I'll Have the Lamb Saag-a! or 5 Myths Told About Jesus Over Indian Food Pt. 2
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I'll Have the Lamb Saag-a! or 5 Myths Told About Jesus Over Indian Food Pt. 2

Myth #3 — Jesus was a Bodhisattva

In Buddhist doctrine, a Bodhisattva is a an individual on the path to becoming a Buddha—that is, an enlightened person—who postpones fully attaining enlightenment (Nirvana) and escaping the cycle of rebirth (Samsara) and experiencing the ceasing of the self.1(( Buddha in his previous lives and his early life as Siddartha Gautama is said to have been a Bodhisattva.2((ibid.)) The role of a Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism is to delay enlightenment to save others.3(( To save others, the Bodhisattva chooses to live longer, to experience more rebirths, and thus, to suffer longer—the foundational principle of Buddhism is that life is suffering. So, as a righteous person who suffered to save others, some will claim that Jesus is a Bodhisattva. While this is, indeed, a high compliment, it is clearly not quite high enough. Jesus, of course, is not just one who saves through His teaching, example, and mighty deeds, though surely He does that. According to the Bible, Jesus saves by His shed blood.4((See Ephesians 1:7)) The Doctrine of the Atonement is quite different from the Buddhist doctrine of Karmic debt. On the Buddhist doctrine, one must learn Dharma (Truth or the 8-fold Path). By so doing, one will become more and more liberated until eventually he attains Nirvana and no longer has any bad Karma. At which point, this enlightened one—Buddha means enlightened one—will be released form Samsara.5(( On the Christian faith, Atonement is made between an individual and the Almighty God. This atonement is made by the shed blood of Jesus because of our sins and not by our righteous works.6((See Ephesians 2:8-9)) And, without the blood of Jesus there simply would be no atoning for sin.7((See Hebrews 10:1-4)) In Christianity, Jesus is the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of the world.8((See John 1:29)) Buddhism admits of no such offering, no such God, and no such need. Jesus, therefore, is no Bodhisattva. He is something much greater—He is not a savior, He is the Savior.9((See Titus 3:4-6))

Myth #4 — Jesus was Predicted in the Vedas

That Jesus is the fulfillment of ancient prophecy, surprisingly, is not limited to the Christian Scriptures. In fact, the Hindu Holy Scriptures, the Vedas, make a prediction of the coming of Jesus. The passage is found in the Bhavisya Purana, one of the eighteen sacred Puranas (tales from ancient times) that form the canon of Hinduism.10(( In this case, though, these tales from ancient times contain prophecies of the future (Bhavisya).11(( So, the passage that describes Jesus (19th chapter, verses 17-32), is really purporting to be a prophecy of the coming of Jesus to India sometime after His ministry in the first century. Boiled down, the story is that Jesus appeared to a local King, revealed He was the son of God and the Messiah, and preached the Gospel to him.12((ibid.)) The king worshipped Jesus, asked Him to stay and teach others in his land, and upon passing, the king went to heaven. You may be thinking, “Wow! What an awesome story! That would make a great way to bring the Gospel of the “Isha-Masiha” (Jesus the Messiah) to Hindus!”13((ibid.)) Well, if you are thinking that, you are on the right track. In fact, its likely this is the reason that this passage was added to all four extant manuscripts of the Bhavisya Purana. Oddly, despite many disagreements between these manuscripts like different numbers of chapters, different stories included and excluded, etc., this particular passage is found verbatim in each manuscript.14(( What this indicates is that it is likely a forgery and not original. Additionally, all four of these copies were made after the British colonization of India.15((ibid.)) Together, these facts make the authenticity of this passage more than a little suspect. Swami B. V. Guri summarizes things this way, “We can only deduce that Bhavisya Purana was tampered with by the Christian missionaries who added the chapter on Jesus. Their motive is obvious—to make the personality of Jesus acceptable to the Hindus, in order to convert them to Christianity.”16((ibid.)) He concludes, “We can say with certainty that the Jesus episode of the Bhavisya Purana is not an authentic Vedic revelation.”17 ((ibid.))

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