Kalki: …Technically, Jesus was an avatar too. I know it sounds like I’m taking credit for everything, but if I don’t toot my own horn, who’s gonna?
Shaunaka Rishi Das, the Director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and an ordained Hindu priest, wrote an excellent essay for the BBC about the place of Jesus in Hinduism. We’ve clipped an excerpt, below, or read the whole thing by clicking HERE.
“A saint from [the] Hindu tradition …Ishu, who was born in a cowshed, was visited by three holy men, performed many amazing miracles, walked on water and spoke a wonderful sermon on a mountain.
You see, in a sense, Hindus don’t really see Jesus as a Christian at all. (Of course Jesus didn’t either, because the term wasn’t used during His lifetime.) In Hindu thought, church or temple membership or belief is not as significant as spiritual practice, which in Sanskrit is called sadhana.
Then when we ask how we can see spirituality in Hindus, the answer comes: by behaviour and practice. We can ask are we humble, are we tolerant and are we non-violent? Can we control our senses and our mind? Are we aware of others’ suffering and are we willing to give up our comfort to help them? Looking at these criteria Jesus measures up as a Sadhu, a holy man. He preached a universal message, love of God and love of brother, which was beyond any sectarianism or selfishness. Jesus was one of those people who appealed from heart to heart, and that’s what makes him such a good Hindu Saint.
In my particular tradition, and among other Hindus, He is seen as much more, as an Avatar, specifically a Shaktavesha Avatar or an empowered incarnation. This means that God has sent Him to us for a specific mission to fulfill God’s will on earth.”