Christmas is one of the biggest festive occasions in the world. The word Christmas comes from the old English words Cristes moesse. It means ‘festival of Christ’. Cristes (from the Greek Christos) means “anointed one” and moesse (from Latin missa) stands for the celebration. Thus Christmas points to a time when people are happy knowing about God’s appointed one (or conduit). God’s knowledge is revealed through His conduit who liberates people from their problems.
Christmas celebration is meaningful only when its essence (the purpose of the birth of Christ) is remembered.
The true purpose of Christ’s birth
Christ defined himself as the ‘light that has come into the world’ (John 3:19). He declared “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). He shed light on the most important subjects such as God, soul, their relationship, and the secret of happiness. He taught God is the Supreme Spirit, our Father, residing in Heaven, and is the source of all good qualities (John 4:24; Mathew 6:9; Mark 10:18). Jesus was a Jew and his listeners too were mostly Jews. They were familiar with their scriptures (Old Testament) which say that there is an “eternal spirit” that resides in each one’s physical body (Ecclesiastes 3:11; 12:7). Without elaboration, Christ declared “Unless a seed falls into earth and dies, it cannot produce any grains” (John 12:24). He made it clear that the physical apparatus of the seed dies but life departs and continues. He reiterated the immortality of the soul through the famous parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The story explains how the soul continues to exist after the physical body dies and reaps the consequences of its action performed (Luke 16:19–31). Thus for Jesus, death was the most critical defining feature of life.
When he saw John the Baptist, he identified him as the reincarnation of an ancient prophet, saying “If you want to accept, he himself is Elijah” (Mathew 11:14, 15). Thus his teaching that soul does not die removed the greatest fear of humans. He wanted his followers to analyze the consequences of any action before performing it.
He said that the purpose of life and the secret of happiness is to become like our Heavenly Father and manifest His qualities in our daily lives. It’s also to have good wishes for all, friends and foes alike (Mathew 5:44-48). The quality of our actions determines what happenings get attracted towards us (Mathew 23:12; Luke 6:38). Those who lead an elevated life here will inherit Golden Aged life. They will enjoy everything 100 times more than what they sacrificed in this part of the world (Mathew 12:32; Mathew 19:27-29).
No wonder his disciples often asked him ‘When are you going to restore the Kingdom?’ (Acts 1:6; Luke 19:11). This reflects the belief of people in the East. They believe that God will reestablish righteousness when unrighteousness reaches its climax (Bhagavat-Gita 4:7).
Similarities between Christ and Krishna
There was a bright star in the night sky at the time of his birth. This is attributed to being divine. During Krishna’s birth, the bright star Rohini was high in the sky).
Angels informed the shepherds who were working nearby that a Liberator (Luke 2:11) is born and praised the Lord. There were many demigods who danced and sang about the glories of Krishna at the time of his birth.
Christ was born in a manger and Krishna in a dungeon. Some wise men from the East presented Jesus with frankincense and myrrh. Baby Krishna was presented with gifts that included sandalwood and perfumes.
In order to kill Christ, King Herod ordered the killing of all male children in his kingdom. King Kamsa ordered the killing of all infants in an attempt to kill Krishna.
Christ’s second coming is considered to replace the wicked world with a righteous one. Krishna’s next incarnation as Kalki is considered to do the same.
Christ “descended from Yehudah” tribe (Hebrew 7:14), and Krishna is from Yadava tribe.
There are many such similarities. Even during death, Christ’s chest was injured with a spear while Krishna’s foot was injured with an arrow.
Similarity exists even in their names – Christ and Krishna/Chrishna.
Christ refers to himself as “Amen” (Revelation 3:14) which is actually the slanted form of “Aum” in the East.
Even the word “Satan” reminds us of the Sanskrit term Sat-na. Satan means that which stands in opposition to what Christ stands for. Sat-na means non-truth or vices. Vices give pleasure in the beginning but pain in the end. Those who are tempted into materialistic pleasure are tempted into a lie. Hence Satan is also called Devil (liar). Today humans are in captivity of evil/pleasures/sins which makes the message of Christmas (birth of a liberator) all the more relevant.
Bible and other cultures
W. Doane wrote: “The mythological portion of the history of Jesus of Nazareth, contained in the books forming the Canon of the New Testament, is nothing more or less than a copy of the mythological histories of the Hindu Savior Crishna, and the Buddhist Savior Buddha, with a mixture of mythology borrowed from the Persians and other nations. (Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions).
Other cultures around the world had been celebrating the 25th of December as the birthday of Sun God. Christianity has borrowed evergreens, Christmas trees, wreaths, etc from other cultures. They signified the return of the sun, the longer days, and the regenerative power that was to follow the winter solstice.
Historically, it’s known that Christ was not even born in winter. Bible too confirms this. “There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night of Jesus’ birth” (Luke 2:8). It’s unlikely that shepherds would do this in the chilling night of wintertime.
Why is Christmas celebrated on 25th December?
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge explains “the date of the festival depended upon the Pagan Brumalia (December 25) following the Saturnalia (December 17-24), and celebrating the shortest day of the year and the ‘New Sun’. . . The Pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence.”
The New Catholic Encyclopaedia notes ‘On this day (December 25) as the Sun began its return to northern skies the Pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated the birthday of the invincible Sun’. There was a belief that the Sun God was the liberator and with Jesus’ birth, there was a hope that everyone would be liberated.
Thus the Bible borrowed many things from other cultures. A Bible writer himself acknowledges it (Jeremiah 7:22; 8:8). Gradually certain beneficial teachings such as vegetarian diet, reincarnation, etc. were abandoned. Opposing teachings were preached. Readers can see for themselves from the Bible (Genesis 1.29; Mathew 11:14, 15).
Behind the details in scriptures and myths lies the truth that people crave for liberation. Everywhere people feel helpless. In the East, it’s expressed by Duryodhan (in Mahabharata) “I know what is right but I am not able to act accordingly. I also know what is wrong but I am not able to restrain myself from doing it.” In the West, it’s expressed by the apostle Paul “I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19). This explains why there is a longing for a liberator. It’s expressed through Christ in the West and Chrishna in the East. Hence advent or birth of such a liberator would be celebrated, as Christmas in the West and Krishna janmashtami in the East.
Mythologies and scriptures are written out of past memories. Recalling major events from the past can cause discrepancies. However, the essence remains the same. History is a cycle of heaven and hell. They alternate on this very earth. Each time the condition reaches its rock-bottom, God intervenes and recreates heaven on earth. Just like Sun arrives daily to replace the dark period called night with the light of day (Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10; 3:15).
Until now, the world has been celebrating the memory of a divine appointee of God. Now, God, Himself is here. Visit Him before it’s too late. Experience His light, His love, and His warmth.
Wishing all my friends Merry Christmas and Real LIBERATION!