Over the centuries, numerous historians and sages have pointed out that not only has Hinduism had a predominant influence on Christianity, but that many of the Christian rites could be directly borrowed from Hindu (Vedic) India. The veneration of relics, the usage of holy water, which is an Indian practice, and the word “Amen,” which comes from the Hindu (Sanskrit) “OM” add supporting evidence to this theory. Great Indian sages, such as Sri Aurobindu and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living, have often remarked that the stories recounting how Jesus came to India to be initiated are probably true. Sri Sri Ravi Sankar denotes “the veneration of Virgin Mary in Catholicism is probably borrowed from the Hindu cult of Devi.”
Eastern spirituality is a great attraction for the west especially for someone who likes something very difficult to understand. Even priests and nuns are practicing and circulating Yoga and Transcendental Meditation. The advocates add a medicinal dimension to these practices and many of these accepted by hospitals as a supporting aid to therapies.
Many Eastern religions teach that the source of salvation is found within, and that the fundamental human problem is not sin against a holy God but ignorance of our true condition. These world views advocate meditation and “higher forms of consciousness” as a way to discover a secret inner divinity.
Yoga is deep rooted in Hinduism, designed for better well being and a sense of oneness with Brahman , the supreme self in Hinduism. And this is achieved by yogic postures, breathing (pranayama) and chanting. The goal is to find God within their own beings, since God (Brahman) and the self (Atman) are really one. This is pantheism (all is divine), not Christianity.
We are not one with an impersonal absolute being that is called “God.” Rather, we are estranged from the true personal God because of our “true moral guilt,” as Francis Schaeffer says. No amount of chanting, breathing, visualizing, or physical contortions will melt away the sin that separates us from the Lord of the cosmos—however “peaceful” these practices may feel. Moreover, Paul warns, “Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14). “Pleasant” experiences may be portals to peril. Even yoga teachers warn that yoga may open one up to spiritual and physical maladies (Kundalini awakening).
In Transcendental Meditation (TM) God is impersonal, as opposed to the God manifested in Christian revelation where God is a personal God who loves each human person in an intimate way. The teacher of TM, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is denying the Creator as Supreme and teaching that “All is One,” thus removes the distinction between the Creator and the creature.
Yoga somewhat is more acceptable if we practice only the exercise part of it. In Hinduism there are different schools called jnana yoga (pure understanding of the nature of doer, but knowledge only is enough) , bhakti yoga (devotional yoga), karma yoga (way of acting, thinking and willing) , laya yoga (kundalini yoga- spiritual energy rests on coccyx) and hatha yoga (physical postures). So only hatha yoga is accepted without any mantras (spiritual recites).
Another trend in western world is to get interested in eastern spirituality, especially in Hinduism thinking that it is older than western culture and more divine. In fact the scriptures in Hinduism is not meant for common people but for clergies, so that it is not written in common people’s language but in sacred form of Sanskrit. The scriptures are very difficult to understand which adds some attraction to it. The basic Hinduism is against Christianity. The concept of God is in contradiction, as per Isha Upanishad Brahman(God) is “Auṃ – That supreme Brahman is infinite, and this conditioned Brahman is infinite. The infinite proceeds from infinite. If you subtract the infinite from the infinite, the infinite remains alone.” The concept “aham brahmasmi” in Hindu religion consider my self is God or my soul is of the same eternal, spiritual and transcendental nature as Brahman. For Christianity God is personal spirit. That is, He possesses the characteristics of a living individual: intelligence, emotions, power to choose, etc. He is not found within everything, but is the Creator of all. In particular, man’s spirit is not Divine.
Concluding the similarities between Christianity and Hinduism are nonsense:
- Both are based on monotheistic. But the concept of Brahmana, the supreme God is in contradictory to a biblical God.
- Similarities exist in the specific teachings relating to humility, tolerance and forgiveness. In fact there is nothing, as per Hinduism a crime originates a punishment activity and the Karma is to do the duty even if it need to kill your brother to establish just on earth.
- Destiny of soul: Hinduism predicts reincarnation on this world as per our sin in the form of animals or lower cast humans.
Thus the conspiracy theories will emerge, Jesus may live in India, may be married and had children as long as we find excuses for our beliefs and actions to correlate with Christianity.