Hebrew Bible Genesis 1 22 and Bhagavad Gita Essay
- Length: 4 pages
- Sources: 2
- Subject: Mythology - Religion
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #88760756
Excerpt from Essay :
Hebrew Bible (Genesis-1-22) and Bhagavad-Gita
Similarities between Christianity and Hinduism are often acknowledged. Part of what is similar to Christian teachings is found in the Bhagavad Gita and revealed by Krishna, the supreme god of Hinduism. God is, in Christian belief, the creator of the world and the Supreme Being. Likewise, in the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna is recognized as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Arjuna addresses Krishna as the one "that knoweth no deterioration" (Brishma Parva 55) thus, acknowledging Krishna as supreme power that cannot be altered. Moreover, such as God sent his only son into the world to serve humanity, Krishna is at Arjuna's service, although he never ceases to exercise his divine character. Krishna responds to his devotee's requests and Arjuna, unable to find the answer to his struggles, turns to the Lord for guidance. In the Bible, God guides Noah and saves him from the flood and is also the guiding force that leads Abraham into the land of Canaan: "Now the Lord said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee." (Genesis Chapter 12.1) Thus, neither Krishna nor God fail to show their affection and caring for the devotees.
In section XXV of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is addressed as Hrishikesa which, in English translation, implies that the Lord is in control of the senses, meaning no sense known by man can be unknown and unrevealed to Krishna. Therefore, it is acknowledged that the Lord has power above man's senses and is indeed superior to them. Krishna is also referred to as "the slayer of Madhu:" "How, O slayer of Madhu, can I with arrows contend in battle… " (XXVI 57) Madhu, in Hindu mythology is a demon who, along with his brother Kaitabha, conspired to annihilate Brahma. As the legend conveys, both were destroyed by Krishna. In the Bible, God's power is also incommensurable to that of the serpent that might have had influence over Adam and Eve but was nevertheless punished by God: 'Because thou hast done this, cursed art thou from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." (Genesis Chapter 3.17) Therefore, God and Krishna are the positive force and light that combat evil and are not subject to devilish influence, neither is the demon's or the serpent's power a match to that of the divine. Furthermore, their supreme power is thus more so entailed.
God tested Abraham's devotion by requesting that his only son be given as burnt -- offering. Abraham complied and took Isaac to the land of Moriah to complete the sacrifice. However, his devotion was acknowledged by God who saved Abraham's son. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna acknowledged that, "in olden times, the Lord of creation, creating man and Sacrifice together, said, - flourish by means of this [Sacrifice]. Let this [Sacrifice] be to you (all) the dispenser of all objects cherished by you." (XXVII 64) Thus, God, by asking Abraham to sacrifice his only son, is reflected into Krishna's teachings who emphasizes the interrelation between man and divinity and that man is, first and foremost, to put devotion before all other personal attachments. However, for the first time, we are revealed that, although Krishna is identified as the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the Bhagavad Gita, he nevertheless does not possess the same attribute as God in the Bible. Whereas God is known and indicated to have created the world with everything in it, Krishna refers not to himself as the creator but indeed marks the existence of the "Lord of creation" in "olden times." Furthermore, he acknowledges that the Lord of creation had also created man along with Sacrifice, thus, once again, the act of creation is being given to a different, divine force. Nevertheless, the moment in the Bible concerning Isaac's sacrifice and Krishna, in Bhagavad Gita, drawing on non-attachment, are both similar in that they emphasize the relationship of the divinity with man that is to be above everything else, blood ties including. It is understood from this that both God and Krishna teach man liberation from bondage so that the spiritual connection with the divinity can be complete. Just as God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Krishna also admonishes Arjuna for showing weakness in engaging in battle with his kinsmen. Arjuna was asked to control his senses just as Abraham was able to set aside that Isaac was his only son and was determined the complete the sacrifice despite the object of the offering. Speaking of the nature of sin, Krishna declares: "Superior to the senses is the mind. Superior to the mind is the knowledge. But which is superior to knowledge is He." (XXVII 66) Whereas "He" is implied by Krishna to be the Supreme Being, we are again inclined to believe that the Lord's role in the Bhagavad Gita is indeed that of a spiritual master given the teachings he conveys to Arjuna but Krishna would fail to represent the image of God, creator of all. Since Krishna continuously makes references to something either outside of himself or within, the conclusion can be drawn that he admits to the existence of a different force. Furthermore, Krishna acknowledges that "Brahma is the vessel (with which the libation is poured); Brahma is the libation (that is offered); Brahma is the fire on which by Brahma is poured (the libation)." (XXVIII 68) Brahma, in Hinduism is recognized as the true God of creation, whereas Krishna is the Preserver. Therefore, Krishna's role is not that of a creator but that of perpetuating the spiritual teachings. However, Hinduism asserts that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is aloof from the work of creation. That is to say that, Krishna, understood in Hinduism as the creator of the Universe and of the world outside it, can indeed exert himself of the work of creation and pass on the responsibilities to others. However, in Christian belief, no other exists that can be compared to God's power and his actions. Thus, Krishna may indeed be an expansion of the creative force but not the force itself and in itself.
God created man to resemble his likeness, as stated in the Bible: "This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him." (Genesis 5.1) However, God was never conditional of his creation nor did he ever belong to any norms of society that man constructed because He was above them. Likewise, Krishna reveals to his devotee the following: "There is, however, another entity, unmanifest and eternal, which is beyond that unmanifest, and which is not destroyed when all the entities are destroyed. It is said to be unmanifest and indestructible. They call it the highest goal, attaining which no one hath to come back. That is my Supreme seat." (XXXII 78-79) However, neither God nor Krishna remain hidden in front of man or mysteriously enveloped. Although they are in connection with the creation, they are neither separated from it nor part of it as such. In this respect, God and Krishna promoted devotion as a form of revelation in which divinity would come to manifest itself before man.
The similarity of the power that Krishna and God possess over man is depicted under the same circumstances. In the Bible, God, "saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6.5) Therefore, God sought to destroy the human race all but Noah's generation. Likewise, Krishna acknowledges before Arjuna that "I am Death,"…