Religion, that is, belief in a Supreme Spirit or Force that has created the Universe and is the Controller of it, exists in all the communities of the world. Each religion preaches Love for All beings. Hence the initial aim of every religion was to induce its followers to live in peace with other fellow beings, and not take one another’s lives.
Unfortunately though, with the sprouting of more and more religions over the ages on this earth, differences of religious beliefs between the various peoples of the world have made Religion itself a disturbing cause of clashes among communities in the present age. The strife is particularly marked between Muslims and Hindus in India, Muslims and Christians in the Western countries, as well as Muslims and Jews as also Christians in the Middle East. The reason is that each community believes it’s own faith to be true and superior to others.
However, if one goes into the study of the religions, one can observe many Common points between them, particularly between the early Rigvedic (and the closely related but poetic Samavedi) Aryan theology of Hinduism and Christianity, in that Hindus, particularly the Rigvedis believed in One Original Formless Supreme Power, while the divine beings called gods, like (a)Indra the Commander in chief of the gods, and the God of Thunder and Rain;(b) Shukracharya (Shukra = Venus) who was also a member of the Gods’/Devas’ land, but rebelled to become the Priest and Guru of the Daityas or Antigods, comprising the Asuras(Assyrians, named Asshur in the Hebrew Bible) Danavas (The Titans or the early, Hamite-mixed Indo-European Greeks) and the Rakshasas who were Ethiopian Hamites, that is Proto-australoids/aboriginal tribes, as also (c)Dhanvanthari, the Chief Physician of the gods, related to AIR;(d) Yamraj, the God of Death, (e) Agni/Anala(Terrestrial/Earthly God);(f) Budh?(Messenger of gods), and (g) Shiva (?) are actually comparable(Not identical) to the 7 main Biblical ‘Archangels’ .
The main Archangels of the Bible are also related to the Four main elements, I.e. Fire, Earth, Water and Air (almost analogous to the Five main elements including the Sky that the Vedic Aryans worshipped) viz.:- (a) Micha-el(Mika-il of the Islamic Quran) the Chief Archangel of God’s Army, said to be related to the element of FIRE;(b) Lucifer (Biblical Hel-el/Morning star), later Satan- iel(Quranic Shaytan/Iblis, meaning the One who causes obstructionand despair, (whose earlier Quranic name was Azaazeel), the rebel Archangel of Enlighten- ment who was banished from the Land of God for rebelling against God’s Will.(c)Raphael (Ruhvay-il of Quran),the Archangel of Healing, related to AIR, and (d)Azra-el (Islami Azra-il)Angel of Death (e) Uriel(Ana-el ,Angel of Flame(Fire of God), related to EARTH, that is a Terrestrial angel. (f)Gabri- el(Islami Jibra-il) , Messenger of God, related to WATER, and (g) Zadki-el/Zadki-il, angel of Benevolence and Mercy, respectively, that are mentioned in the Old Testament of the Jew and Christian Bible, and the Quran.
The Rigvedic Theology upheld by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, founder of Arya Samaj, holds that all the manifestations of the Supreme Power arise from 5 (five) main elements viz. Sky (Father Dyaus or Akash, identified then with Varun, which in turn was equated with Uranus, which is now named Herschel), Earth (Prithvi), Water(Jal,Neptune- later named Varun) , Fire(Agni) and Air(Vayu) in this Universe, and the mortal remains of a body after death get disintegrated into the 5 elements from which it was formed, in keeping with Biblical philosophy, “From Dust Hast Thou Come and Unto Dust shalt Thou Return.” Whereas the Soul drifts for a while and goes to Yama’s abode, where it either gets Moksh, I.e. Union with the eternal spirit if it has lived a virtuous life, or it is damned to a sorrowful existence. The early Rigvedis did not have a clear idea of the Cycle of Birth and Death decided as per one’s Karma. They probably attributed worldly suffering or setbacks to God’s wrath.However, they did regard the Cow as a Holy Animal like the later Aryans, who believed in the Cycle of Death of an individual followed by Birth in another body. The Divine entities called ‘gods’ are equivalent to the Archangels of Christianity. These Angels are recognised as ‘Farishte'(Holy Spirits) in Islam.’ Azra-il’ is the name of the ‘Maut ka Farishte’ , (i.e. the Angel Azra-el of the Bible) in Islam.
It is only after the Rigvedic Aryans mixed their faith with that of the White Yajurveda brought by the later Yajurvedis (which laid down the procedures for the rites and rituals for Yagnyas I.e Sacrificial Fire rituals), especially with the Atharva Veda and Black Yajurveda which laid down rituals for domestic ceremonies and funerals , besides Black Magic, as also the Shakta religion of the non- Aryans of the Lower Indus Valley, that Hinduism became a heterogeneous synthesis of beliefs/rituals that was theologically radically different from Abrahamic religions. The disadvantage of this incongruous synthesis was that it has created substantial contradictions and confusion in the theology of Hinduism. Not only that, but the synthesis of the Aryan and non-Aryan beliefs led to the shifting of the Object of worship from the ‘Alive’ and vital environment and humanity, to Inanimate idols housed in walled temples instead of the open, wide nature.
[It may interest some readers to learn that the Zoroastrians or the later Parsis, who are the worshippers of the Lunar god Ahura Mazda(the earlier Persians being the followers of a Solar God Mithra, an aspect of the Sun), regard the Vedic Aryan or Hindu gods, particularly Indra, and ‘Ahriman/Angra Mainyu’, that is ‘Aryama'(an Aditya or another aspect of the Sun God) as ‘Demons’! ]
Outwardly, it is the differences of theologies between the various religions that may strike one first. For Hinduism is a Polytheistic religion involving the worship of various divine spirits, BUT the divine spirits are Manifestations of the One Abstract or Nirguna Supreme Spirit or Power(perceived by the Vedic Rishis), in the many Personal and animate Incarnations of Vishnu , the Lord for Protection of the Universe, who is one of the Personified Brahmanical Trinity, the idea of which was conceived during the Puranic period by the Brahmanical priests, along with Brahma the Creator, and Shiva the Final Disposer/Catalyst of the Creation. However, it should be left to every Hindu’s discretion whether to believe and pray, or not, to the 24 animate Incarnations of Vishnu- of which 10 are the main ones- and should not be a Must for every Hindu as also Idol worship.
Contrary to the common belief that there are 33 crore Hindu gods, there are in fact only 33 classes (‘Koti’ in the sense of classes) of gods viz: 12 Adityas (gods of the Realm of Light) who are the different aspects of the Sun God; 11Maruts (gods of the Realm of Air, including Indra, the God of Thunder and Rain, and of War, Vayu, Parjanya or Torrential Rain etc; 8 Vasus or Terrestrial gods, and the 2 Ashwini Kumars who are the sons of the Sun God, who are the physicians of the gods.
However, Hindus believe in the Cycle of Birth, Death and Rebirth, as also the Law of Karma, according to which One’s Good or Bad Deeds, in the Present and/or Past lives, are accountable for one’s Well-being or Sufferings in subsequent births. It is said that this idea is an adoption by Hindu scholars from Buddhism and Jainism, as the original Vedic Aryans, viz. the Rigvedis, did not have the concept of Karma or the Cycle of Birth, Death and Rebirth as decided by one’s Karma.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam do not subscribe to the Rebirth theory. Nevertheless , they too believe in the theory of Retribution for Sins on the Last Day of Revelation and Judgement by God through the Messiah sent by Him to the Earth to punish those who are non believers and Evil by casting them into Hell, and Reward the Noble and Self righteous believers by clearing their path to Heaven.
Islam, Judaism and Christianity are Monotheistic religions. Islam and Judaism are separated from Christianity on the grounds that Christians regard Jesus Christ as the Saviour of Mankind by virtue of being the Son of God Jehova or Yahweh, because He died for the Sins of Mankind, and got resurrected as the Holy Ghost, so that those who accept him as their Messiah would be forgiven their Sins and admitted to Heaven on the Day of Revelation and Judgement.
The Jews too follow the Old Testament of the Holy Bible like the Christians, and the Muslims worship One Supreme Spirit, whom they call Allah, and follow the Quran which is said to be similar in content to the Old Testament, but they regard Christ only as a Prophet like Moses, not as the Messiah. For they believe that the real Messiah or Savior is still to come in a furious form like ‘Kalki’ for Hindus, Jehova for Jews, and ‘Imam Mahdi’ for Mohammedans.
Among the Christians, there areTwo broad divisions- Catholics and Protestants. The later comers, the Protestants do not worship Mary, the Mother of Jesus, but only Jesus Christ as the ‘Son of God’. Nor do they regard the Pope as their religious head and mediator between them and Christ or God. They are also more liberal about matters like divorce and birth control. The Catholics on the other hand, worship not only Christ and Jehova, but Mary too as The Holy Mother, and keep as well as decorate and bow to the statues of both in their churches. Yet, they claim that the service rendered by them to the statues of Jesus and Mary is not the same as the custom of idol worship among the Hindus, in that their decorating the statues of Holy Mary and Son is just their way of showing honour to Mother Mary and Christ.
Well, be that it. All the same, that practice as also the worship of Mother Mary in addition to that of Jesus Christ serves the important purpose of making Hindus (especially those of Goa where many Hindus were persuaded or forced to adopt Christianity) feel closer to the Catholics than to those of the other religions like Islam, because MotherMary appeals to their sentiments as a version of their Mother Goddess.
RELATION of the BIBLICAL CHARACTERS to PRIMEVAL HISTORY and ANTHROPOLOGY
The earliest Humans are represented by ADAM and EVE, and their sons CAIN the eldest, who originally tilled a farm but was cursed and banished by God to lead a Nomadic life for killing his younger brother ABEL, a breeder of livestock, out of jealousy), and SETH, the youngest son of ADAM and EVE, must have been the Palaeolithic Humans, and NEGROES. The Satan in the form of the SNAKE who tempted Eve to eat the forbidden apple, must have been a Naga tribal, I.e Mongolo- Dravidian,
A descendant of SETH born after many generations was NOAH, the Neolithic Man, from whom the Three main Biblical races, Ham, Shem and Japheth arose.
HAM the youngest, was the progenitor of the Proto-Australoid and Aboriginal Caucasian Tribes of Northern Africa (Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia, and Canaan- the father of Heth, Sin, Phillistines etc. ), Aboriginal Pre-Dravidians of India (including the Mongolo-Dravidians of Northeast India), Sri Lanka and Australia;
SHEM, was progenitor of the Semitic Mediterranean Arab races of Arabian subcontinent and the Dravidians of South India.
And JAPHETH was the progenitor of the Alpine and Nordic Caucasian races of Europe, Eurasia. West Asia, Iran and the Central as well as Southeast Asia.
(1) The Aryans of Iran/Persia who migrated to Iran from Europe, and occupied the Upper Indus Valley ,were Nordic Caucasians., and descendants of Meshech(Muscovy near Moscow) and Madai. They were accompanied by (2) Indo-Scythians who were an Alpine Caucasian tribe of Central Asia, and were the priests of the Aryans. They were descendants of Magog.The two races are mentioned as the ‘Gentiles’ of the East in the Bible, and are the descendants of Japheth.
(3) It is not yet certain from which Biblical character/s the Mongolian/Mongoloid races of Mongolia like the Huns, Chinese, and the people of Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia have originated. According to the Bible, they are supposed to be the descendants of Gog, Magog, (called yajuj and Majuj in the Quran), Meshech(Southwest Russia) and Tubal(Anatolia or Turkey), the Turkish descendants of Japheth.
According to some authors, a number of them like the Chinese, have a Hamitic mixture – with the Sinites, considering the prefix ‘Sino’ used by the Chinese to indicate themselves in their links with other nations e.g. Sino- Indian, whereas the Nagas and American Indians as well as the ancient Sumerians appear to be Mongolian/ Mongoloid tribes of the Far East, who mixed with the Canaanite Dravidians. They are an enigma in themselves in that they believe themselves to have descended from the ‘Reptilian Serpent Alien’, namely the notorious ‘Sea Dragon’ Leviathan, the representative of the Satan!