Aum Yeshuaya Namah! and Happy Easter! हैप्पी ईस्टर!

by Aranyakananda

I don’t really say “Happy Easter” too much not being a Germanic Pagan, nor a practicing Christian. But I have always considered how Jesus the Christ fits into my own Vaisnav worldview. I have considered him an avatar of Vishnu. I have considered He might have been Kalki as he “did not bring peace, but the sword.” I also thought He may be Shiva.

It really doesn’t matter too much how I define Jesus. I know He came to show the world that we are all invincible spirit. That has always been very clear to me. I know that according to the Latin/Greek-inspired modern Bible, He left “The Holy Spirit” to us. Spirit comes from the Latin “Spiritus” which means “breath.” I, ergo, know that the Holy Spirit is attained in the breath of meditation. The very Avatar of Christ is present in our breath.

Indeed the name of Narayana, the infinite pervading form of Vishnu is sometimes translated as “Son of Man” a title oft referred to by Jesus.

Anyway, I don’t want to make this too much of what has already been written. I don’t want to parrot Paramhansa Yogananda any more than I already do. But in a way I cannot help it. Jesus is a Living Guru to hundreds of millions of people, and a former Christian, current Hindu, I have my own personal gurus, and my own Ishta-devata to devote my attention to. As such, two things may happen to folks like me.

1) We ignore the Christian Holidays when they come up while going all mad when Hindu festivals such as Holi and Diwali come around.

To many of us Hinduism is still fairly new, and given the scope of “information” to take in regarding Hinduism, it may always seem new. It is difficult wanting to express this newness in our lives without feeling the need to in some ways separate ourselves from that which we used to celebrate. It is just that, take Holi for example, it expresses some of the very same renewal, and victory themes that Easter does, but it is for everyone, it is not based on what you believe. Evil and darkness can be overcome from within. We all have that power. It is not based on what we believe or what Place of Worship we attend.

2) We see how they fit with our current worldview.

As a Vaisnav it is impossible for me not to acknowledge that Jesus was a manifestation of the very same one Truth we all call by different names. Of course some say Jesus as we now read of him did not exist. It is a matter of faith. It is also a matter of experience, as our Hinduism will tell us. Some have experienced Jesus. Fair enough, that is how it is supposed to be. I will not cast any doubt on that experience. In fact I respect it very much. A great joy occurs when I find a Christian who allows me the same.

Hinduism has allowed me to leave Christianity while respecting Christians, and revering Christ. And not from afar, as it may seem. As I said, Christ told me long ago that I am immortal. That has not changed.

Aum Yeshuaya Namah. Happy Easter.

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16 Responses to Aum Yeshuaya Namah! and Happy Easter! हैप्पी ईस्टर!

  1. Shayna says:

    Love the article I feel the same way former christian nu hindu..

  2. surya says:

    this is the very reason why a few hindus are wary of the westerners embracing hinduism. This post says it all. What an irony ,most born hindus silently say ‘namaste and welcome ‘ to newcomers from the bottom of their hearts, alas some of the newcomers evengelize even vishnu aswe witness here, please donot be a syncretist or a universalist and still call yourself a hindu, you are only making fun of the faith ….or fun of two faiths to be accurate.

    • shree says:

      hindu teachings doesn’t belong to any one particular person or sect in particular.there are some who portray the buddha as one of the avatars though he wasn’t truly hindu in his teachings either. narayana is the protector and preserver of all sentient beings in the universe ,not just hindus…so there isn’t anything wrong with looking at christ as an fact many learnt and enlightened yogis do the same..Whether we call him the Loving Father , Merciful Allah or Anbe Sivam doesn’t really matter.

    • treadmarkz says:

      Surya I assure you my current path is dear to me. I know those are just words, but it pains me to think of anything I have said as “making fun of” it. I understand that your wariness toward Christianity runs deep, but I also think that we may share at least SOME common ground on it or I would not be a Hindu. I do not recognize your right to take away that label from me. There may be nothing about Christ or Mohammad in the Shastras, of course, but How can “Ekam sat vipraha bahudha vadanti” be true if the Truth does not expand beyond the borders of Bharat? I hardly think what I said was evangelizing. I was writing about my experience, and extending a hand in peace and understanding between my current and my former religion.

  3. surya says:

    @Shree, may I know the source this assertion, like which shastras for example. Or Which of the six schools of hindu philosophy say this, that a hindu can use Allah and Jesus as one’s deities.Then also will you please define the labels syncretism, universalism and hinduism for me.Thank you.Surya.

    • Dhrishti says:

      Re: #1) Holi is indeed for everyone, and the depth of it is applicable in more than just the Hindu context. However, credit should be given where credit is due. Holi needs to be recognized as a Hindu holiday and those celebrating/playing it should be aware of such – otherwise their own faiths likely already have expressions for overcoming the dark within. I think the holiday IS based on what you believe. Just like Easter is. In a similar vein, anyone can do stretches, but if one is doing yoga (asana only), they should be aware of the Hindu foundation to it. I sincerely believe, in the strict context of physical postures, there’s no such thing as Christian yoga.

      @Surya, don’t be a fool.

      Shree wasn’t making an assertion on any particular Shastra. Shree was simply conveying the essence of Hindu Dharma. And as Treadmarkz pointed out, “Ekam sat…” You can’t deny that that IS in the sacred texts of Hindus – in fact that originates in the Rg Veda, one of Hinduism’s foundational texts. That alone is sufficient ground enough to assert that Truth doesn’t only belong to Indians/Bharat, AND that it’s perfectly acceptable to recognize Jesus or Allah as additional faces of The One.

      Further, your original comment and all that you accused/implied is immensely rude. You’re very right to be wary of Christianity and things related to it, but that doesn’t give you the ground to approach anyone as you have here. If you felt Treadmarks needed guidance, you certainly could – SHOULD – have offered it in a more mature and kinder manner. You need to check yourself before you open your mouth and rebuke people because if anyone’s words here are giving Sanatana Dharma a bad appearance, yours are.

  4. shree says:

    i have more reason than most to be wary of christianity.born into a hindu family,my dad converted while i was 12 into a particularly domineering christian sect.while me and my brothers slept (all three who were younger than me).

    he would cut the string off the rudraksha we wore on our necks and would throw them away.he even threw a portrait of hanuman that we had in our altar to the ground and stepped on it once.He was also having an affair with the pastor’s sister from that group.We hated him and wished him dead.

    When i went to my guru , a hindu medium and asked together with my brothers for my dad to be punished,he told me ,you are asking this out of anger.If hanuman punishes him,you as kids will suffer for you know not what you are asking for.

    Fast forward 10 years later, my dad is back to hinduism. He adorns the altar with flowers weekly and in particular devotes himself to hanuman.That was because when shit hit the fan, he cried out to hanuman and hanuman saved him from a really tough spot.The man who once stepped on hanuman’s picture is the one adorning it with flowers weekly.

    There is a God:)

    even with all that ,i realized Christianity was not to be blamed. I have really close christian friends who i would go to war with and trust my life with (from my times in the army) and i also have cultural hindus as acquaintances who i would consider less of a true hindu (if we are talking about the dharma behind it and not the superficiality) than some of my christian friends.

    While i can emphatise with some hindus who have had bad experiences with christian evangelists, hate should not beget hate. As mahatma gandhi once said , an eye for an eye will make the whole world go blind.

  5. surya says:

    I do not doubt your good intentions for a second, but then unleashing confusion tantamounts to conduct unbecoming, if I am allowed to judge. It is an ‘et tu’ moment for me really.
    If three hindus don’t try to understand a 4th hindu’s concern, I am not sure if Hinduism can remain a veda based religion in the long run at all. Ekam Sat vipra Bahuda Vedanti from RigVeda has nothing to do with abrahamics faiths for crying out loud. It has everything to do with various hindu sampradayas with accompanying many divinities from vedas. Extending the courtesy to much later born faiths like abrahamics faiths is mere appeasement and political correctness at best. A common error committed by many. I would like to see what other new hindus have to say about this. Lets hope they will chime in and contribute here.
    I was of the belief that the newcomers are by and large more well read counterparts of the born hindus, and I myself openly acknowledged this ‘fact’ a few times here and there. I must add this position is a conclusion drawn from my own observation of a few randomly chosen comparative data samples, say, from here in the United States.
    The new hindus are spontaneously enthused, stimulated and turn investigative and hence walk an extra mile, read a lot, to have a handle on the faith. And such compulsions are non-existent for born ones, they just ‘think’ they are hindus because their parents are hindus, most of them invest no time studying the scriptures. In order to escape the guilt those born ones make silly statements like ’ all religions are same ‘ or ‘all religions are equal’ and such. Hindus have no business to certify other faiths. The new hindus are generally well read in relative terms (to an average joe born hindu). I therefore expect the new hindus to have clarity with their description of hindu doctrines and philosophy. The above post is a fantasy (no offense) packaged as spiritual wisdom, and it is clearly not Hinduism to say the least. That’s why asked for a different name really.BTW Iam not ‘wary of christians’ for I don’t see any on this thread and comments section, my complaint is against the hindus here on this thread.

    • treadmarkz says:

      Thanks Surya,

      I appreciate your indepth explanation. As the owner of this blog, firstly I extend a hand in friendship. I am sure there was no intention by myself and the last two commentors to gang up on you.
      I understand more of your point of view now, and invite you to read more of what I have to say but you’ve already already said this is “not Hinduism” so I know how you’ll react. Also I found it hard to believe that you “did not doubt my good intentions” after you said I was making fun of my own chosen Dharma,

      I too would love to hear from newer Hindus on this issue. Part of the reason I came to Hindism is its vision of the divine in all. Not just all wisdom sources (religions) but everything. If that is true, I don’t see how Abrahamic faiths could be excluded.

      Honestly I am not as well-read as the last two commentors beside you and myself. Generally what you are saying is true, we desire to know so much and we take it in like it is our very breath for a while, as I did for a time. But I have made that very point in this post haven’t I? That we can revere Christ but we have our own guru to direct our mind to, our own Ishta-devata to understand.

      It is also important to remember that not all yogis are on the same path (none are, in fact) and we all are at different stages in our individual paths. We all understand things slightly differently, but there is, as I said, common ground.

  6. Mahalaya says:

    I am not a native Hindu, born into a body which was lucky enough to start out in the correct lane. My belief upon this is that religion is like a car that helps us reach Bhagavan. Some are faster, handle the road better…others slower…not as easy to control.

    Truth is one, the wise know it by many names has been misunderstood for a very long time. The rest of the quote, often left out…which lists what the original meaning was.

    índram mitráṃ váruṇam agním āhur / átho divyáḥ sá suparṇó garútmān ékaṃ sád víprā bahudhâ vadanty / agníṃ yamám mātaríśvānam āhuḥ

    “They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuna, Agni / and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutman.” “To what is One, sages give many a title / they call it Agni, Yama, Matarisvan.”

    The conversation was never meant to include world wide beliefs…it was about Dharmic religions. I feel the last line is kept out to make it more inclusive. We had a very unsettled period within a Hindu forum not too long ago based upon one who misquoted this very same quote. I did write a blog trying to help make it more clear, as the internet is riddled with “the Truth is one, the wise call it by many names”. Very seldom do you see the full words which would clarify the fact it was referring to Sanatana Dharma and the various ways to call Bhagavan.

  7. Surya says:

    Thanks Mahalaya for citing the verse from Rik Veda for me. Appreciate it.
    Here is the beautiful essay from Himalayan Academy which elaborates what I said,(meant actually), in a very articulate manner.
    Lesson 360 from Living with Siva
    Vedanta and Christianity
    Tens of thousands of America’s and Europe’s younger generation have come to believe in the basic tenets of Hinduism. There are hundreds of thousands of the older generation who believe in reincarnation and the laws of karma. These two beliefs have pulled them away from the Abrahamic religions. But unless the Hindu organizations in every country who teach reincarnation and karma take these fine, dedicated half-Hindu people one step further and convert them fully into the Hindu religion, a disservice through neglect has been committed.

    Yes, native-born Americans want to know more about karma and reincarnation and God’s all-pervasiveness. They have not been satisfied with the postulations taught by the Abrahamic faiths. They do not believe in a wrathful God who punishes souls in Hell for eternity. They do not believe that non-Christians will suffer forever for their “wrongful beliefs.” Many Americans are adopting the Hindu view of life. Even scientists are looking to Hinduism for deeper understanding as to the nature of the universe. Ironically, born Hindus are trying to be like Western people just when Westerners are appreciating the beauties of Hinduism. Yes, hundreds of thousands of sincere seekers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and elsewhere are turning toward Hinduism, pulling away from their former religions and finding themselves in an in-between state, an abyss which offers them no further guidance from Indian swamis or community acceptance by Hindu groups.

    It is postulated by some that Vedanta makes a Christian a better Christian. Because of that postulation Vedanta has been widely accepted throughout the world. “Study Vedanta,” seekers are told, “and it will make you a more enlightened Christian.” This is simply not true. When you study Vedanta, you learn about karma and reincarnation, you begin to understand that God is within you and within all things, and that the immortal soul of man is one with the Absolute God. These are not Christian beliefs. These beliefs are a strong threat to Catholic and Protestant Christian doctrine, so strong, in fact, that in 1870 the First Vatican Council condemned five beliefs as the single most sensitive area threatening the Catholic faith of the day, and even in recent times the Vatican has described their encroachment as a grave crisis. Among those condemned beliefs is the belief that God exists in the world, in all things. To believe that God is everywhere and that all things are His Sacred Being makes an individual an apostate to his religion, according to the mandates of the Catholics and most Christian churches.

    Isn’t that interesting? Certainly the Catholics do not agree that studying Vedanta makes one a better Catholic. Certainly the Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans and evangelicals do not hold that the study of Vedanta makes one a better Christian. Quite the opposite, the study of Vedanta will make a Christian a heretic to his own religion. So successful were the Vedanta swamis in promulgating the notion that Vedanta can be studied by people of all religions, that they have become a threat to the existence of the Catholic and Protestant churches. That is how different Christianity is from traditional Hinduism.

    Hinduism has come a long way in North America and Europe through the tireless efforts of the Vedanta swamis, the Sivananda swamis and others. They are to be commended for their efforts and insight, and for succeeding in putting the precepts of Hinduism on the map of the world’s consciousness. However, one step further must be taken.

    • treadmarkz says:

      Thank you Surya. That was very well said, and I agree. Just as the author of that peice stated, the belief systems are different, so I cannot call myself a Christian. Based on my beliefs, I have found myself feeling more honest calling myself Hindu. So I am not saying we Hindus and Christians are the same or that Hinduism and Christianity (in its current form) are the same, but I recognize the true essence of Christ’s message as something that I was not told as a Christian. I believe his message to be of value to Hindus. Thanks again.

      • Mahalaya says:

        You are very welcome. ❤ Now that i have a few moments i wanted to come back and add my own personal thoughts about this. Though this quote is often used to say something it was not meant to say…i do feel that this fact does not mean that the entirety of this wondrous Truth can not be shared with the world. Or that even in some other place, in the vast vast volumes of shastra, you could not find a quote which you could then use. What i mean to say is… that though i did offer the information above….i still believe in following your heart. If your heart loves Jesus, he gives you peace then…i am so very happy for you. Peace is a very very difficult thing to find here so if you have it, then cherish it. Hari om<3

  8. surya says:

    ” If your heart loves Jesus, he gives you peace then…i am so very happy for you. Peace is a very very difficult thing to find here so if you have it, then cherish it. Hari om<3 "
    I have no problrms with that at all. It is the (mis) appropriation part of vedas for 'not so right purposes' that bothers me. Majority of westerners go back to their born faith as some western hindu said on another forum. Yes, thats OK. I even respect atheist nutjobs as well, just so you know.Thank you.

  9. Mahalaya says:

    Yes, i do agree with you upon the misappropriation. My post in no way was so suggest anyone was not accepting of others. Was just to give more time to this very worthy post.

    Hari Om <3.

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