We have observed that Man cannot live up to the pure Sankhya any more than to pure Vedanta, and this gives us the ascending and descending scales of thought. Even if we believe in the pure Sankhya and hold that all actions must be renounced, the necessity of life compels us to perform some actions at least; and then we come to understand the idea of Sacrifice or selfless and creative action, which enables us to act and at the same time be free from the effects of action.
We have also pointed out that it is Sacrifice which gives us the first idea of the existence of God. Thus, if Man has fallen into pure Sankhya, he can be saved only through the idea of Sacrifice and so when Adam and his race fell away from God, they could be redeemed only through Sacrifice. Jesus Christ, the saviour of Man, according to the Bible, must therefore be regarded as an emblem of Sacrifice.
Agnosticism and the Idea of God; the Birth of Jesus: We have explained that pure atheism is logically impossible, for it implies the negation not only of God but of all action too and we must act to live. Hence we must pass on to the next stage of thought, accept the necessity of action as a Sacrifice, and betake to agnosticism for our creed. But agnosticism is not a denial of God; and the very idea of God is born with that of Sacrifice, as we have explained. Hence, while God has no place in atheism or the Sankhya, that is, he cannot be born in this system, he takes his birth in Sacrifice or the system of Nyaya, which admits the necessity of action as a Sacrifice, and agrees that God may have a small place in the scheme of the universe, but always less than that of Nature or Prakrti, or else he may be only a spectator of its work.
Christ, the Son of God, Is Born of Virgin Mary: It is in this way that God takes his birth in a world that has accepted the system of Nyaya, or Buddhist and Jaina forms of thought and the Tantra worship and so the World of Nature may be said to be the Mother of God and that is Mary.
The word Mary means "Bitterness", which is symbolical of Prakti, as sweetness, arising out of the Sun, is of Purusha or God. It further implies that Prakrti or the world of manifest life is full of sorrow and "bitterness". This is the Sankhya-Nyaya point of view, as we have explained. Then a Woman in sacred literature personifies Prakrti. Mary may, therefore, be said to personify Nature or Prakrti.
It is said that she was married to Joseph, the carpenter, but was still a virgin. This takes us to the system of Nyaya, where Purusha (man or husband) exists, but is a mere spectator of Prakrti (woman or wife), and has no creative contact with her. This means, therefore, that the people of the world believed in the Nyaya system of thought, or the different forms of Buddhism and Jainism, at the time, holding that God was only a spectator of Prakrti.
Then it is said that Mary found favour with God and, virgin as she was, gave birth to Jesus, the son of God. This obviously means that it was in such a world of life that the idea of a perfect manifestation of God (son) had its birth, and that happened through the grace of God himself. In this connection we have explained that the idea of God is associated with Sacrifice; and so Christ should be a symbol of Sacrifice.
Further, we have shown that pure Monism belongs to Vedanta, which is based on the unmanifest energy of the Heart or the Soul, and that is God in his unmanifest form. Then Buddhi is the first manifestation of the unmanifest energy of the Soul, and the two are, for practical purposes, identified. This, therefore, should be the idea of Jesus Christ, the manifest form or son of God; and it should conform to qualified Monism, based on Buddhi or the Yoga system of thought.
Christ is born in a Manger: The same idea of Nyaya is expressed in terms of the Cow; and we are told that Christ was born in a Manger or a cow-pen. We have explained that the Cow refers to the senses of knowledge or the Nyaya system of thought; and the birth of Jesus in the midst of cows and calves implies that the people in those days followed Nyaya, or Buddhist and Jaina, or corresponding forms of faith. It might be of interest to mention that the worship of the Bull or Calf was common among the Jews and Egyptians of the day, and the idea is the same as in the case of the Bull of Mahadeva or the Cow of the Hindus, signifying that forms of religion similar to the Tantra, Saivism, Buddhism or Jainism prevailed at the time of the birth of Christ.
Krshna, the perfect incarnation of Vishnu, is also said to have been born in Gokula or "the family of the Cow"; and here too the idea would be exactly the same, implying that the people of the day were given to Buddhist and cognate forms of religion, and it was among them that God-consciousness of a most perfect kind (Krshna) came to be awakened or born. We shall explain the idea of Krshna in detail in the Story of the Mahabharata, and show how the Epic is a great conflict between Vedanta or the religion of Vishnu on the one hand, and Buddhism and Jainism on the other. The idea of Christ is almost the same; only Krshna, being a perfect incarnation of Vishnu, refers to. The Soul, while Christ, the son of God, to its first manifestation, Buddhi; and the two are, for practical purposes, identified.
The Crucifixion of Christ: We have explained how Man can rise from a lower to a higher system of thought, and come to believe in God through the idea of Sacrifice; and so Christ, to be an embodiment of Sacrifice must sacrifice himself, so that the world which had turned away from God may return to him again. The crucifixion of Christ is, therefore, a supreme act of Sacrifice, comparable to the Sacrifice of the Supreme Purusha (God) in the Rig Veda, who offers himself as a Sacrifice and out of his dismembered parts the whole universe comes into being. Similarly by the Sacrifice of Christ a new order of life is created in the world, pervaded by God in each part; and Man, by understanding the true nature of Sacrifice, comes to believe in God as the sole supreme creator of the universe.
The Resurrection of Christ: But while the crucifixion of Christ is an act of Sacrifice on his own part, those who "slew" him believed in Nature and not God; for we have explained that this is the meaning of "death" in the sacred books. When God is denied, he dies; otherwise God, if he be really God, cannot die or be "slain" by man. But when man denies his existence, he "slays" him; and the same idea occurs in the Mahabharata when Krshna is "killed". We might say, therefore, that those who crucified Christ did not believe in God, and they thought that they had safely buried him in their unbelief.
But God rises whenever an act of Sacrifice is performed, when Man thinks of him and remembers him; and so Christ rises once again and appears to those who believe in him.
Again it is said that Christ was crucified on Friday, and rose again on Sunday; and both these days are regarded as sacred by the Christians to this day. Now we have explained that Friday is named after the planet Venus, who is identified with Nature or Prakrti. This means that when we worship Nature or Prakrti as the creator of life, God (Christ) is slain, crucified, or denied; and it may be of interest to mention that the worship of Jesus was very common in those days, and it corresponds to Sakti worship of the Tantra in India.
Then it is said that he rose on Sunday, sacred to the Sun, symbolic of Buddhi, identified, for practical purposes, with the Soul. In other words, when we use our higher reason or soul-consciousness, we realize that God is everywhere and that it is he who creates the universe.
The Trinity: Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost: The Christian Trinity consists of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Father is God, the Unmanifest; the Son is Jesus Christ or God made manifest in the world through Sacrifice; but the idea of the Holy Ghost is regarded us a mystery and is not generally understood. But it refers to Breath or Prana, the energy of action and the vehicle of the Soul in man, and it is only in its light that we can understand the idea of God and so it is said that he (Christ) breathed on them, and said unto them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost". We shall examine this idea of Prana. Or Breath in the Story of the Mahabharata, where it is personified by Arjuna, the hero of the Epic; for there too we have the Unmanifest Purusha or God; Krshna is his incarnation, as Christ is his son; and then we have the individual Soul or Arjuna whose history is traced in the Epic; and that may be said to be the Holy Ghost.
This, in brief, is the symbolical significance of the story of Adam and Eve, and the Fall and Redemption of Man, as understood in the light of the ancient systems of thought the fall from pure belief in God to unbelief, and redemption through Sacrifice which leads to God-consciousness once more.
We have traced the origin of the great systems of Hindu Philosophy and Religion, and shown how the same idea runs through all the ancient Sacred Books from the Vedas to the Epic of the Mahabharata, beginning with the evolution of the organic cell. "As it is in the Cell, so is it in Brahmanda", thus it is said; and the whole universe is but a manifold expression of the primary energy of the Soul, which manifests itself in many different forms. The Vedas in their hymns, the Brahmanas in their Sacrifice, the Upanishads in their analysis, the systems of Philosophy in their aphorisms, and of Religion in their ritual and form all convey the same idea, each in its own special way; and the same is to be found in the Puranas and the Epics uniting literature with life, religion with romance, and philosophy, through fiction, with Truth. The ground has now been cleared for an explanation of the Mahabharata as a picture of all systems of Hindu Philosophy and Religion in Story-form; and we shall deal with this in the next volume.