December 09, 2005

On Calling Krishna 'Satan'

It appears (that is if this reality is true?) that a Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church has made allusions to “Lord” Krishna being Satan! I say allusions because from what I can tell (aside from the title of the article) he never actually called Krishna, Satan.

You can read the article yourself, but essentially the Bishop who was commenting on the proposed building of a temple to Krishna in Moscow.

In a letter to the mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, dated Nov. 29, 2005, Archbishop Nikon of Ufa and Sterlitamak from the Russian Orthodox Church called Lord Krishna “an evil demon, the personified power of hell opposing God”, and “a livid lascivious youth”, the statement says. [1]

First off let me say it was a bad thing to say, I certainly wouldn’t say that --- and its unhelpful if you wish to peruse any dialog with Hindus. However, there were a number of points in this article that I think need to be discussed. According to the article, Hindus were apparently caused “intolerable pain” by these statements. Humm? According to the article:

Apart from displaying stunning ignorance of the world’s oldest religion, it is also evident from the statement that the Russian Orthodox Church is still embedded in the dark ages of religious exclusivity, which has no place in today’s increasingly pluralistic society.

That’s a loaded comment. First off, what do they mean by oldest [2] religion? I’m not sure how they can know that, how that would matter, or how they could even say Hinduism today is anywhere near an organized religion [3]. That said, what would it matter if the “religion” is older then Christianity --- since Christianity comes from Judaism, and arguably that didn’t exist truly until Moses, but he claimed to be furthering the worship of the One True God that had been going on since the beginning of man. The age of the religion means nothing, the substance is what matters.

Of course, given reincarnation, how can they know that there wasn’t an older religion, on an older creation of the universe? But I’ll shy away from all that, it just makes my head hurt.

To call Lord Krishna ’satanic’ is not only sacrilegious in the eyes of Hindus; it is also patently ridiculous as any student of Hinduism knows; for Krishna is famous as the slayer of demons in the Bhagavad-Gita.

I think they miss the point, ‘satanic’ doesn’t mean demonic --- it means adverse to God. Therefore it’s not ridiculous at all no matter how many ‘demons’ he claimed to have slain --- if he’s not for, or with God, but against him he could be legitimately called Satan (Adversary.) Now it certainly isn’t a pluralistic thing to say, but it’s not logically ridiculous.

“We respect all religions,” said Bimal Krishna das, general secretary of the National Council of Hindu Temples (UK) and the Russian Orthodox Church has nothing to fear from Hindus. “We think the archbishop may gain some fresh insights into his own Christian faith by reading Krishna’s words in the Bhagavad-Gita,” he said.

They respect all religions [4] unless of course that religion calls the great Lord of their religion Satan. No, I don’t believe they actually do respect all religions, and I certainly don’t --- I wouldn’t respect a religion that tortured, killed, then ate people --- and neither should anyone else.

As to if he’d gain insight into Christianity by reading the Bhagavad-Gita --- I’m not exactly sure how?




[1] The archbishop further requested that the mayor ban construction of a proposed Krishna temple in Moscow, saying it would otherwise become “an idolatrous disgrace erected for the glory of the wicked and malicious ’god’ Krishna”.

“Construction of the temple (a satanic obscenity destined to be built right in the heart of the Orthodox Christian country of Russia) to Krishna offends our religious feelings and insults the thousand-year religious culture of Russia where the overwhelming majority of people, Christians and Muslims included, consider Krishna an evil demon, the personified power of hell opposing God,” said the archbishop’s letter.

[2] An array of deities are worshipped. Beliefs, codes and principles vary from region to region. It has proven impossible to trace the beginning of Vedic religion, although modern estimates of Hinduism's origin vary from 3102 BCE to 1300 BCE. Wikipedia

[3] The distinction of dharma from the Western sense of religion is crucial to understanding Hindu religious identity. To the extent that Hinduism carries with it the Western meaning of being a religion the words distort Indian reality. In the West a religion is understood to be conclusive—that is, it is the one and only true religion. Second, a religion is generally exclusionary—that is, those who do not follow it are excluded from salvation. Finally, a religion is separative—that is, to belong to it, one must not belong to another. Dharma, however, does not necessarily imply any of these. Encarta

[4] From the Article: “In contrast to the Russian Orthodox Church’s stance, Hindus respect Jesus Christ, who is predicted in the Vedas, the ancient Hindu scriptures, as a specifically empowered personality.”

2 Comments:

At December 12, 2005 12:13 AM, Blogger eu said...

i would like to let you know what i think after I read your note.
I believe that theres a little problem with chistianism.
Its the only religion that drives people crazy. and i would like to let you know why:
christianism (but not jesus) has created a world of fear. a world where the sins can be forgivened by paying in the middle age, by donating and praying today.
christianism (if you just take a look into a book that compares all religions) is a collage (do you have that word in english? is when you create a piece with lots of pieces).
christianism is a mix of every imnportant religion in the life of the humans.
and the worst thing of christianism is that they teach you that theres no other than jesus. they use the crucified jesus. they close you to the truth.
thats my oppinion for now, i apologise for my poor english, the reason is that im from america del sur south america, argentina is the name of the country im living in.
you seem to be a good guy. you can open your mind. you are taking the good ones aout from the bible. but you have to ask to yourself why christianism have killed people. why christianism needs money for the faith.
jesus said
give the cesar what belongs to the cesar, and give god what belongs to god.
i hope you give me an answer, and i would like you not getting mad on me, i admire you, i accept your point of view, im giving you my oppinion regarding all of this issues.
i have faith. as you do. as jesus did.
greetings from south america.

 
At December 12, 2005 1:16 PM, Blogger Justin Jenkins said...

E,

Let me say first and foremost I'm a follower of Jesus --- not simply a 'Christian.'

If one is a true follower of Jesus they won't fit the description you have made, in fact many of the things you point out Jesus directly condemned. You also can’t judge all Christianity by a few people which claim to be Christian, but don’t actually act as they should. Just like you can’t say all atheists are like Stalin, or Mao, or Hitler.

For your other questions, I may respond to them in a post sometime in the future, please check back later.

~Justin

 

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