s think of Jesus
might be of some interest. Historically, Hindu
s have had a shared experience with Christianity
(especially with British rule, and extensive missionary efforts).
- At one extreme, Hindus can share the position that many Atheists have of Jesus -- he was just a man, if he ever existed, that is. I was raised a Hindu, and generally held this viewpoint.
- My grandfather is a Hindu, but like many others, he is a liberal, ecumenical sort of guy. He doesn't believe Jesus is God, but he is confident that Jesus existed and made a positive difference. He has a copy of the New Testament, which he has read many times. My grandfather has even voiced the view that Christ travelled to the East during his young adult life (when the Gospels are largely silent), and later preached what he learned during this period.
- Some Hindus go so far as to consider Jesus an avatar of God. (An avatar is an incarnation of God on earth, but not a unique one; Rama, Krishna, and Buddha are tradionally considered avatars. Some say Gandhi was one.) My grandmother, a simple, devout woman, bows her head in repsect whenver she passes a Church, Cross, or Crucifix. To her, Jesus being God does not contradict any of her Hindu beliefs.
- At the other extreme, some Hindus are Christians in the strict sense. Brahmabandhab Upadhyay (A fiery nationalist opposed to British rule in India) was a Hindu by birth, culture, language, and philosophy. But in terms of religion and faith, he maintained his devotion to the Catholic Church to his death. We may doubt whether he was truly a Hindu or truly a Catholic, but he called himself both.