Kul Bhushan looks into the mounting evidence of many curious similarities between Jesus Christ and Krishna.
Merry Krishna… yes, Christ and Krishna have a lot in common.
For a start, both were born at midnight in hostile surroundings: Christ in a barn and Krishna in a prison.
The parents of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, arrived in Bethlehem late in the evening and looking for a shelter for the night all they could get was a barn in an inn.
The parents of Krishna, Vasudeva and Devaki, were imprisoned by his wicked uncle Kansa to kill their babies soon after birth because it was forecast that their baby would kill him.
Many spiritual leaders, scholars and commentators have perceived the common threads on the lives of these two enlightened masters. Although others have challenged these theories, the similarities are overwhelming and cannot be ignored. The lives and teachings of the two central figures of two world religions – Jesus Christ and Krishna – have surprising resemblances.
Osho says, “Krishna is very old in the sense that his stories were written at a time when man thought about his life and his universe not so much in words as in symbols, in images and pictures. Therefore we now have to decode them to know what they want to convey. We have to translate them into our language of words.
It is significant that the life of Christ begins more or less in the same way as Krishna’s; there is not much difference. For this reason a good many people had this illusion – a few still cling to it – that Christ never happened, that it is really the story of Krishna carried to Jerusalem.
There is great similarity between the stories of their births. Jesus too is born on a dark night; he too is born amid fear of death. Here King Kansa, his own uncle, is trying to kill Krishna; in Jerusalem King Herod is looking to kill Jesus. Kansa has a number of children killed in the fear that one of them will grow up and kill him. In Jerusalem Herod does the same: he has any number of newborn babes killed lest one of them later turns out to be his murderer.
But Christ is not Krishna. Jesus is a different person, and the rest of his story is quite different, his own. But the symbols and metaphors of their stories are very similar, because all primitive minds are very similar.”
Osho continues, “There is yet another reason for taking Krishna and Christ to be the same person. He was originally called Jesus and much later he became known as Christ, and there is much similarity between the two words, Krishna and Christ. So, Christ came to be taken as a derivative of Krishna.”
The founder of the Hare Krishna movement, Srila Prabhupada lined out, “When an Indian person calls on Krishna, he often says, ‘Krsta’. Krsta is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘attraction’. So, when we address God as ‘Christ’, ‘Krsta’, or ‘Krishna’ we indicate the same all-attractive Supreme Personality of Godhead. When Jesus said, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,” the name of God was Krsta or Krishna.”
Furthermore, said Prabhupada, “’Christ’ is another way of saying ‘Krsta’, and ‘Krsta’ is another way of pronouncing Krishna, the name of God. Jesus said that one should glorify the name of God, but I heard one theologian say that God has no name – that we can call Him only ‘Father’. A son may call his father ‘Father’, but the father also has a specific name. Similarly, God is the general name of the ‘Supreme Personality of Godhead’, whose specific name is Krishna. Therefore, whether you call God ‘Christ’, ‘Krsta’, or ‘Krishna’, ultimately you are addressing the same Supreme Personality of Godhead. Actually, it doesn’t matter – Krishna or Christ…”
The enlightened soul, Paramahansa Yogananda, has written, “This Omnipresent Love of God is why I consider Bhagavan Krishna and Jesus Christ, avatars of East and West, as the supreme expressions of the Krishna-Christ Consciousness, for in them was evident in the highest degree the incarnation of God’s divine love and compassion. Krishna’s love gave to the world the yoga of liberation from the sea of suffering through scientific meditation and right action, and the devotional approach of flinging oneself on the Divine Compassion.“
Although there is little historical evidence, it is hard to ignore a host of likenesses between Jesus Christ and Lord Krishna. From a search in the worldwide web, here a summary of the most identical similarities between Christ and Krishna:
Similarities in their lives
- Both are believed to be sons of God since they were divinely conceived
- The births of Jesus of Nazareth and Krishna of Dwarka as well as their God-designed missions were foretold
- Both were born in unusual places – Christ in a lowly barn and Krishna in a prison cell
- Both were divinely saved from death pronouncements
- Evil forces pursued both Christ and Krishna in vain
- Christ is often depicted as a shepherd; Krishna was a cowherd
- Both appeared at a critical time when their respective countries were in a torpid state
- Both died of wounds caused by sharp weapons – Christ by a spear and Krishna by an arrow
- Their teachings are very similar – both emphasize love and peace
- Christ’s death marked the beginning of the age of Pisces, while Krishna’s death marked the beginning of the Kali Yuga
Similarities in their names
- Christ comes from the Greek word ‘Christos’, which means ‘the anointed one’; the word ‘Krishna’ in Greek is the same as ‘Christos’
- Hindus believe that Jesus, like Lord Krishna, is just another avatar of the Divine, who descended on Earth to show humanity the righteous way of life. This is another point where Krishna resembles Christ, a figure who is both ‘fully human and fully divine’
- Krishna and Jesus were both saviours of mankind and avatars of God who have returned to earth at an especially critical time in the lives of their people
- They both were incarnations of the Divine Being himself in human form to teach human beings divine love, divine power, divine wisdom, and lead the benighted world towards the light of God
Similarities in their teachings
- Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: “Whenever, O Arjuna, righteousness declines and unrighteousness prevails, my body assumes human form and lives as a human being.” He also says, “In order to protect the righteousness and also to punish the wicked, I incarnate myself on this earth from time to time.”
Jesus says in the Bible: “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own, but He sent me.”
- In many places in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna said about His oneness with God: “I am the way, come to Me… Neither the multitude of gods nor great sages know my origin, for I am the source of all the gods and great sages.”
In the Bible, Jesus said similarly in his Gospels: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well…”
- Krishna advises all men to continue working for the welfare of the state all through their life: “That man attains peace who lives devoid of longing, free from all desires and without the feeling of ‘I’ and ‘mine’. This is the Brahman state…”
Jesus too ensures man, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will go out from there no more.”
- Lord Krishna urged his disciples to follow the art of scientific control of the senses. An expert yogi can withdraw his mind from old temptations of the material world and can unite his mental energy with the joy of inner ecstasy or samadhi. “When the yogi like a tortoise withdrawing its limbs, can fully retire its senses from the objects of perception, his wisdom manifests steadiness.”
Christ too delivered a similar directive: “But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
- Krishna stressed the idea of the grace of God in the Gita: “I am the origin of everything, and everything arises out of Me…”
Similarly, Jesus said: “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
So, here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and Merry Krishna – and above all, let’s celebrate!
Kul Bhushan is a regular contributor
More articles by the same author on Osho News
Quotes by Osho from Krishna: The Man and His Philosophy, Ch 6, Q 1 (translated from Hindi)
Quote by Paramahansa Yogananda from The Second Coming of Christ – source: Internet