Re: God and Jesus
In my humble opinion this is the most self-evident, easy to understand explanation I've read for a long time. Just my opinion.
Incarnation of God in
Christianity and Hinduism
<a href="http://www.hinduism.co.za/jesus.htm#Incarnation%20of%20God%20in%20Christiani ty%20and%20Hinduism">Avatar - Incarnation of God</a>
By Swami Abhedananda
Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta
The Lord says:
"Whenever religion declines and irreligion prevails, I manifest Myself to protect the righteous, to destroy evil, and to establish true religion".
-Bhagavad Gita Chapter 4, verses 7 & 8
According to the religion of Vedanta, the incarnation of God means the embodiment of divine qualities and divine powers. It takes place whenever and wherever such a manifestation is necessary. The blessed Lord Krishna, one of the great incarnations of Divinity, who appeared long before the birth of Christ, in speaking of divine incarnations, said:
‘Wherever true religion declines and irreligion prevails and whenever the vast majority of mankind, forgetting the highest ideal of life, travel on the path of unrighteousness which leads to the bottomless abyss of ignorance, and sorrow, the Supreme Being manifests His divine powers to establish righteousness and true spirituality, by assuming a human form and living in our midst, but at the same time showing to all that He is the real master of nature and absolutely free from all the bondages of the world and its laws’.
Such embodiments may take place at any time in any country. The Hindus believe that there have been many such incarnations of divinity in the past and that there will be many in the future. Krishna, Buddha, Jesus the Christ, Chaitanya and Ramakrishna, each one of these has been considered to be the embodiment of divine qualities and powers. The lives and deeds of all of them were superhuman, and consequently divine. They were full of the manifestations of such powers, as ordinary mortals do not possess.
A divine incarnation is one who shows from childhood that he is a born master of mind, body and senses, and the real lord of nature, yet who never forgets even for a moment that he has come to the world to help mankind. He is always conscious of his divine power, and he manifests divine glory through every action of his daily life. He never loses consciousness of his oneness with the eternal Truth, or the Father of the universe, the infinite source of wisdom and intelligence. He lives in the world like an embodied soul, possessing perfect peace, tranquillity, happiness and blissfulness, without depending upon the conditions and environments, which apparently bind the souls of ordinary mortals.
Ordinary people, whose spiritual eyes are not open, may not see the difference that exists between his [the incarnation of God] actions and those of a common mortal and may treat him like an ordinary man; but those, who are highly advanced in spirituality, who understand the true nature of the individual soul and of God and of their mutual relation, see the difference at once, recognize his divinity and worship him as the ideal embodiment of divine powers and divine qualities.
It is for this reason that the blessed Lord Krishna, the Hindu Christ, says in the Bhagavad Gita:
‘People who are deluded by My mysterious power of maya, do not know Me as unborn and unchanging; I am not manifest to them. They unintelligently regard Me in the light of an ordinary being with a material form which is the result of past actions, and know not that I assume at will glorious and holy forms for the protection of the world’.
The recent divine incarnation was one who appeared in the middle of the nineteenth century. He lived near Calcutta and his name was Ramakrishna. He is today worshipped by thousands of educated Hindus just in the same way as Jesus the Christ is adored and worshipped in Christendom. From his childhood he showed his power and set an example of absolute purity and divine spirituality, like an embodiment of those blessed qualities, which adorned the characters of previous incarnations, such as Krishna, Buddha, or Jesus the Christ. Those who had the good fortune to see and be with him even for a short time had their eyes open to the truth that he was absolutely super-human. Although he had received no school education, his wisdom was vast. He was the storehouse, as it were, of unlimited knowledge, and he showed at every moment of his life that he was the absolute master of his mind, body and senses, that he was entirely free from all the conditions that make an ordinary mortal a slave to passions and desires. He was like the personification of the Sermon on the Mount. No one could ever find the slightest flaw in his noble and divine character.
At one time, he was asked: ‘What is the difference between a holy sage and an incarnation of God who is called the Saviour of mankind?’ He answered: ‘A holy sage is one who has realized God through great pain, long prayers, and severe penances and after much trouble has saved himself from the attractions of the world, but he has not the power to save others; while a Saviour is one who can easily save hundreds without losing his own spirituality. A holy sage may be compared to a reed floating in the ocean of life, which cannot bear the weight of even a crow, but, when a Saviour descends, He easily carries thousands across the ocean like a large, powerful steamer (boat) which moves swiftly over the waters towing rafts and barges in its wake. The Saviour, like the most powerful locomotive, not only reaches the destination himself, but also at the same time draws with him loads of passengers eager to go to the abode of eternal Truth’.
Such is the power and strength of an incarnation of God. An ordinary person may strive and after a long struggle may attain to the realization of truth, which is salvation, but with a Saviour, this is not the way; he comes to help and save others. Whosoever worships and is devoted to any of these Saviours will, through that power of devotion alone, reaches the ultimate goal of all religions. As Jesus the Christ said: ‘Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’. So the other incarnations of Divinity like Ramakrishna, Buddha and Krishna spoke to their followers, saying in the words of Krishna:
‘Giving up all the formalities of religion, come unto Me, and I will give thee rest and make thee free from sins; grieve not, I will also give thee eternal peace and everlasting happiness’.
Three things are sacred to me: first Truth, and then, in its tracks, primordial prayer; Then virtue–nobility of soul which, in God walks on the path of beauty. Frithjof Schuon