Friday, August 21, 2015

191. Jesus Christ in the eyes of a non-Christian. Part Seven

We were discussing that how did Christianity grow from a few demoralized, persecuted, leaderless followers to the largest religion in the world?

The answer is, because Jesus repeatedly appeared to his followers after his death, and even to one of his  enemies, like Saul (St. Paul). There is nothing more convincing to any person than a visit, while one is awake and in full senses, than a visit and talk with a dead person whom one knew well when that person was alive. All doubts vanish, never to appear again. Even threat of painful death does not make one renege. It is no wonder that almost all of his 12 disciples (and others like Stephens and St. Paul), except John and perhaps one other (who were not killed), stood steadfast when they were violently executed. Some were beheaded; others were crucified, or stoned to death or pierced by pine needles or arrows.

That is why his death and resurrection were so important to God’s plan

Now, after I have discussed the four aspects of his life: his message, his miracles, his death, and his resurrection, what do I conclude?

Power of God was with him. Nobody before and nobody after him had that much power!

We are forced to arrive at that conclusion by the richness of the above mentioned four aspects and by the fact that the fruit of his labor resulted in the largest single creed which humanity has adopted. A tree is recognized by its fruit.


Nonetheless my rational mind cannot accept certain aspects of the popular and fundamental beliefs of Christianity. These are listed below. 

1.      Jesus was the Son of god

2.      Three gods or one God

3.      Man is made in the imitation of God

4.      Redemption of sins by Jesus


God is fundamentally different from human beings. Let me repeat what I wrote before ( blog 113):

. God can be conceptualized as energy, or something even more subtle than energy, with a supermind. You can raise an objection that how can energy have a mind. We already know it can happen. Human brain is an example. It is made, mainly, of nerve cells. These cells have the power to think. Thoughts arise from certain nerve cells in the brain. I can communicate with them and they with me. When I address my brain cells and say “how are you doing?” I am certain that some brain cells have received the message, otherwise I would not be conscious of it. The message had to be received and interpreted by brain cells to come to my consciousness. The cells may reply “we are fine”. Again, to come to my consciousness, some brain cells must have formed the thought and sent it to me. Either the same or some other brain cells interpreted the thought. These cells communicate with each other instantaneously, at the speed of light (we know the speed, because all messages are carried by electrons, which travel at the speed of light). If our brain, a collection of billions of cells, made of atoms, and atoms made of subatomic particles, such as electrons and protons and neutrons, can have thoughts of pain, pleasure, compassion, jealousy, and anger, why not God, a collection of pure energy, have a mind?


Such a limitless mass of subtle energy cannot have sons and daughters like humans have. It is like saying that electricity has sons and daughters and husbands and wives. There cannot be three Gods; the Father, the son and the Holy spirit. Holy spirit is the kinetic energy of unchangeable God. The two cannot be separated, like milk and its whiteness, the fire and its ability to burn. Let us see what St. Paul had to say in New Testament:

yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (1 Corinthians 8:6).

Man is a creation of the Creator. It is not made in the image of God or in imitation of God. What has limitless mass of energy in common with a biped carbon based animal?

This mote’s concept of Jesus does not include the belief that he came to redeem our sins. He came to show us a path through his message and through the example of his noble death and resurrection.

I did not find any message of Redemption in the gospel of Mark. At any rate, to think that we are exculpated from evil deeds, because Jesus Christ has taken our sins and had to sacrifice his life for our sins, is not rational . This notion is not worth serious consideration.

And anyway what are the sins of human beings for which they are going to be punished in hell, by being burnt alive by fire for centuries if not forever?

All our acts, good or bad, are the result of three factors, or rather two factors; intention, nature and nurture. One is the result of one’s nature, which is produced by one’s genes, which one gets, half from one’s mother and half from one’s father. The other part of a person is constructed by where one is nurtured, or where one grows up. The environments; parents, teachers, peers, culture, etc. Neither in nature nor in nurture  one had any control.  A just God is not going to punish us for our sins, because our intention was mostly derived from factors which were not in our control  (See blog 54).

 As far hell is concerned I have discussed it in blog 119 (1). Here are some excerpts:


“Years ago (probably twenty-five), somebody casually remarked, “There is no hell, just heaven. God is kind and merciful; therefore, there cannot be a hell”. That remark gnawed on my ( this mote ) mind for years. The more I thought, the more I was convinced that there cannot be hell”……….

….“Isn’t it true that you have a son who is causing you great suffering because he drinks and………”(Sri Yogananda talking)

The man’s jaw dropped “How did you know? Yes, this has been the greatest sorrow of my life”

“Then may I make a suggestion”

“Yes”. The man was eager for a solution.

“All right take him out for a walk in the hills, and have two trusted friends waiting there for you. They should pounce upon him and bind him. Then let them build a huge roaring fire. Let them throw your son in the fire”

The man was flabbergasted. “Are you mad to make such a suggestion?”

“Exactly so! Yet you ascribe such behavior to God, who created you and instilled in you that love for your child. How dare you attribute to Him feelings so callous and punitive that He will take all of His children that have done wrong and cast them in eternal flames?”  


A final remark to this seven blog series : All systems fail at the altar of human self-interest. Whether it is any religion or ideology, such as communism. Only certain individuals surmount this hurdle through selflessness.
(1) ‘Finding the joy within you, by  Sri Daya Mata’                                                      

Friday, August 14, 2015

190. Jesus Christ in the eyes of a non-Christian. Part Six

We were discussing what Data Sahib wrote in his 11th century  book (blog 104)

 “In a village Salang, in Ferghana (now Uzbekistan) I went to see a sage. The sage said “my son, you have been in my notice from such and such date” when I thought about the date, that was the date and year of my first day on the journey towards God. An old lady, Fatima, lived with him. He said, “Fatima, bring something to honor this durvesh” she brought a platter of fresh grapes, although this was not the season for grapes. There were also fresh dates in that platter, whereas one did not have dates in Ferghana”.

Miracle of Pawhari Baba, as mentioned in blog 130.

Yashoda Mai, the guru of Krishnaparem, once met the great saint Pawhari Baba when she was a fifteen year old girl. He lived in a cave. Once, it was announced that he was going to give bhandara (feeding, distribution of a vessel of foodstuff, and clothes to the sadhus), the next day.  An intrigued Mai, disguised herself as a boy, and stood in the line of sadhus. Everybody was getting a vessel of food and a dhoti (garment covering the lower half of the body). When her turn came, she just plunged head-on in the cave.

“Believe it or not, Baba,” she said, “I saw something absolutely incredible: It was just a tiny cave with no other exit. And there were neither vessels nor any dhotis___not a vestige! The narrow space inside the cave was quite empty!”    

Death. Three features of his( Jesus) last ordeal are extremely important; foreknowledge, fear of the oncoming torture, and choosing a painful death. Jesus knew about the soon approaching, greatest, single challenge, of his short life; betrayal, trial, torture and death, and he chose a painful death. Let me furnish the evidence of his foreknowledge. I will restrict myself to the gospel of Mark only, because it is the earliest.

31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. ( Mark 8;31)

 “because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.”( 9:31)

33 saying, “Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man shall be delivered unto the chief priests and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles.( 10:33)

It will make anyone doubly brave if he/she accepts the oncoming terrible death knowingly!

If one was uncaring or did not have the capacity of fear or his body was immune to pain, then it is easy to face these mishaps. But Jesus was not like that. His human nature is manifest by the following account:

“and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.””(14:33-34)

At this point he even asked God to excuse him, if possible. 36 “Abba,[a] Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”(14:36) 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”(14:38)

He chose an extremely painful , in contrast to painless, death. Suicide bombers choose a painless death. Socrates chose a painless death. Jesus could have melted that night in wilderness of Palestine. But he did not. He chose first the flogging , mocking, and later the crucifixion. Death by crucifixion is a long drawn out affair. The victim suffers from pain from nails going through the flesh,, thirst from bleeding, and difficulty in breathing because chest cannot expand efficiently.

Jesus Christ faced all this with unflinching bravery and stoicism.

Resurrection. At the time of the death of Jesus there were probably no more than a thousand of his followers. They must have been very discouraged and depressed by his death. Their leader had been ignominiously killed. He was tortured, mocked, made to carry his cross, himself, in the streets, and then for almost six hours he hung on the cross. In order to escape arrest his close disciples had ran away in the night when he was captured.

The disciples believed he was the Messiah. They had witnessed his awe inspiring miracles with their own eyes. If they expected God to intervene to save Jesus from death, nothing of that sort happened. There was no thunderous voice from the clouds, no lightning struck the Roman soldiers. There was no earthquake, no tsunami, and no hurricane. No divine intervention. Jesus simply died. He did not return physically, as promised.

Ask yourself this question. How did Christianity grow from a few demoralized, persecuted, leaderless followers to the largest religion in the world?

To be continued

Friday, August 7, 2015

189. Jesus Christ in the eyes of a non-Christian. Part five


We were discussing hearing of voices arising from an unknown source:

In blog 124, I described a yogi, whose son disappeared while climbing from a rope, but the boy’s voice could be heard. Dozens of people watched this event:

Right before the spectator’s eyes the boy started vanishing. Soon he disappeared. Now there was only the rope!

“Ram, where are you”

From a distance the child answered “Back to earth”

The sadhu started pulling down and winding the rope

The boy’s voice came from close, “Let me help you”


Forces of evil can also display this power. Voices would come from a haunted house (blog 109):


“One night it was raining heavily, somebody rang a bicycle bell, and yelled ‘postman! Telegram for you’ I opened the door. A uniformed postman was outside. When I extended my hand, instead of the postman there was a human skeleton, laughing, its upper and lower teeth striking each other. I ran inside and closed the door. There was sound of nails scratching the door for few minutes. Sometimes red blood would come from the taps. Sometimes I would hear the sounds of horses running outside.

                    All were not illusions and hallucinations, because each morning before my 2 servants would come from their quarters, I would gather all the stones, bricks, and bones, from the room and dump them outside in the pond, so that they should not know what was happening. The stones would be dry, despite heavy rain outside. My obstinate nature prevented me from leaving. I relied on verses of Holy Quran for protection from evil forces. The verses had great power. One night I played my gramophone. Instead of the singer’s voice, screeching, terrifying screams or a woman’s sobbing came out. I wrote a famous verse of Quran, in Arabic, on a piece of paper and put the paper on the record. Screams stopped and singer’s voice came. I removed the paper, and the terrifying screams resumed”.


1.      Jesus appeared to walk on water. His feet may have been in air, inches above the surface of water.  It was a dark windy night. St Teresa of Avila levitated (blog 76). The sadhu in India suspended his daughter in air ( blog 123):

The girl came forwards. She was in a dirty, flimsy dress. Her hair was tied up in a rag. She was no more than ten feet from the audience. He took out a stick; about ten feet long, and let it stand behind her. He passed his hand over her body and pressed her forehead with her fingers, all the time reciting some mantras.

After about ten minutes, he touched the middle of her back with the end of the stick, while he swept her up with the other hand. She lay on the point of the stick about five feet above the ground!

He recited some more mantras and then abruptly removed the stick from underneath the girl. The girl was now suspended in the air without any support!

Indra’s husband passed his hand under her to make sure that there was no support. Two other persons also investigated without touching the girl, but there was no trickery.

2.      Jesus fed five thousand people with small amount of food.  This means that either he created food from air or people felt filled with very small amount of food. Both types of miracles have been performed by mystics. Sri Ramakrishna, the great saint, was in Calcutta with his three companions. They were all hungry. “The Master asked me to buy some sweets from a nearby market…….I bought chanar murki. The Master took the packet of sweets from my hand and joyfully ate them all. The Master knew that three of us were hungry, but without sharing any sweets he had eaten everything. It was amazing though that as soon he showed his satisfaction, our own stomachs felt full. We looked at each other silently. Then the Master smiled …………and later three of us discussed among ourselves what had happened and realized that it was a miracle (1).

Food was created out of thin air by Hazrat, a disembodied entity, controlled by Afzal Khan (blog 127):

Next, Afzal asked for everybody to order any drink. The agitated owner of the watch ordered whisky, while everybody else ordered a soft drink. Hazrat soon made all the drinks materialize out of thin air in sealed containers!

Afzal offered to provide sumptuous lunch for everybody.

Soon gold plates with delicious dishes of food appeared.

After everybody had eaten, the guests started leaving. Behind, they heard tremendous noise of dishes being taken away. Soon all food and platters were gone. 


Letters from ‘Ninety’ would materialize out of thin air, as narrated by Shahab (blog 66)

Indra Devi transformed sandy soil into sweets (blog 88)

Data Gunj Bakhash wrote (blog 104):


To be continued


(1). ‘Ramakrishna as we saw him’. Edited and translated by Swami Chetananda. Account by Swami Abhedananda, Page 221