Historical Reprints Religion India In Primitive Christianity Reg. Edition

India In Primitive Christianity Reg. Edition

India In Primitive Christianity Reg. Edition
Catalog # SKU3875
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Arthur Lillie
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$15.95
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Description

India In
Primitive Christianity


By
Arthur Lillie


The science of Oriental chronology has come into being, and proved that Buddha is many years anterior to Nestorius and Jesus. Thus the Nestorian theory had to be given up. But a thing may be posterior to another without proving derivation. So the problem remained unsolved until recently, when the pathway that Buddhism followed was traced step by step from India to Jerusalem.

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Excerpt:

At first I did not attach much weight to the theory. But when I thought of bringing out a second edition to my work, the "Influence of Buddhism in Primitive Christianity," I found that it complicated my task. The main postulate of my work was that the monks and mystics in Egypt and Palestine were in close touch with the Buddhist monks in India. How did S'iva-Buddhism affect them? Immensely. The task at first appeared too much for me. But I found a great difficulty in throwing over the matter altogether, and I subsequently got leisure to take it up in earnest. One flash of light quickly came to corroborate Mr. Beal.

I found that the Left-handed Tantrika rites, the devil-dancing, and the worship of S'iva as Bhairava, were in every Buddhist kingdom. This did not seem so very important at first. The worship was accounted for everywhere locally. In Tibet it was due to the Bons, in China to Dragon-Worshippers, in Ceylon to the aboriginal Nagas. These were mere remains of local superstitions, mere barnacles outside the ship. I accepted the interpretation.

But soon many points suggested themselves to completely overthrow it. In each Buddhist kingdom was a hierarchy as strongly organised and as persistent as the hierarchy at Rome. That is the testimony of the Roman Catholic bishop, Bigandet. Now a hierarchy is an institution specially framed to resist all change instead of effecting changes. Why should all these hierarchies accept radical changes suddenly and simultaneously. One writer suggests that Buddhism desired to gain over the poorer classes of India by bringing Durga into their Pantheon. But Buddhism was already the religion of the poorer classes. It was the religion of the Yellow races and the low caste Sudras. It gave to these peace, honesty, prosperity instead of Eastern slavery and interminable Indian warfare. It changed wastes into waving rice fields. It established the first hospital for healing the sick instead of handing them over to the interested sorceries of greedy devil dancers. It revealed to the Sudra the spiritual life which the haughty Aryan had steadily kept from him. Plainly the great change called Mahayana could not have come from the outside.

But it might have come from a Supreme Curia like the Court of Rome. The Dalai Lama claims to be the head of the Buddhist hierarchies. In ancient days he bore sway in the splendid monastery of Nalanda near Buddha Gaya. He was called the Âcharya (Teacher). He is alluded to in the Mahawanso as the "High Priest of all the World." When the Buddhists were turned out of India at the revival of Brahminism, it is alleged that the great Buddhist establishment from Nalanda took refuge first in Kashmir and then in Tibet. Avalokitishvara (S'iva) guided them on their journey. And Avalokitishvara, becoming incarnate in the Dalai Lama, still inspires Buddhism: China, Nepal, and I believe Burma, still treat him as their Pope. Such a supreme Authority coerced by a monarch so powerful as Kanis'ka, might have forced a change as revolutionary as the Mahayana upon the minor churches. The task was quite beyond a few ignorant devil-dancers working separately and at far distances one from the other. Many other points tend to the same conclusion. Avalokitishvara and his wife Durga have the chief place in the litanies and prayers of the Viharas.

The great seven days' festival of India the Durga Pujah, under various names "Perahar," the "Festival of the She-devil Devi," etc., is the chief festival of most Buddhist countries. The healing of the sick by the casting out of devils which was the chief outside function of the Buddhist monks, has now in Buddhist countries been taken from them and handed over to the unadulterated followers of Bhairava. The vow to worship the Chaitya is the chief solemn promise exacted from the Buddhist postulant at his baptism, or Abhisheka.

This Chaitya is a sham relic-dome made purposely like S'iva's Lingam. A model of it is given to the postulant with his beads and alms bowl.

Now it must be remembered that the main subject of this book is the question of the influence of Buddhism on primitive Christianity. The first edition was directed chiefly to an attempt to show the many points of resemblance between the water-drinking vegetarian celibates of Galilee who had for their main point of attack the superstition of the bloody altar, and the water-drinking vegetarian celibates of India, who had for their main point of attack the same superstition. It was suggested that the analogy was so close between them that they must have been in close communication. This at once suggests enormous difficulties. If there was this close communication, evidences of the great change which brought back to India the reeking altar and Bacchantic intoxicants would soon find their way to Alexandria and the West. This was the difficulty that faced me when I thought of preparing a new edition of this work. I saw that I would have to make an elaborate study of the religion of Serapis and of the gnostic and early Christian sects. I saw that I must get clearer ideas of the channel by which India was in communication with the West. The result is now before the reader.

I soon found strong evidence that Ceylon was the high road along which Buddhism had come. The early Christian controversies might be said to be a battle between Persian Dualism, the philosophy of the authors of the later Jewish scriptures, and the pantheism of S'iva. In the following pages the reader may gain some knowledge of how it affected the doctrine of eternal rewards and punishments, the rite of Transubstantiation, the destruction of the Kosmos by the advent of the great Judge, the Trinity and Logos ideas. As in Ceylon the Western World in those days believed themselves to be a prey to millions and billions of evil spirits, who everywhere and at all times sought their destruction. Cures could only be effected by charms and spells and the "casting out" of these devils.

And the gods of S'iva-Buddhism seemed really to have invaded Alexandria. Serapis was a servile copy of Sakkraia, a god, half man, half stone; and Kattragam had analogies with the Logos of Philo and Abrasax, the Time-god, sacrificed at the end of the year.

But a more startling discovery was behind, which, if authenticated, would place my theory of a S'iva-Buddha union on a basis that cannot be easily shaken.

I came across a passage in the writings of the Orientalist, Horace Hayman Wilson, showing that he was much struck with the close analogy between certain gross rites amongst the Vamacharis, or left-handed Tantrika rites of the followers of S'iva as detailed in the Devi Rashya and the alleged improprieties of the Agapae, as described by Gibbon. I give these rites as described in the Indian work, and also in the Kali Ka Purana.




324 pages - 7 x 8½ softcover - Print size, 12 point font


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