The Passion of the Krishna
September 10, 2004 12:18 PM   Subscribe

There appear to be many similarities between the lives of Krishna and Jesus Christ. Exploring the linkage between the two does make one wonder whether the similarities are coincidences or for a very good reason.
posted by riffola (22 comments total)

 
In Lamb : The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal author Christopher Moore explores what happens during the 30 year gap between Jesus' birth and his adult life. Moore posits that Jesus and Biff spend a good 20+ years travelling the Middle East and Asia seeing the three wisemen and learning their teachings (Jesus learning their teachings, Biff fucking everything with two legs and learning Kung-Fu).

I've got about 50 pages to go before the end of the book and a very shaky memory of various Sunday School teachings before Mom wised up that it wasn't worth dragging me to them, but it's nice to see weird crossovers between brain-candy fiction and religious studies... :)
posted by togdon at 12:45 PM on September 10, 2004


Krishna H. Christ!

And if you want another, older story that sounds similar to what togdon is describing, see The Infancy Gospel of Thomas from the 2nd century or so, which claims to record events from the childhood of Jesus. I especially like the part where Kid Jesus strikes a kid dead for bumping into him. Whee!
posted by ChrisTN at 12:55 PM on September 10, 2004


Most religion seems to have stolen major themes from prior religions. So parallels between Krishna and Jesus Christ aren't startling. I'd really like to see a sort of religious lineage map, preferably interactive. So you could select Jesus Christ for instance and trace characteristics, stories and themes back to a previous deity and so on. I've seen papers on this but nothing graphical.
posted by substrate at 1:20 PM on September 10, 2004


And check out Joseph Campbell; this sounds like a take on the archetypal hero pattern.
posted by raygirvan at 1:22 PM on September 10, 2004


Of course, Christianity has that pesky "belief" thing. Ruins all the fun. Without that, the whole world would be one big, happy spiritual family, with Joseph Campbell as our pope.
posted by Faze at 1:41 PM on September 10, 2004


Check out Gore Vidal's "Creation" as well. Maybe not the "they're all the same guy" revelation it sounds like you're looking for, but an excellent story.

I think the similarities are pretty understandable given the archetype stuff already mentioned, and the usual links between "esoteric wisdom" and orientalism in the west.
posted by freebird at 1:56 PM on September 10, 2004


Actually, virgin birth was a very common in antiquity, many claimed to be birthed of virgins, even Caeser. Long but interesting piece here. Also this piece talks a little of the intermingling of paganism, the West, and the East.

The findings of the Jesus Seminar kind of kill the supernatural elements.

Lets not forget other savior archetypes like Elvis and George Washington.
posted by skallas at 2:04 PM on September 10, 2004


It seems like this might be a good time to mention Mithras.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:12 PM on September 10, 2004


His father was a carpenter yet Krishna was born of royal descent.
??? So was Jesus. Jesus being the son of Joseph, [the husband of Mary, who was the daughter of] Heli, who was the son of Matthat, who was the son of Levi, who was the son of Melchi, who was the son of Jannai, who was the son of Joseph, who was the son of Mattathias, who was the son of Amos, who was the son of Nahum, who was the son of Esli, who was the son of Naggai, who was the son of Maath, who was the son of Mattathias, who was the son of Semein, who was the son of Josech, who was the son of Joda, who was the son of Joanan, who was the son of Rhesa, who was the son of Zerubbabel, who was the son of Shealtie, who was the son of Neri, who was the son of Melchi, who was the son of Addi, who was the son of Cosam, who was the son of Elmadam, who was the son or Er, who was the son of Joshua, who was the son of Eliezer, who was the son of Jorim, who was the son of Matthat, who was the son of Levi, who was the son of Simeon, who was the son of Judas, who was the son of Joseph, who was the son of Jonam, who was the son of Eliakim, who was the son of Melea, who was the son of Menna, who was the son of Mattatha, who was the son of David, the king.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:12 PM on September 10, 2004


yup, ray, "hero with a thousand faces."
posted by ZippityBuddha at 2:28 PM on September 10, 2004


Good place to mention Zoroaster too.
posted by skallas at 2:28 PM on September 10, 2004


ZippityBuddha: thanks. The precise phrase slipped my mind.
posted by raygirvan at 3:06 PM on September 10, 2004


Dionysus was born of a mortal mother and a divine father, wandered in from the east with a counter-cultural philosophical message, was betrayed by his own followers and killed, only to rise again.
posted by Hildago at 4:22 PM on September 10, 2004


It bears mentioning that one big difference between Jesus and Krishna was that Krishna was skilled with weapons and could kick some ass, if need be.

Seriously, the rise of the bhakti movement in Hinduism had one of its strongest followings in Krishna. He is one of the most sexualized of the Indian gods, reputedly having 20k wives. It seems like both Jesus and Krishna were instrumental for reforming their respective religions from orthodoxies and rituals into more personal and emotional forms of worship.
posted by rks404 at 4:30 PM on September 10, 2004


Stay on the surface, my momma always said. One of those guys has a beard and the other does not. Don't trust a guy without a beard cuz he looks too much like a grad student.
posted by Postroad at 4:39 PM on September 10, 2004


Good place to mention Zoroaster too.

He was that guy who roasted Zo's. The only good Zo is a roasted one, that's what I say. Yup.
posted by chrid at 5:13 PM on September 10, 2004


Reading The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, one can truly see that the child Jesus was a little bastard. Well worth reading, if only for the inanity of it.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:39 PM on September 10, 2004


See also: Otto Rank.
posted by willpie at 9:06 PM on September 10, 2004


I especially like the part where Kid Jesus strikes a kid dead for bumping into him. Whee!

Did he send anyone into the corn field like that kid in the Twilight Zone?
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 9:24 PM on September 10, 2004


I've heard that both Jesus and Krishna avoided the use of superscripts in the memos they wrote.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:25 PM on September 10, 2004


Or go find a book called "The Pagan Christ" by a man named Tom Harpur. It's a good story about violence, plagerism, lies, and the creation of a certain religion.
posted by tiamat at 10:41 PM on September 10, 2004


Article I'm in the midst of reading from Fortean Times: Jesus of the East. (Is Fortean Times dodgey?)
posted by Onanist at 12:28 AM on September 11, 2004


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