Helping Christians "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).
Comparing Christianity and Hinduism
What the Bible says about God:
What Hinduism says about God:
There is one true and living God, who exists as three distinct, co-equal, co-eternal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; John 20:28; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:13; 1 Peter 1:2).
God (Brahman) is the one impersonal, ultimate, and unknowable spiritual reality. Sectarian Hinduism personalizes Brahman as Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver), and Shiva (destroyer). Hindus claim there are 330 million gods. Belief in astrology, evil spirits and curses is common.
What the Bible says about Jesus:
What Hinduism says about Jesus:
He is the virgin-born Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:35).He is the eternal God, the Creator, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit (John 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-20; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:1-13).Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), rose physically from the dead (Matt. 12:38-40; Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; 1 Peter 1:18-21) and is coming back physically and visibly one day (Matt. 24:29-31; John 14:3; Titus 2:13; Rev. 19:11-16).
Jesus was a teacher of Hinduism, a guru of the past whom Christians greatly misunderstand. He was neither the unique God-man nor our Savior. In fact, many modern Hindu leaders ignore, ridicule or condemn Jesus as a false Messiah, describing Him as “a mental case … a fanatic … a fascist … a salesman” (Rajneesh). He also is called a “false idol” and “a perversion of the truth” (Da Free John).
What the Bible says about salvation:
What Hinduism says about salvation:
Christ’s death at Calvary completely paid our sin debt so that salvation comes by grace alone through faith in the person and work of Jesus (John 3:16, 5:24; Rom. 4:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; 1 John 1:7).
There is no clear concept of salvation in Hinduism. Moksha – freedom from infinite being and selfhood, and final realization of the truth – is the goal of existence. The paths to moksha are dharma marga, or the way of works; inana marga, or the way of knowledge; and bhakti marga, or the way of love and devotion. Hindus hope one day to get off the cycle of reincarnation. The illusion of personal existence will end and they will become one with the impersonal God.
What the Bible says about the Bible:
What Hinduism says about the Bible:
The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God, and is His sole written authority for all people (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
The essence of Hinduism is not to be found in the Bible, but in writings such as the Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabhrada, Vedangas, Puranas, Darshanas, Sutras and Tantras.
What the Bible says about man:
What Hinduism says about man:
God created man in His image – with a human spirit, personality and will. A person’s life begins at conception and is everlasting, but not eternal; that is, our lives have no end, but they did have a distinct beginning (Gen. 1:26-28; Ps. 139:13-16).
The eternal soul (atman) of man is a “spark” of Brahman mysteriously trapped in the physical body. Many reincarnations are required before the soul may be liberated from the body. The physical body is an illusion (maya) with little permanent value. Bodies generally are cremated at death, and the eternal soul goes to an intermediate state of punishment or reward before rebirth in another body.
What the Bible says about sin:
What Hinduism says about sin:
Sin is a violation of God’s perfect and holy standards. All humans are sinners (Rom. 3:10) and are under the curse of sin – spiritual and physical death (Gen. 2:17, 3:17-19; Rom. 3:23). Only faith in Christ and His work on our behalf frees us from sin and its consequences (John 3:16, 5:24; Eph. 2:8-9).
Hindus have no concept of rebellion against a holy God since God (Brahman) is impersonal and unknowable. Ignorance of unity with Brahman, desire, and violation of dharma (one’s social duty) are humanity’s problems.
What the Bible says about death:
What Hinduism says about death:
Physical and spiritual deaths come upon all people as a consequence of their sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 3:23; Eph. 2:1). A person becomes spiritually alive when he or she is “born again” by the Spirit of God (John 3:3-6; Eph. 2:1-5). At physical death, our souls and spirits separate from our bodies [which go into the grave to await resurrection and final judgment] and enter an everlasting state of blessedness [for those born again] or torment [for those who die in their sins] (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 5:8).
Death is the freeing of the soul (atman) from the body. The atman goes to an intermediate state of reward or punishment as it awaits rebirth in another body. The cycle of death and rebirth goes on indefinitely until the atman reaches moksha, in which the illusion of personal existence ends and the soul becomes one with the impersonal God.
What the Bible says about heaven and hell:
What Hinduism says about heaven and hell:
Hell is a place of everlasting conscious existence, where the unbeliever is forever separated from God (Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 14:9-11, 20:10).As for Heaven, all believers have God’s promise of a home in Heaven, will go there instantly upon physical death, and will return with Christ from Heaven to earth one day (Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 19:11-16).
Neither heaven nor hell exists in the biblical sense. Since reality is but an illusion, the goal of man is to achieve moksha, ending the cycle of reincarnation so the soul becomes one with the impersonal God. There is no eternal reward or punishment; however, an individual’s present life is determined by the law of karma – actions, words and thoughts in previous lifetimes.