Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas, a festival to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ - one of God's incarnations

The 25th of December, the Christmas day is a day every year during which many countries of the world are in a festive mood. It is all about celebrating with the families, exchanging gifts, the children getting their dream list manifested in front of them. Behind all this, lies the theme of Jesus Christ and the people in Jerusalem celebrating his birth for what he would become and stand for in his later part of the life.

I, as a Hindu from modern India, would like to use this opportunity to share my views and also to say something 'real' about the Hinduism (it is 'ism' as you know like Socialism, Nationalism, etc) because I believe in the Syncretism of various religions as supported by a great Indian leader and monk, 'Swami Vivekananda' back in 1893 Parliament of World religions. He said, "It is foolish to think that only one religion should exist exclusively of the others for the sake of the world's good. There must be different religions for different parts of the world and cultures, but what is important is the syncretistic philosophy found in all of them".

I don't know much about Bible except that it contains Old Testament and New Testament, but I know considerably well about the life of Jesus Christ from some movies and TV serials in India I have watched in my own mother tongue 'Telugu'. The way he stood up for sacrificing his own life for the sake of Truth, Love and Service to others, is very courageous despite the pain he has endured.

If these are the qualities we need to look in a person to be called a follower of Christ, then all the good people in the world are Christians. I feel the same about myself. I really enjoyed my time with other Indian friends on the Christmas day of the year 2005 in Vatican Church during our vacation at Rome, Italy.

Because back in India we Hindus don't have an organized religion with a single religious head, we have too many gurus, some great ones and many fake ones, but that doesn't affect us so much as there are open options for anyone to chose their preferred path.

The words I said about Jesus with my meager understanding of his life, are also the principles that have been taught by our own ancient culture.

Our wisdom comes from 'Vedas' (written and revised by many sages over 1000s of years) and we believe in "Sanatana Dharma" (Eternal Principles) which is the basis of Hinduism and that is what the world calls today as so called 'Hindu religion'.

Ancient Indians said, "Satyam Gynanam Anantham Brahma", which means, "That which is True (Satyam), which showers knowledge (Gnyanam) and which is Infinite (Anantham) is the Supreme God".

Again in the real sense, we worship idols only as symbols of God which remind us of the Supreme God and not just with the belief that the idol is a God. It is similar to identify ourselves with various photographs, and our photographs are not the real people but remind us of the people.

And to me as a follower of the "Advaita" (Non-Dualism) philosophy, Jesus Christ is not just the Son of God, but by principle, he is the Supreme God Himself in the form of a Human! That is why he was able to resurrect and appear before his followers after crucifixion, which is not possible for a rational human being like us.

We in India believe the incarnations ('avatar' in Sanskrit) of the God in the human form. Like we have had Sri Rama (10000 years ago) and there is an epic 'Ramayana', then 'Sri Krishna' (5110 years ago) and there is an epic 'Mahabharata (includes BhagavadGita in itself)' in the Indian subcontinent, and I believe Europe had Lord Jesus (2000 years ago) and there is the 'Bible' after that!

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

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