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Was #Jesus based on the Hindu #god #Krishna?
Um, #NO, and here is why.
According to Hinduism, Krishna is an Avatar, or incarnation, of the Hindu God Vishnu. He was one of several (Including Rama, Kalkin (aka Kalki) and even Buddha). He lived a heroic life, teaming up with another Hindu hero named Arjuna (who was a demigod). Krishna’s cult dates back
around the 5th century BC (roughly around the time of Buddha himself). He is also a god.
Was he the basis for Christ?
Let’s break this down:
Was Krishna virgin born?
No: though his conception didn’t involve sex (Vishnu got his mother Devaki pregnant by plucking out two of his hairs; the white one became Krishna, the other became Balarama, Krishna’s older brother (who was himself thought to be a partial Avatar of
Vishnu). This sounds first like a virgin birth…until you realize that Krishna’s mother, Devaki, already had 6 other sons (7 if you count Balarama, who was born before him).
The other 6 were made in the old fashioned way.
Thus, no virgin birth.
Also, the prophecy about the virgin birth of the Messiah (i.e. Christ), found in Isaiah chapter 7, actually predates the Krishna cult. While the latter began in the 5th century BC, Isaiah wrote in the 8th to early 7th centuries BC. Though many scholars
think that Isaiah chapters 40-66 was written later (though there are strong arguments against their conclusion), only a few try to say the same about Isaiah 1-39, which includes the virgin birth passage (The scholarly consensus is that Isaiah 1-39 was written in the 8th century
BC). Indeed, Isaiah 1:1 shows that he prophesied during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. Indeed, Isaiah himself mentions in Isaiah 6:1 a vision that he experienced after the death of king Uzziah, as if relating this to a scribe (many ancient peoples used
scribes to write their words down). Uzziah’s reign started anywhere from 783-791 BC, while Hezekiah’s would have ended possibly about 686 BC.
Thus, once again, the prophecy of the Messiah’s virgin birth predates Krishna!
But wait! Wasn’t Krishna, like Christ, miraculously
conceived? Isn’t that a similarity?
Yes, he was miraculously conceived. So was Isaac (Compare Genesis 16:1-2, 17:15-27, and 21:1-7), the Prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1-20), Samson (Judges 13:1-25 and John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-25, 39-45, 57-66. These men were born to women who were
either barren and/or too old to conceive a child. Miraculous conceptions!) and countless figures of world religions and myths (many of which predate Krishna; Hephaestus (in some versions he was conceived without sex), Hercules, Theseus, Achilles, Gilgamesh (these sired by .
sexual unions of god and mortals. Miraculous conceptions as well!), etc). It’s a bit too broad of a category to make a good enough parallel here.
A star proclaimed Krishna’s birth?
Shepherds visited him when he was born?
Nope, it was cow herds.
Angels at his birth?
1, The angels in the Christmas story don’t appear in the manger; they appear outside, where the shepherds are tending their flocks. If I was standing outside a hospital, and a baby was born inside the hospital while I was outside it, could I logically say that I attended the
birth? Did the people In the parking lot at the time attend it?)
2. Angels are of the Judeo-Christian tradition, not Hinduism.
3. The beings who carry out the same role as angels in Hinduism are human gurus, gods and ancestral spirits. Just because they had a similar function
doesn’t mean they were the same. Leopard Seals perform the same function as Polar Bears (i.e. the Apex predator. Polar bears in the arctic, Leopard Seals in the Antarctic). Does that mean that Leopard Seals are polar bears? If I was attacked by a hungry Leopard Seal, would it
be logical for me to say that a polar bear tried to eat me?
Was he an incarnate god like Christ?
Yes…but there is a caveat.
Let me explain.
Krishna was indeed Vishnu incarnate, but we have to remember that the Avatars of Vishnu had far different personalities: Krishna was a womanizer and big drinker, while Buddha was an ascetic, living a monk’s life. Reincarnation is one of Hinduism’s beliefs, and no one would be
expected to have the same personality or mind in any two or more lives (If you were born a cow in one life and a man who becomes a rocket scientist in another, the comparative personalities of both your lives would be, needlessly to say, DIFFERENT!). We also have to remember that
, even though he is an avatar of Vishnu, Krishna is also himself a god, distinct from Vishnu.
Christ, on the other hand, kept his divine personality. His mind was always that of God the Son. We have to remember that reincarnation is not taught in the Hebrew Bible. Some Jews have
believed in it, but it was never a canon belief. Thus, ancient Jewish Christians would not have seen God incarnate the way the Hindu’s saw their avatars. Plus, Jesus and God the Father are not two different yet connected gods; they are two persons within the trinity.
Thus similar, but not as much as you think.
Both part of a trinity?
Not really.
Vishnu, Brahman and Shiva together make up the Hindu Trimurti, the triad of great gods. These gods were manifestations of Brahman, which has been called anything from a divine spirit, to a universal
consciousness, to an “uncreated, eternal, infinite, transcendent and all-embracing principle”. The Hindu god “Brahma” is the personification of Brahman, but all three gods are manifestations of him. Many Hindus believe that they are manifestations of a single god (Brahman is
considered by some sources to be a god, but in mainstream Hindu theology Brahman is not), and there are statues showing these deities sharing a body. Since Krishna is Vishnu’s avatar, this would seem to technically make him part of this trinity (as would Buddha and the other
avatars of Vishnu).
However, there are some problems.
You see, ALL Hindu gods are manifestations of Brahman!
Repeat: All Hindu gods are manifestations of Brahman!
And how many Hindu gods are there?
Take a guess.
Take a wild guess.
Some say 33 million.
Others, 330 million.
That goes well beyond…3.
Indeed, trying to compare the Biblical Trinity with the Hindu Trimurti has further issues. In the latter, Brahma is the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva is the destroyer. However, Vishnu’s and Shiva’s roles here at not set in stone; they are not always preserver and
destroyer respectively. Both represent opposing forces, but Brahma is the balancing force. A different relationship to what we find in the Trinity.
Plus, despite being one of Vishnu’s avatars, Krishna is also a god in and of himself, another of Brahman’s manifestations. Indeed,
he is one of the most popular deities in Hinduism. He is NEVER listed as a member of the Hindu Trimurti. Vishnu, the god who Krishna is an avatar of, is, but Krishna in and of himself is not. Indeed, there are other avatars of Vishnu that are thought to be gods (The hero Rama,
the horse god Kalki/Kalkin (some seem to doubt the latter is an avatar of Vishnu, but he is usually presented as his avatar). If we are to put these gods into the Trimurti (remember; despite being avatars of Vishnu, they are also different gods), then our Hindu Trinity…is no
longer a trinity.
Such much for the Hindu Trinity argument.
Miracle worker?
All gods were capable of performing miracles. All were miracle workers.
Great teacher, one who used parables?
No, Krishna never used parables. He did teach, but so did numerous figures of world religions and mythology. Paul the Apostle, Zalmoxis, Moses, The Watchers (in the Books of Enoch, fallen angels who had sex with women and taught sorcery and other arts to mankind), Prometheus,
King Minos (gave laws to his people that civilized them, in some myths he was inspired by Zeus to make them), Buddha, Zoroaster, Muhammad, etc.
Big deal.
Butted heads with religious leaders of his day?
Interesting. So did Elijah (1 Kings 18:16-40), Jeremiah (26:1-27:17), Amos (5:21-27), Micah (2:6-11, 3:5-8 11-12), Zephaniah (1:4-6), King Saul (1 Sam 23:6-23), Paul the Apostle (Acts 23:1-11) Peter and John (Acts 4:1-22) and Stephen (Acts 6:8-7:60). True, both Krishna and Christ
had a beef with religious leaders of their day over adherence to ritual over caring for others. However, Jesus also had beef with the religious leaders of his day over man made traditions (Mark 7:7-13) and false theology (Matthew 22:23-33).
Indeed, other historical figures did
likewise (Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Muhammad, King James the 1st of England, etc).
Not much of a comparison.
Had a disciple named Arjuna, a name linguistically connected to John?
Arjuna was a “disciple” (which simple means in Greek “student”) of Krishna’s, but the English name “John” is derived from the Greek “Ioannes”, which in turn is derived from the Hebrew name “Yochanan”. There is no connection between these names and Arjuna.
Killed around the
age of 30?
Try 125.
No, a hunter named Jara accidentally shot him with an arrow. The arrow hit his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body (quite similar to how Achilles died in Greek myth. Since Achilles’ myth is older, does that automatically mean that Krishna was
partially based on the ancient Greek hero? Or maybe a simple case of coincidence? Most likely the latter.)
Plus, it makes sense that Krishna wasn’t crucified, considering that crucifixion wasn’t an ancient Indian form of execution (It was practiced in the Middle East, and later
the Roman Empire).
Though some books may seem to indicate so (without stating it clearly), the ancient sources tell us something different. He did die and rise back into the heavens, though this seems more like his spirit or essence entering heaven than a
resurrected body. True, the Srimad Bhagavatam states that “He did not desire to keep His physical frame here in the mortal world”, but this could be his way of saying that he didn’t want to keep his life on earth (If I am going to move out of Texas, and I say that “I don’t want
to keep my land in Galveston.” That doesn’t mean that I am going to take the land with me when I move. It means that I’m going to sell it or give it away). The gods were there “to witness the passing away of the Supreme Lord”, and after meditation (“he closed his lotus eyes and
fixed his consciousness within himself”. This was done in preparation for his death), and a brief mention of how his body is “the most attractive to all the worlds”, “he entered his heavenly abode.” This has to refer to his death. Otherwise, he would be rising into the heavens
in his physical form without dying first, which goes against Hindu teaching. Indeed, the text states that Krishna could have survived the arrow shot using his powers, but decided not to, stating that “He did not desire to keep His physical frame here in the mortal world”, i.e.
did not desire to heal his body and stay on earth.
Thus, no physical resurrection.
He will one day come back on a white horse to execute judgment?
No, this is Kalkin/Kalki, another Avatar of Vishnu (and some sources question him as being an avatar of Visnhu)
Keep in mind, much
of Krishna’s stories come from texts that postdate Christ by centuries. Indeed, all his miracle accounts date to centuries after Krishna was supposedly alive. If there was any borrowing (not saying there was), then it was…the other way around.
Christ was not a mythical figure based on Krishna
He was a historical figure.
He lived.
He is still lives.
He is real.
He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and none come to the Father save through him (John 14:6).
Srimad Bhagavatam, 11.30-31
“Encyclopedia of Gods” by Michael Jordan, pages 136 (also see page 129)
“The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology” by Arthur Cotterell and Rachel Storm, pages 380-381, 414-15
(compare pages 353-4)
“Book of Historical records” by Norris McWhirter, page 41
“The Case for the Resurrection of Christ” by Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona, 143
“AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, Cults and the Occult” (compiled by Mark Water), page 192
“Doomsday Prophecies: Armageddon A to Z” by Jim Willis and Barbara Willis, page 218
“The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology” by Pierre Grimal, pages

The Archeological Study Bible (NIV), pages 1051, 1055
“Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance: Second edition”, by Edward W. Goodrick and John R. Kohlenberger III, pages 599 and 1559
“The Diamond Book of Hindu Gods and Goddesses”, by Suresh Narain Mathur, B. K. Chaturvedi, page 57
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