Saturday December 16, 2017

Christmas: Birthday of Son of God or Sun God?

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By Nithin Sridhar

Christmas’ is one of the most widely celebrated festivals among the Christians across the world. It is a time to enjoy and make merry with family. Children also look forward to getting presents from ‘Santa Claus’. More than anything, it is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, who is considered as the Son of God in Christianity.

Yet, a deeper look into the origins of Christmas celebrations as well as its various elements reveals that Christmas has almost nothing to do with Christianity! The celebration and various practices associated with it are all rooted in pre-Christian pagan religions, which were then appropriated, digested, and Christianized as part of the Christianity’s early attempts to establish monopoly over Europe.

Writing about Pagan origins of Christmas practices, George W. Curtis notes: “Christmas looks out at us from the shadow of the groves of the Druids who knew not Christ, and it is dear to those who now renounce the name of Christ. The Christmas log, is but the Saxon Yule-log burning on the English hearth, and the blazing holiday temples of Saturn shine again in the illuminated Christian churches. It is the pagan mistletoe under which the Christian youth kisses the Christian maid. It is the holly of the old Roman Saturnalia which decorates Bracebridge Hall on Christmas Eve. The huge smoking baron of beef, the flowing oceans of ale, are but survivals of the tremendous eating and drinking of the Scandinavian Walhalla. The Christian and anti-Christian feeling blend in the happy season and the Christian observance mingles at every point with the pagan rites. It is not easy to say where the paganism ends and the Christianity begins.”

Thus, various elements of Christmas celebrations, be it the use of Christmas tree, holly, ivy, and mistletoe, or the ceremony of gift giving and merriment, all trace back to Pagan religious practices. But, more interesting is the fact that December 25th was not adopted as the birthday of Jesus Christ till many centuries after his death. In fact, there is no consensus among traditional Christian accounts regarding the date, year, or the place of the birth of Jesus Christ. Hence, we can find at least half a dozen different dates, which have been put forward as the birthday of Jesus Christ, including May 20, April 19, November17, March 28, March 25, and January 6.

On the other hand, strong arguments based on Christian Gospels have been made against the possibility of December 25 being the day of Jesus’s birth. Hence, it is quite clear that December 25 is not the birthday of Jesus Christ- the Christian Son of God. In fact, before the adoption of December 25 as his date of birth, January 6 was widely accepted date among early Christians. So, naturally the question arises: Why did the early Christians change their preference and adopt December 25 for celebrating the birth of Jesus? What was the significance of the day?

The answer to this lies in the Pagan lore of ‘Mithraism’– the religion of the Sun God. The worship of the Sun God, Mithra quite clearly can be traced to Persia and India. In India, the solar deity is one of the Vedic Gods and one of his names is ‘Mitra’. The religion of Mithras appears to have spread from Persia to Europe, where the people began to worship the Sun God as ‘Sol Invictus’ (Unconquered Sun) or as ‘Sol Invictus Mithras’. It is the birth of this ‘Unconquered Sun’ which his devotees began to celebrate on December 25- the day of Winter Solstice. The celebration is further traced back to the Roman Emperor Aurelian, who officially instituted the festival Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (the birthday of Unconquered Sun) to be celebrated on December 25 in 274 CE. This winter solstice occasion was further adopted by the Romans as the festival of Saturn called ‘Saturnalia’.

Raymond Kilduff in ‘The Christian Tradition: The Birthday of the Sun’ writes: “The present custom of celebrating the Nativity on December 25th was not instituted by the Church until 353 or 354. December 25th coincided with both the birth date of Mithra (the Persian god of light and truth) and the beginning of the winter solstice. So the birthday of the Son of God came to be celebrated on the Birthday of the Sun.

It must be noted here that it was the conversion of Roman Emperor Constantine to Christianity in 313 AD and the subsequent Roman patronage of Christianity that actually led to the appropriation of Mithra’s birthday into the birthday of Jesus Christ.

Thus, O M Spencer in ‘Christmas Throughout Christendom’ writes: “When, however, Constantine proclaimed the Christian faith as the predominating religion of the Roman empire, the Christian Church, relieved from persecution throughout both Orient and Occident, began to solemnize, under the aegis of imperial authority, Christmas as the birthday of Christ. One prominent feature, however, of Constantine’s political propaganda of Christianity was the adoption under Christian forms, not only of pagan rites and ceremonies, but also of pagan festivals. In order to reconcile heathen converts to the new faith, these relics of paganism, like antique columns transferred from ancient temples to adorn Christian churches, were freely incorporated into the Christian ceremonial. Thus it was that Christmas, though formerly observed on the 6th of January, was transferred to the 25th of December, the time of the Roman Saturnalia, and became invested with much of the paraphernalia of the heathen festival.

In other words, Christianity digested various religious symbols and practices of Pagan religions present in Europe and in the process gave them new Christian meanings, thus ultimately causing the death of those Pagan religions. And ‘Christmas’ serves as the best example of this Christian process of ‘inculturation’ by which it uprooted numerous Pagan cultures and successfully evangelized Pagan people across the world. This inculturation strategy continues to be adopted by the Church even today especially in countries like India.

The usage of inculturation by Christianity against Mithraism is further reinforced by the presence of many similarities between Christianity and Mithraism. The birth of Mithra from a virgin mother, Mithra’s association with shepherds, Mithra having 12 disciples and performing miracles, his association with Lion and Lamb and his connection to Sunday, all became included into the life story of Jesus Christ. More importantly, Jesus is associated with Light similar to Mithra, who is the Lord of Light. These similarities clearly point towards the digestion of Mithratic symbols and practices into Christianity, which ultimately resulted in the spread of Christianity and the death of Mithraism. Thus, through inculturation, the original festival of the Sun God was transformed into Christmas-the festival of the Son of God.

(Photo: redeeminggod.com)

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Jesus as Yogi : The art of deception and conversion by Christian missionaries in India

Yogi Jesus : The art of deception and conversion, Read how christian missionaries are operating a nexus of deceit in India

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Christianity in India
Jesus christ as Yogi

Christianity has the rancor of the sick at its very core—the instinct against the healthy, against health. Everything that is well-constituted, proud, gallant and, above all, beautiful gives offence to its ears and eyes.”  said Friedrich Nietzsche

Large number of forced religious conversion in India by Christian missionaries through deception are not reported in mainstream news. In latest addition, Jesus Christ as a yogi is introduced as one of the main conversion ploys in the country. Christian Assemblies International published an article that Bible warns against yoga as yoga is a satanic practice. But on another hand in India, Christian missionaries depict Jesus Christ as a Yogi to deceit naive people. If yoga is a satanic practice according to the Bible then how come Jesus Christ be a yogi? Christian missionaries operates on a very subconscious level. I strongly believe that religion is a very personal affair of an individual and i will never discriminate another human on basis of religion he/she follows. Everyone must be free to follow whatever religion he/she believes in. The problem comes when a religion claims to be the only path of truth and start to suppress  other religions/faiths. The Abrahamic religions are having the feeling of exclusivity over truth. Throughout history abrahamic religions has been engaged in bloodbath of native cultures/polytheists. In contrast, eastern religious gurus like Shri Ramkrishna Paramhansa said,”Many are the names of God, and infinite the forms that lead us to know Him. In whatsoever name or form you desire to call Him, in that very form and name you will see Him.” This is the inclusive approach, an idea of mutual respect rather than war for superiority.

The art of conversion
Christian Missionary deception (HHR)

If you look at the economic and social status of the majority of the christian converts, you will find that money and money alone plays the biggest role. Christian pastors from all over the world are coming to India on tourist VISA, making fool of gullible people, luring them with money and false notion of heaven. Christian Missionaries often use devious tactics to deceive innocent villagers in order to convert them. Christian missionaries generally prey on the poorest, mostly rural people under the guise of helping them out of poverty when in fact they have chosen to convert them because they are the most uneducated and therefore they are the most likely to fall for their deception.

Example of deceit by Christian Missionaries in India :

In rural areas in India, Christian missionaries use to place a stone idol of a Hindu Deity in bucket of water. The statue will sink in the bucket. Then they bring a wax-coated idol of Jesus or Virgin Mary (though Christianity prohibits idols) and place those in the bucket. Due  to the wax-coat, the Christian idol will float. The Missionary will then conclude that because the Christian idol floated, it is greater and more powerful. The gullible villagers, not knowing anything about buoyancy or density, falls for this fake propaganda of Christian missionaries.

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Another common deception is when Christian Missionaries will disguise themselves as religious leaders of the local religion and subtly attempt to convert the locals. The classic example mentioned by Christian Aggression organisation was that of Robert de Nobili, a Jesuit from France, who came to India in the early 17th century. He adopted the saffron robe, started to live in a hut, squatted on the floor for conducting his discourses, became a vegetarian and gave up liquor, projected that he was a Brahmin saint from Rome and that the Bible was one of the lost Vedas (Hindu holy scriptures), and generally tried to pass himself as another Hindu sanyasi (saint). He was successful, and many Hindus came to him for spiritual reasons of which many he converted. Though Nobili used this tactic centuries ago, this deceitful and treacherous method is still in use by Missionaries even today in different forms.

As David Frawley, an American Hindu teacher and author states in one of his article,”In India today, the image of Christ as a yogi is not used by Christians to honor the teachings of Yoga. Jesus as a yogi is a new form of conversion propaganda employed by those who do not follow Yoga at all, but use the story to subvert a deeper questioning of their motives and the biases of their theologies.

Christian Missionaries tell uninformed Hindus that Jesus was a yogi or the avatar Kalki (a ploy Muslim missionaries use for Mohammed). But they do not direct people to honor Yoga teachings or Yoga gurus as well. Rather they say that since Christ was a great yogi, you can gain everything spiritually by converting to Christianity and do not need the rest of Yoga. They quote Hindu gurus praising Jesus but do not praise these gurus or their teachings in turn. Some Christian priests in India formally study Yoga or Vedanta, not to follow these teachings, but to aid in communication for converting Hindus, using Hindu concepts for their advantage, like Jesus as a yogi.

If Christians want to honor the image of Christ as a yogi, let them first use it in Rome or in any other major Christian country or church! Otherwise it is dishonest. Let them honor Yoga, not simply Jesus, and the Hindu background of the Yoga tradition.”

The war Christian missionaries are up against native cultures must be checked by government. It is high time we need an anti conversion law to prohibit such type of mass level conversion in tribal areas. Religion, should not be used as a tool to deceit people, rather than a path for higher enlightenment.

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

2 responses to “Jesus as Yogi : The art of deception and conversion by Christian missionaries in India”

  1. Hi! If you are running a reputed website, I’d suggest you avoid commenting on religion because in response to your article, there are number of people who can call out on the false teachings by Hindus. But we, the millennials of today don’t. So I think you should refrain from doing this and delete the article cause it’s not right for you to harp about something based on your opinion. We didn’t ask for it Shaurya. This is not your blog now, is it?

  2. Lol, It’s because of a person like you Shaurya that BJP exists and rules the nation like it were Hindu nation. Your lack of tolerance especially despite many of us being tolerant to Hinduism gimmicks and tricks, surprises me because you are a young chap who’s got a demented mind. Funny part is I’m a brahmin and just cause of few bad apples doesn’t mean you comment about the religion. You happen to be one of the bad apples of Hinduism.
    I’d suggest such weeds like you ought to be ripped out of India’s soil.

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‘You Never Lamb Alone’: Indian Christians Raise Objections to Ad Campaign by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) Featuring Gods to Sell Meat

The advertisements feature Lord Ganesha, revered in India, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Thor, Zeus and others seated at a table enjoying what is a sumptuous non-vegetarian feast

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Meat and Livestock Australia MLA)
Unite Over The Meat More People Can Eat | You Never Lamb Alone advertisement by MLA. Youtube

Mumbai, Sep 12, 2017: The Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) on Monday raised strong objections to a new Australian advertising campaign featuring revered Hindu and Christians gods and other mythical figures to ‘sell’ its red meat and meat products.

CSF Founder-General Secretary Joseph Dias said the latest advertising campaign by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is “bad in taste and offensive to all” and sought boycott of MLA and a ban of their products.

The advertisements feature the elephant-headed God, Lord Ganesha, revered in India, Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Thor, Zeus and others seated at a table enjoying what is a sumptuous non-vegetarian feast.

The ads have reportedly made an oblique reference to Prophet Mohammed, who is not pictured but is heard excusing himself from the party through a mobile phone call since he has to pick-up a child from daycare.

What has hurt Christians is that the caricature of Jesus Christ who performs what is termed as a ‘reverse miracle’ by turning wine into water so a Grecian goddess, who is a ‘designated driver’ can drive home safely, Dias said.

“We have written to Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to take note of these ‘insensitive advertisements’ and raise the issue with the top authorities in Australia immediately. We also demand that MLA Chairman Michele Allan and MD Richard Norton withdraw the ads and tender an apology,” Dias told IANS.

Besides writing to Sushma Swaraj, the CSF has shot off emails to Australian Deputy High Commissioner in Mumbai Martin Huber, Indian High Commissioner to Australia Harinder Sidhu and other top officials raising serious objections to the MLA campaign.

“The CSF has always protested against commercial exploitation of religious figures for profit, irrespective of which religion the figures belong to. The MLA ads have hurt not only followers of different faiths, but atheists and agnostics all over,” Dias pointed out.

He termed the campaign as ‘culturally insensitive’ to vegans and communities like Hindus, Jains or Buddhists and said Lord Ganesha is a vegetarian and meat is never offered to him, as depicted in the MLA ads.

Dias warned that unless MLA yanks off the offensive ad campaign and apologises, the global Catholic community would be compelled to boycott its products as “there are many alternatives available worldwide”. (IANS)

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Israeli Archaeologists Discover 2,000-year-old Stone Factory in Galilee

This factory is known to produce vessels similar to the one Jesus Christ used to turn water into wine

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Israel
Stone vessels used by Jews in Israel during Roman period. Wikimedia
  • This factory produced vessels similar to the ones Jesus Christ used to turn water into wine
  • During the Roman period, vessels were made of ceramics
  • Galilee is known for the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus Christ is said to have walked on water

Tel Aviv, August 11, 2017: Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old stone factory in Galilee that produced vessels similar to the one Jesus Christ used to turn water into wine.

Excavations began after the site was discovered during construction work for a municipal sports centre, reports Efe news.

“The fact that Jews at this time used stone vessels for religious reasons is well attested in the Talmudic sources and in the New Testament as well,” Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Yardenna Alexandre said on Thursday.

ALSO READ: Egypt discovers new necropolis with as many as 30 intact mummies near the city of Minya

During the Roman period, vessels were made of ceramics: a material Jews considered impure and inappropriate for purification rituals because it is breakable, so they opted instead to use stone.

“It is possible that large stone containers of the type mentioned in the wedding at Cana of Galilee story may have been produced locally in Galilee,” Alexandre said.

“Our excavations are highlighting the pivotal role of ritual purity observance – not only in Jerusalem, but in the far-off Galilee as well,” excavation director Yonatan Adler said.

Galilee is a fertile, mountainous region in northern Israel. It is known for the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus Christ is said to have walked on water. (IANS)