its faded taper at the Gospel light, whether furtively or unconsciously, that it dissembled the obligation and made a boast of the splendor, as if it were originally her own, is to make an assertion wholly untenable.' He points out that the attempts of the Christian Fathers to make out Pythagoras a debtor to Hebraic wisdom, Plato an 'Atticizing Moses,'