You are supposed to keep politics and religion out of your blog posts to be politically correct. I broke the first with this post. Now, I’ll break the second with this one.
I have been raised a Hindu. My stand is Hinduism is not a religion, it is a way of life. My primary school education was at a school run by a Principal who was Christian. Every year, on the last day of school, we were handed a small book for summer reading. This book was about Christianity and had stories of Jesus. Fascinating stories, but I don’t think any story can beat the stories of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Having lived in the US for more than 10 years, I have had better exposure to Christianity. When in India, all I knew was, that there were three main religions. Hinduism, Islam and Christianity. I knew about the various denominations in Hinduism but was completely unaware of similar breakup of the Christian religion. Yes, I knew about Protestants and Catholics, but nothing else.
My fascination with religion is about the stories. So many of religious stories from different religions are so similar that you wonder if, after all, all religions are the same. Everything inherited from Object but implementing various interfaces.
Consider the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born in a stable. Lord Krishna, the eighth avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu was born in a jail. I am not sure about this, but I think the prevailing King at Christ’s birth issued a decree for all kids born on a certain day to be killed. Kumsa, Krishna’s uncle, also issued a decree that all boys born on a particular day be killed because Krishna was shipped to neighboring Brundavan to escape his clutches.
Or take the story of Moses and his parting the sea. When Krishna’s father, Vaasudeva was carrying Krishna to the safety of Brundavan, he encountered river Yamuna in full flood and magically the river parted to let Vaasudeva cross over to the other side.
My colleague mentioned the other day that all religions have the story of a great flood. The story of Noah and his ark is strikingly similar to the story of Mutsya (Fish) avatar of Lord Vishnu. In the form of a great fish Vishnu tugged the ship carrying two of every species for seven days and seven nights during the great flood.
Jesus’s immaculate conception has been one upped, nee, I should say, five-upped by the immaculate conception of the Pandava brothers. Also thrown in the story is the concept of cloning. The one hundred Kaurava brothers and their lone sister were all incubated in pots with pieces of the still born baby.
It is also believed that there will be a second coming of Jesus and that he will rise yet again. Similarly, Hindus believe that Lord Vishnu will once again descend upon the Earth as King Kulki, the tenth avatar.
I would love to hear any fascinating story you have read or heard that is similar across multiple religions.
Very interesting indeed.