Regarding Lundy’s latter assertion that the Indian god is “God and a strange mixture of man, but not the Christ of the Gospels,” we ask, how not? Christ is all of the things Lundy lists, especially when one factors in the Savior’s biblical “Father,” the architect of good and evil, who is generally not amiable but almost always wrathful, etc. Furthermore, while Krishna is the “shepherd-god of Mathura,” Christ is the shepherd god who lived in Maturea. Moreover, Lundy, evidently dismayed by this non-Christian crucifix, unconvincingly attempts to justify its existence as a “prophecy of Christ,” as had the early Church fathers done with so many mythical motifs when confronted with their existence prior to the Christian era. Regarding Lundy’s admissions, Blavatsky remarks:
One is completely overwhelmed with astonishment upon reading Dr. Lundy’s Monumental Christianity. It would be difficult to say whether an admiration for the author’s erudition, or amazement at his serene and unparalleled sophistry, is stronger. He has gathered a world of facts which prove that the religions, far more ancient than Christianity, of Christna, Buddha, and Osiris, had anticipated even its minutest symbols. His materials come from no forged papyri, no interpolated Gospels, but from sculptures on the walls of ancient temples, from monuments, inscriptions, and other archaic relics, only mutilated by the hammers of iconoclasts, the cannon of fanatics, and the effects of time. He shows us Christna and Apollo as good shepherds; Christna holding the cruciform chank [crook] and the chakra [wheel], and Christna “crucified in space,” as he calls it…. Of this figure—borrowed by Dr. Lundy from Moor’s Hindu Pantheon—it may be truly said that it is calculated to petrify a Christian with astonishment, for it is the crucified Christ of Romish art to the last degree of resemblance.
As it is, Dr. Lundy contradicts Moor, and maintains that this figure is that of Wittoba, one of the avatars of Vishnu, hence Christna, and anterior to Christianity, which is a fact not very easily put down. And yet although he finds it prophetic of Christianity, he thinks it has no relation whatever to Christ! His only reason is that “in a Christian crucifix the glory always comes from the sacred head; here it is from above and beyond….”
To be sure, an image of a crucified Krishna, prior to Christianity, is a fact not easily ignored, and one must wonder how it came to be so disregarded.
Interestingly, the Wittoba temples whence ostensibly came these images are located at Terputty and Punderpoor, the former of which was, in Moor’s time, under the control of the British, who had purchased the site. It may be asked why the British would thus be so interested in an avatar purportedly so minor and unimportant as to warrant exclusion of his story from their reports. The avatar was, in fact, important enough to be widespread and to have names in a number of different dialects, names or titles that included Wittoba, Ballaji, Vinkatyeish, Terpati, Vinkratramna Govinda and Takhur. Concerning Ballaji, Higgins says, “The circumstance of Ballaji treading on the head of the serpent shows that he is, as the Brahmins say, an Avatar of Cristna.” Higgins also states that very ancient monuments of the crucified god Bali of Orissa can be found in the ruins of Mahabalipore. It is interesting to note the correlation between Bali and “Baali,” Baal, Bal or Bel, the Phoenician, Babylonian and Israelite god, whose Passion is represented on a 4,000-year-old tablet purportedly in the British Museum. Furthermore, among others with the prefix “Bhel” or some other variant, there is an Indian sun-worshipping site of some antiquity called Bhelapur or Bhaila Pura, “a place of Bhailasvamin,” the latter being a name of the sun god. The name Bhailasvamin is quite similar to the Belsamen of the British Isles, with “Brit” also apparently related to “Bharat,” the indigenous name of India.
Any evidence of crucified gods in India—asserted by some to be commonplace in sacred areas, but hidden by the priesthood—may today be scant. It is an intriguing coincidence that many of the scholars who unwillingly and against interest exposed this information were not only Christian but also British, and that the British took over pertinent places, possibly with the intent of destroying such evidence, among other motives. As Higgins—himself a Brit—says:
And when we perceive that the Hindoo Gods were supposed to be crucified, it will be impossible to resist a belief that the particulars of the crucifixion have been suppressed.
Higgins also states:
When a person considers the vast wealth and power which are put into danger by these Indian manuscripts; the practice by Christian priests of interpolating and erasing, for the last two thousand years; the well-known forgeries practised upon Mr. Wilford by a Brahmin; and the large export…to India of orthodox and missionary priests; he will not be surprised if some copies of the books should make their appearance wanting certain particulars in the life of Cristna…
And, Higgins further remarks:
Neither in the sixteen volumes of the Transactions of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, nor in the works of Sir. W. Jones, nor in those of Mr. Maurice, nor of Mr. Faber, is there a single word to be met with respecting the crucifixion of Cristna. How very extraordinary that all the writers in these works should have been ignorant of so striking a fact! But it was well known in the Conclave, even as early as the time of Jerome.
The “Conclave,” of course, is the Catholic cardinals’ clique that elects popes. Unfortunately, Higgins does not recite his argument or cite his sources for such a fascinating claim.
Nor does the mystery end there. In his comments concerning the various enigmatic images of an Indian god crucified, Rev. Lundy also acknowledges other striking assertions, regarding purported Irish crucifix images:
Was Krishna ever crucified? Look at Fig. 61 and see. It is indeed an ancient Irish bronze relic, originally brought to the island from the East by some of the Phoenicians. It is unlike any Christian crucifix ever made. It has no nail marks in the hands or feet; there is no wood; no inscription; no crown of thorns, but the turreted coronet of the Ephesian Diana; no attendants; the ankles are tied together by a cord; and the dress about the loins is like Krishna’s. It is simply a modification of Krishna as crucified. Henry O’Brien thinks it is meant for Buddha. But another most accomplished Oriental scholar says it is Krishna crucified: “One remarkable tradition avers the fact of Krishna dying on the fatal cross (a tree), to which he was pierced by the stroke of an arrow, and from the top of which he foretold the evils that were coming on the earth, which came to pass from thirty to forty years afterwards, when the age of crimes and miseries began; or about the same length of time as intervened between our Lord’s crucifixion and the destruction of Jerusalem, an age of bitter calamities and crimes….”
Lundy is obviously convinced that a pre-Christian image of a god was found in Ireland and is Phoenician in origin, representing Krishna “crucified,” as described in the orthodox tale. The good Reverend then provides images of “Irish” and “Egyptian” crucifixes, and remarks:
“Here are two crucifixes, one with the wood, and the other without it. Fig. 65 is the old Irish cross at Tuam, erected before Christian times, and is obviously Asiatic; Fig. 66 is from an old Nubian temple at Kalabche, long anterior to the Christian era…”
Again, we have pre-Christian images of crucified gods, according to a pious and learned Christian authority. The same Christian authority verifies, against interest, this crucial information also provided by his “enemy” Higgins, as Lundy himself terms him.
Indeed, in his argument against the charge that the Indian priesthood fabricated the Krishna and Buddha stories based on the gospel fable, Higgins likewise claims that “Buddha” was crucified, referring to “the immaculate conception, crucifixion, and resurrection of Buddha, in Nepaul and Tibet.” In his assertions, he discusses the equinoctial date (March 25th) for the death and resurrection of a number of solar-fertility gods, and refers to the writings of Father Georgius (Alphabetum Tibetanum, 510), saying:
The following passage from Georgius will show that the crucifixion and resurrection of Buddha took place precisely at the same time as all others: In plenilunio mensis tertii, quo mors Xacae accidit.
The Catholic missionary Georgius’s remarks in English are: “On the full moon of the third month, wherefore death befalls Saca [Buddha].” Hence, Saca/Buddha dies at the vernal equinox, as is appropriate for a sun god.
Higgins’s arguments against the charge of plagiarism by Indians from Christians are quite logical and sound: He notes, for example, the archaeological evidence found at Ellora and Elephanta, as well as the intricacy of the Indian religious system, which indicates antiquity. He then definitively states that the Krishna stories are “most clearly no interpolation” and that they are an intrinsic part of Brahmanism. He further points out the absurdity of supposing that the Christian religion—with its miniscule enclaves in India—could have so influenced the vast subcontinent and its well-established religious system, i.e., the enormous Hindu population, with its “great variety of dialects.” As Higgins says:
…In the history of Buddha, as well as of Cristna, are to be found many of the stories which are supposed to be forged; so that two sects hating one another, and not holding the least communication, must have conspired over all the immense territories east of the Indus, to destroy and to rewrite every old work, to the amount almost of millions; and so completely have they succeeded that all our missionaries have not, in any of the countries where the Brahmins are to be found, or in which there are only Buddhists, been able to discover a single copy of any of the works uncorrupted with the history of Cristna. Buddha is allowed by Mr. Bentley to have been long previous to Cristna, and he is evidently the same as Cristna, which can only arise from his being the sun in an earlier period.
Another Indian sun god apparently frequently depicted as crucified is Indra, who as a solar hero could be considered interchangeable with Wittoba and Krishna. The crucifixion of Indra is likewise recorded in the monk Georgius’s Alphabetum Tibetanum, p. 203, according to Higgins, who provides pertinent passages in the original Latin:
Nam A effigies est ipsius Indrae crucifixi signa Telech in fronte manibus pedibuseque gerentis.
Although written in the 18th century, this work is in Latin, which was commonly used by the better educated precisely in order to go over the heads of the masses and keep secrets from them. Father Georgius’s book contained images of this Tibetan savior “as having been nailed to the cross. There are five wounds, representing the nail-holes and the piercing of the side. The antiquity of the story is beyond dispute.” Titcomb also relates the crucifixion of Indra as found in Georgius:
The monk Georgius, in his Tibetanum Alphabetum (p. 203), has given plates of a crucified god worshipped at Nepal. These crucifixes were to be seen at the corners of roads and on eminences. He calls it the god Indra.
In Asiatic Researches, Col. Wilford, another pious Christian, verifies that the “heathen” Hindus venerated crosses in public places and at crossroads. The appearance of the crucified gods as roadside protectors is logical: If you were going to put up an image of a god as a protector, would you not make his arms as widespread as possible, i.e., in cruciform? In fact, it would be surprising if such images did not exist.