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Myth of Sameness (Part 2) – Understanding why a Christian would never buy this theory of sameness

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In an earlier article we had discussed about this myth of sameness. Let us carry the discussion forward and understand how Christians are different from Hindus.

Adam and Eve committed the “Original Sin”. According to Christian belief, after the “Original Sin”, God cursed them and their progenies, that they will be born sinners.

So as per Christian beliefs, every person is a born sinner.

Now after God cursed Adam and Eve, He wanted to help them. But there was an issue. A sinner cannot save another sinner. Only a person who is NOT a sinner can do so.

So if God sent somebody as a messenger or an avatar, that person will have to take birth through the regular process. Then such a person will also be a born sinner. Except one case – If there is Virgin birth.

This Concept of Virgin birth is important because it will ensure that the person born is not a progeny of Adam and Eve and hence is not a born sinner. Such a child would have a woman as his mother but his father would be God.

Concept of Virgin birth is fundamental to Christianity. If Jesus did not have Virgin Birth, he would also have been a born sinner. In such a situation he would not be able to save any other person. So Christians believe that Jesus was the single person who was not a born sinner. All persons before him were born sinners and all persons after him are born sinners.

That is why Christians will never believe that Ram and Krishna are same as Jesus. Hindus can go on saying everything is same but the reason Christians will not take it seriously is that both Ram and Krishna did not have “immaculate conception” as Christ had.

Let us now discuss a related idea of Christianity.

Since Jesus is a son of God and is not a born sinner, now he has to save other people. He has to do something so that the curse due to original sin is removed.

Now since there is a sin, there has to be a punishment. Somebody has to suffer. If Jesus suffers on behalf of all others, then there is a chance that others can be saved. That is why Jesus suffers immeasurable pain and suffering on the cross. This is called Substitutional Atonement.

This can be explained as follows. Suppose I have to pay a fine and if my friend pays it, I can go free. Another (unlikely) example, if I am sentenced to jail and another person goes to jail on my behalf then I (presumably) can go free.

So Jesus suffers on behalf of entire humanity. Now important thing is that Jesus says that those who believe in him, ONLY those people would be atoned. This is called Salvation or Good News.

So “Good News” means that the Son of God has arrived. If you become a Christian and believe in the following 5 things, you can also be “saved”:
a) Adam and Eve committed sin.
b) God cursed them and all their progenies are born sinners
c) God wanted to save Human beings and therefore sent his only Son, Jesus.
d) Jesus’ birth was by Immaculate Conception i.e. Virgin birth
e) He suffered on the cross on behalf of others.

This whole idea is called Nicene Creed.

Let us now focus on this myth of sameness. Can we say that both Hinduism and Christianity are same?

We have read about the Christian Good News. Let us now understand Hindu Good News.

Hindu Good News is that there is NO original sin. All of us are not originally sinners, but all of us are infact originally Divine.

This is so different!!

If you believe that you are an original sinner then Christianity can solve your problem. However, if you are originally divine, then you don’t have any problem for which you search for solutions.

As a Hindu, infact the search is within. For a Hindu the challenge is to realize oneself, to realize the Divine that is within oneself; to realize the “Satchitananda” Tatva that is within every person.

So when in Hinduism we do not have a concept of original sin, then how can we say that we are similar to Christians? We do not believe that we are tied up with a single event in the past and because of that we all have become sinners.

So you can go around and say all your theories about Karma and Reincarnation but for a Christian who believes in Nicene Creed, all that is meaningless. For a Christian the idea of “Born Sinner” is paramount and he is convinced that the only way of salvation is through Jesus. He is not least bit interested in Karma and reincarnation and therefore a Hindu can go on repeating that everything is same; he is basically making a fool of himself.

(This write-ups is based on a Lecture by Rajiv Malhota)

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