Digging for traces of Monism in 4 Gospels

My solution to the riddle of Father, Son & Holy spirit
  • Father = Brahmam
  • Son = A enlightened being - buddha
  • Son of Man = Buddha of Compassion
  • Holy Spirit = Ultimate awareness about onself; obtained by enlightenment
  • Kingdom of God = Moksham & its blissful state happens with the arrival of Holy spirit

The look and behaviour of Jesus

It is interesting to look at BBC's depiction of Jesus.

I will suggest some modifications as per the prophecies in the Old testement.

Spirituality is a sleep

How does Roman Catholicism work against spirituality

Did you read Time article about God Gene?

The article describes that spirituality has a big genetic component. What it implies is Roman Catholic Church is systematically killing mankind's inherent spirituality.

This can be argued out easily. When somebody feels really spiritual, among Roman Catholics, he/she is suppose to become a priest/nun - essentially killing the spirituality gene.

In the light of these studies, Roman Catholics should encourage marriages between priests and nuns to preserve the gene and advice them to have as many kids as they could :)

There could be saints for sex too :))

Sleep & Nirvana

Humor aside, this points to the inverse relationship between human libido and spirituality. Almost all godmen/women (Jesus, Buddha, Adi Sankara, Vivekananda, Meera etc) were never considered specifically interested in sexuality and its celebration. (There could be some counter-examples like Osho; however this class is very small) Also, there are vast spiritual institutions which have celibacy as one of its main rules. I don't think these are just coincidence. Those things that exists for millenniums are not just social constructs; but they very well could be gene constructs.

So we can see that the spirituality property is not reproductively rewarded as power or intelligence. Remember the abundance of Genghis Khan's genes :)

But what could be the neuroscience/evolutionary explanation for this inverse relationship between a genetic property and reproduction?

We have 2 choices:
1. Spirituality is kind of a brain decease and some level of tolerance is evolutionaly allowed.

2. Spirituality is not actually a property, instead it is the off state of some survival abilities - analogous to sleep. So the genes of those who 'sleep' 24 hours are never propagated :) May be this is what happens in a meditation session where this 'sleep' state is consciously invoked in the brain. For spiritual people, attaining this 'sleep' state is very easy. But for other advanced humans, this may be hard :) However it may be good to have some time of quality 'sleep'.

This argument is in perfect accordance with what we see when people becomes old. All their physical & mental devices slow down when they get older. If spirtuality had been an ability of the mind, then why does this spiritual ability alone improve with oldage. So as per my argument before, when in youth, these anti-spiritual abilities of brain is in its peak. It decline afterwards and person becomes more spiritual. So for me also, a day will come, to be spiritual :)

In a different thought, it can also be viewed as the rebirth of genes as different humans until the last person attains spiritual enlightenment and never bother about reproduction. So that gene has achieved eventual nirvana after so-many 'lives'.


Adi Sankara & Keralan Christianity

Hypothesis:Adi Sankara adopted much from Christianity and Buddhism of his age.


Sankara's buddhism assimilation is extensively studied already. He is even addressed as 'prachhanna buddha' . Nevertheless I will list whatever I have found - just for my own satisfaction. Christian assimilation will be emphasised, though.

Thanks to Sanjay Chandrasekhararan for the information and pointers on the philosophical aspects of buddhism and advaita.

Please use http://www.wikipedia.org, for explanation of the keywords.

Important years
Buddha was born around 563 BC
Christ was born around 5 BC
Adi Sankara was born in 788 AD in Kaladi in the coast of Periyar.

Keralan Christianity at 800 AD
The coast of Periyar was not just any place in Tamil Kerala. Muzaris (Kodungaloor) - most important Indian port of that time - was at the mouth of Periyar. It was a melting pot of many cultures and religions. Chinese, Arabs, Romans, Greeks all had very active spice trade with India through that port. Thus that area came into contact with all great religions of the world.

Due to lack of historical evidences, I do not believe St. Thomas came to Kerala. May be his close disciples would have. I count Thomas Knana's arrival (>325 AD) as first (only?) major Christian migration to India. Before that whatever Christianity existed in Kerala would have been something like Jews in Kochi now :) Remember first major Brahmin migrations to Kerala also happened at that period ~300 AD.

Therefore, Christianity has nearly completed 500 years when Sankara was born. From Malayatoor to Angamali to Kodungaloor, there were many important Christian centers in the coast of Periyar. Remember those were the golden ages of Byzantian Christian Empire. Christian theology, traditions and images were all dominated by this powerful empire. Images were a lot sacred to them and Christians still use those famous icons. (refer Iconoclasm & and its eventual failure)

Thomas has a gospel of his own. It was discovered in 1945 from Nag Hammadi in Egypt. It is considered Gnostic. That means, it is drastically different text and forwards a different theology compared to other 4 gospels. St. Thomas' Gnostic theology and his gospel could have been, at the least, known among Christian intellectuals in the Periyar coast. As you may already know, Gnostism goes well with Buddhism & Advaita.

My view of Buddhism
In it essence, Buddhism is exploring the spirituality; and only spirituality. It is not interested in a God story. In fact, one can plug his own God story to Buddha's spiritual practices with little imagination. Buddha's conscious silence about his own God, I believe, is from his principle on never to let his disciples follow anything which he didn't experiment or test - as a scientist. Nevertheless, Buddhism couldn't satisfy an Indian's thirst for a God story & theory.

People who meditate are known to experience a universal oneness between self and other creatures and everything in the universe. This gives birth to Buddha's compassion to all. So a Buddhist's personal god theory can very well be Advaita.

What Sankara achieved was to successfully connect his Advaita experience to Vedas and Vedanthas and bring forward a God theory consistent with them.

Now to the evidences...

Image Evidences
Look at these iconic images - Adi Sankara's sitting pose and Byzantine Christ (google image search will suffice). I would argue Sankara's image is a merge of Christian icons and his own Brahmanic & Shivite traditions. That is, his graphic designer could have been his Nasrani friend in Angamali :-)

  1. Hand posture is same as that of Jesus. The typical posture of a Hindu deity is different - it is full palm facing the observer or holding something. Hand postures are important because that signifies what he claims to be. Jesus' icons adopted Apollo's finger expression to claim that he is God. Sankara's posture may be presenting him as a great teacher like Jesus.

  2. The bible is replaced with Veda.

  3. The stick in his hand graphically resembles the cross

  4. The headscarf is still used by orthodox Christian bishops. I haven't seen any other Indian sects use headscarf this way.

Monistic quotes from Gospel of Thomas

  1. "the kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the sons of the living Father" Quote 3
  2. "for there are many first who shall be last, and they will become a single one" Quote 4
  3. "When you make the two one and make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside and the above like the below... - then you will enter the kingdom" Quote 22
  4. Jesus said: "If the flesh came into existence because of the spirit, it is a marvel. But if the spirit (came into existence) because of the body, it is a marvel of marvels." Quote 29
  5. Jesus said, "If they say to you (plur.), 'Where are you from?' say to them, 'It is from light that we have come - from the place where light, of its own accord alone, came into existence and [stood at rest]. And it has been shown forth in their image.' Quote 50
  6. Jesus said: I am the light that is above them all. I am the all; the all came forth from me, and the all attained to me. Cleave a (piece of) wood; I am there. Raise up a stone, and you will find me there. Quote 77
  7. Jesus said, "Images are visible to human beings. And the light within these (images) is hidden by the image of the father's light; it will be disclosed. And his image is hidden by his light." Quote 83
  8. "When you make the two into one, you will become like me (Son of Man)" Quote 106. "onnaaya ninneyiha randennu..." is the most popular quote from Advaita. (I still can not find the source of it)
  9. Jesus said: He who drinks from my mouth will become like me, and I will become like him, and the hidden things will be revealed to him. Quote 108

Buddhist Metaphors

  1. Famous Snake-Rope Buddhist metaphor appears in Viveka Chudamani sloka 11.

Social Structure Evidence

  1. Buddhism & Christianity are great missionary religions. Hinduism never was. Sankara was the first Hindu missionary.

  2. Establishment of 7 & 1/2 churches of St. Thomas and 4 & 1/2 Mutts by Adi Sankara

  3. Unmarried monks staying together was not heard in Hinduism until Sankara. It has been practiced widely in Buddhism and Christianity.


This don't conclusively prove anything. This is just a thought line for new explorations to this observation.

There are more 'thathwamasi' in Gospel of Thomas and others. They needs to be listed. 'aham brahmasmi' in Gospels is left as an excersise to readers :)

Regarding the icons we will need to find the period of their origin. More than that, we need to investigate more into the 9th century of Kerala. The events in that century could have been the precursor to the turbulent period that followed. We need to ask what changed in the 8th and 9th century Keralan society and why.


കേരളം, ബുദ്ധന്‍, ക്രിസ്തു, ശങ്കരന്‍ - മറുപടികള്‍

(original article)

പ്രത്യേകിച്ചൊരു ഓര്‍ഡറില്‍ അല്ലാതെ മറുപടികള്‍‍:

ബുദ്ധനെ 'തികഞ്ഞ നാസ്തികന്‍' എന്നു വിളിക്കുന്നതേതാണ്ട്‌ കോണ്‍ഗ്രസല്ലാത്തവനെ കമ്മ്യൂണിസ്റ്റ്‌ എന്നു വിളിക്കും പോലെയാണ്‌.

spiritual enlightenment ആണ്‌ പരമപ്രധാനം; ഈശ്വരസങ്കല്‍പ്പങ്ങള്‍ അതിന്‌ സഹായിക്കുന്നേ ഇല്ല; പകരം ജ്ഞാനോദയത്തിനാഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നവരെ ഡിസ്റ്റ്രാക്റ്റ്‌ ചെയ്യുകയാണിവ ചെയ്യുന്നതെന്ന പക്ഷക്കാരനായിരുന്നു ബുദ്ധന്‍. അല്ലാതെ ഈശ്വരനുണ്ടെന്നോ ഇല്ലെന്നോ പറയാന്‍ ബുദ്ധന്‍ മെനക്കെട്ടിട്ടില്ല.

മാവേലിയുടെ വേഷപ്പകര്‍ച്ച സാന്താക്ലോസില്‍ നിന്നാണെന്നാണ്‌ എന്റെ വാദം.. രണ്ടുപേരും ആണ്ടിലൊരിക്കാല്‍ ടൂറിസ്റ്റ്‌ വിസയെടുത്ത്‌ എത്തുന്നവരാണല്ലോ :)

മാവേലിയില്‍ നിന്നും വ്യത്ര്യസ്തമായി ശങ്കരരൂപം ക്ഷേത്രച്ചുമരുകളില്‍ കാണാനാവും: ഉദാഹരണം തൃശ്ശൂര്‍ വടക്കുന്നാഥന്‍. ഇനി അതെവിടേനിന്നെന്നാണെന്ന്‌ തീര്‍ച്ചയായും അന്വേഷിക്കെണ്ട വിഷയമാണ്‌.

കേരളത്തിന്റെ 300AD മുതല്‍ 800AD വരെയുള്ള ചരിത്രവും ചരിത്രരേഖകളുടെയും കാര്യം കഷ്ടമാണ്‌ - പറയാന്‍ മാത്രം അധികമൊന്നുമില്ല. (അതുകൊണ്ടാണല്ലോ എന്നേപ്പോലുള്ള മെനച്ചുകെട്ടല്‍ ടീംസ്‌ ഓരോന്നുണ്ടാക്കുന്നത്‌ :) അതാണെങ്കിലും, 300-400AD-ക്ക് ശേഷം ക്രിസ്ത്യാനികള്‍ കേരളത്തില്‍ ഉണ്ട്‌ എന്ന്‌ ഏകദേശം ഉറപ്പാണ്‌. [കേരള-ക്രിസ്ത്യാനി ചരിത്രം. റോമന്‍ കാത്തോലിക്‌ അച്ചനാണ്‌ ഇതെഴുതുന്നതെങ്കിലും, പാരമ്പര്യവും ചരിത്രവും വേര്‍തിരിച്ചു പറയാന്‍ കക്ഷി ശ്രമിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്‌. വേണ്ടവര്‍ക്കങ്ങനെയും വായിക്കാം.] ഇനിയും, 800-ാ‍ം ആണ്ടില്‍ കാലടിഭാഗത്തെ ക്രിസ്ത്യാനികളുടെ എണ്ണമെത്ര എന്നു ചോദിച്ചാല്‍ ഉടയതമുപുരാന്‍ പോലും കൈമലര്‍ത്തും. എങ്കിലും ശങ്കരന്‍ ജനിക്കുന്നതിനു 400 വര്‍ഷം മുമ്പുമുതലേ കാലടി പ്രദേശത്ത്‌ ക്രിസ്ത്യാനികള്‍ എന്നൊരു ജാതി ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നു എന്നു മാത്രം പറയാം. പത്തു പന്ത്രണ്ട്‌ തലമുറകള്‍ക്ക്‌ വേണ്ടകാലമാണല്ലോ അത്‌.

സൂ.. 300AD-യ്ക്ക്‌ മുമ്പ്‌ ക്രിസ്ത്യാനികള്‍ ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നെങ്കില്‍ കൂടി അവരുടെ എണ്ണം ഇന്നത്തെ കേരളത്തിലെ യൂദന്മാരുടെ എണ്ണത്തിന്റെ അത്രയേ വരുമായിരുന്നുള്ളൂ എന്നാണ്‌ ഉദ്ദേശിച്ചത്‌. വളച്ചു കെട്ടിയെഴുതി വടിയായി :( സൂ പറഞ്ഞതു തന്നെയാണ് എന്റെ തികച്ചും വ്യക്തിപരമായ നിഗമനം: ബുദ്ധനോളം വരില്ല മറ്റാരും; ബുദ്ധന്‍ പറഞ്ഞതുതന്നെയാണ് വര്‍ഷങ്ങളായി നാം പിന്നേയും പിന്നേയും കേട്ടുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്നത്.

പെരിങ്ങോടര്‍ പറഞ്ഞപോലെ, A -> B, A -> C, so B ~ C ശരിയാവാം അല്ലാ‍യിരിക്കാം. തിയറികളേക്കാള്‍ പ്രധാനം തെളിവുകള്‍ക്കാണ്. കേരള നാമചരിത്രം നമ്മള്‍ പുല്ലൂ‍രാന്‍ എഴുതി വായിച്ചില്ലേ അതുപോലെ റിഗറസായ തിയറികളും തെളിവുകളും ആണെന്റെ സ്വപ്നം.

ശങ്കരന്റെ വാദപ്രതിവാദങ്ങളെ പറ്റി വായിച്ചിട്ട്‌ അധികമൊന്നും മുന്നോട്ട്‌ പോകാന്‍ പറ്റിയില്ല. ലോജിക്കിലും ഫിലോസഫിയിലും വേണ്ടാത്ത ഒരു അഭ്യാസമായി തോന്നി. വായിച്ചു മനസ്സിലാക്കാന്‍ പറ്റിയവര്‍ ക്ഷമാശീലര്‍; അവര്‍ ദൈവത്തെ കാണും :)

ശങ്കരനുമായി വാദത്തില്‍ തോറ്റ 8000 ജൈനസന്യാസിമാരെ (അതോ ബൗദ്ധന്മാരോ) പാണ്ടിരാജാക്കന്മാര്‍ തലവെട്ടിയതായി വായിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്‌. മൊത്തം പരിപാടികള്‍ അത്യാവശ്യം തറയായിരുന്നെന്ന്‌ ഊഹിക്കാം.