There are many similarities between the deities Krishna and Jesus. Krishna, in Hinduism is known as the avatar of Vishnu who is considered to be a supreme being. The Hindu trinity consists of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva as Judge. Krishna is the second person in the trinity like Jesus Christ, the son of God, the second person in the Hebrew trinity. The Hebrew trinity has God the father, Jesus as the son and the Holy Spirit.
The teachings of Jesus Christ are contained in the Bible while the teachings of Krishna are in the Gita. The Gita contains the conversations Krishna had with a mortal man, Arjuna, encouraging him when he was in battle with evil forces. Both men came to the earth as fully human and fully divine (Das, 2005). Their birth had been prophesied or foretold before they occurred (Religious Tolerance, 1996). The prophets in the Bible prophesied of the birth and death of Christ. In Hindu mythology, the reigning king at that time, in the region of Yadavas, King Kansa wanted to kill his sister’s children due to a prophesy that foretold his death by Devaki’s eighth son. He had Devaki, his sister and her husband locked up in prison. He killed their six children. Devaki had a miscarriage while in prison. Their eight son, Krishna, was born in prison. Jesus was born supernaturally, without Mary and Joseph, having sexual intercourse, in the same way, Krishna was born supernaturally. Devaki’s husband, Vasudeva did a “ mental transmission” into his wife’s womb. Another similarity is that at the time of their birth, due to the danger present in their home locations they were taken to other locations.
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There were death pronouncements over their life by the reigning kings at that time and they were both saved from these evil forces (Mohammed, 1989). Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt due to King Herod’s threat to kill all the Hebrew young sons while Krishna was taken to Gokula to be raised by his foster parents, Yasoda and Nanda. Interestingly, their birth was in unusual and peculiar places. The birth of Jesus was in a manger while Krishna was born in a prison cell. Throughout the lives of both men, evil forces were pursuing them in order to destroy them. The way they died is also similar in that both killed by the use of sharp weapons. Christ was nailed on a cross while Krishna was shot by an arrow. Their names have the same meanings. The name Christ means the anointed one. It comes from the Greek word Christos. Krishna also means Christos in Greek. In fact Krishna, a colloquial Bengali expression of the name is Kristo. It is the same as the Spanish word for Christ which is Cristo.
Their teachings were also similar in that they emphasized peace and love. According to the Hindu teachings the reason Krishna came to earth was so that good could be restored back to the earth. Jesus, according to the Hebrew teachings, came to show the people the righteous way to live. Both men came as the saviors of the earth. They were divine beings who came to restore and teach the people wisdom, love and give them power to overcome evil. Another interesting aspect is the way they both said they are the end of religion and there is no other path.
They claimed that they both held the completeness of religion. Krishna tells Arjuna that whenever in the earth righteousness declines causing the level of unrighteousness to increase, his body takes on a bodily form. He comes to live on the earth to live as a human being.
Further, he says that he does this so that he can punish the wicked. His reincarnation is done regularly, in order to protect the righteousness. Jesus in the same way spoke of preceding from God, the father. He tells the Jews that if God was their father, they would accept him and love him. He said it is the father who had sent him. He never came on his own will. Krishna also spoke of his oneness with God in the Gita. He said he is the way and pleaded that Mankind should to come to him. He further said that the multitudes of gods and the great sages did not know his origin. In fact he said he is the source of the multitudes of gods and great sages Jesus gave a similar message in the Bible by saying in the Gospels that he was the way, the truth and the life and that no one would go to the father except through him. He told the Jews that if they really knew him, they would know his father as well. Both men spoke of a reward for living a right life. Krishna said that the men who become free of all desires and was unselfish without thoughts of “ mine” and “ I” would be at great peace and achieve the Brahman state.
The Lord Jesus also spoke of a reward for the people who live righteous lives and overcame evil by saying
that he would make a pillar in the temple of God where they would dwell. In their connection to God, both men used the same words Krishna said that he was the origin of everything and actually everything arose out of him. The Lord Jesus said in the Bible that to the Jews that he was the bread of life. All those that came to him would never hunger and also would never thirst. The two men were preaching a message with the same theme. The theme of the message was that the man has to change his way or thinking. Furthermore they had to be a change in the man’s heart. The man had to give up the pursuit of the earth’s material possessions. He had to forget about gratifying himself and go to God with total devotion. Jesus said in the gospels that man should love the God, who is Lord with all their heart, soul and might.
Krishna on the other hand in the Gita said ” Always think of me, become my devotee, worship me and offer your homage unto me. Thus you will come to me without fail. I promise you this because you are my very dear friend” (Bhagavad-gita 18. 65). He further says ” To those who are constantly devoted to serving me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me” (Bhagavad-gita 10. 10). Jesus also spoke of the understanding and wisdom given to man when he comes to him ” Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7: 7)
In another part of the Gita book, Krishna says ” To show them special mercy, I, dwelling in their hearts, destroy with the shining lamp of knowledge the darkness born of ignorance” (Bhagavad-gita 10. 11). Jesus also speaks of forsaking everything in order to serve God (Om Jesus Editors, n, d). He says in the Bible”…and if you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have a treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19: 21). This message is again spoken by Krishna ” Abandon all varieties of mundane religion and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear.” (Bhagavad-gita 18: 66).
There were however differences in the two men teachings concerning meditation. Krishna spoke of the art of scientific control of the senses. He spoke of man taking time to withdraw his mental thoughts from the material world and focusing on his inner ecstasy or samadhi. He said that when the yoyi behaved like a tortoise by withdrawing its limbs and retired its senses from the environment, its wisdom was at that time steady. Jesus Christ however spoke of prayer and not meditation. He said in the gospels that when one wanted to pray to God earnestly, they were to do go to a secret place and pray to their father in secret who would reward them. There are other differences in their lives such as Jesus was not born into a royal family. Krishna married Rukmini, a princess however Jesus did not marry anyone on the earth. Another difference between the two is that Krishna said he would keep coming to the earth incarnated as a man to restore righteousness. For Jesus, there is no other re-incarnation that takes place.
The lives of Jesus and Krishna had many similarities and differences. The consistent fact however that remains is that they were both connected to the divine or supernatural. Their lives will always continue to be studied by men.
Das, S (2005) Christ-Krishna Connection: Similarities in the Life & Teachings of Christ &
Krishna Retrieved from:
http://hinduism. about. com/od/lordkrishna/a/christ_krishna. htm
Mohammed, O (1989) Jesus and Krishna. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 26: 4, pg 664-680
Om Jesus (2007). What is the difference between Jesus and Krishna? Retrieved from:
http://www. omjesus. net/en/05difference. htm
Religious Tolerance (1995) Specific similarities between the lives of Jesus and Krishna
Retrieved from: http://www. religioustolerance. org/chr_jckr1. htm