Christ in Ancient Vedas
When Christ was born in Palestine it was informed the wise men of the east, the non-Jewish world. Not only at His birth even before that, the plan of salvation through the sacrificial death of Christ was revealed in the ancient Vedas, the Hindu religious books. When the ancient sages wrote about the sacrifice of Prajapati (God), quite unknowingly they were portraying the Lord Jesus Christ as the way of salvation.
Prajapati’s Sacrifice as described in the Vedas
The Vedas are a collection of Hindu religious books written before the earthly life of the Lord Jesus Christ. The literal meaning of the word is the Lord of all creation. He is the Creator. Therefore, the Prajapati’s Sacrifice means the Sacrifice of God Himself. There are several verses in the Vedas in connection with this. Let me quote one of them from the Tandyamahabrahmana in its second part, chapter 7:
Atmanam yajnam krtva prayacchat”
(Having done a self-sacrifice, Prajapati, the Lord of all creation, offered Himself for gods.)
This concept of self-sacrifice is very significant. Normally, God is supposed to receive sacrifices and offerings; but here the victim of sacrifice is God Himself.
The opinions of the Hindu Scholars
Among the Hindu scholars we cannot see any unanimous opinion about the Prajapati-sacrifice. According to some scholars this sacrifice has not yet been done on this earth, yet others hold that it is only a model of a perfect sacrifice, which is already done in heaven. H. Aguilar, one of the Sanskrit scholars of India, writes in his book, The Sacrifice in the Rg Veda, as follows:
“Taken in its totality, the myth of the Purusa/Prajapati is not unworthy of the Christian conception of the redemptive incarnation of the logos (Word = Jesus) by means of ‘kenosis’ (emptying), leaving out the question whether they (Christians) can be homologated (in agreement) or not” (The Sacrifice in the Rg Veda, Page 69. Bharatiya Vidya Prakasam, Delhi. India. 1976).
We can agree to the opinion of the Sanskrit scholar when we understand the sacrificial nature of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for the remission of the sin of mankind. The Holy Bible always explains the death of Jesus Christ as sacrifice. This concept of sacrifice involves love, self-denial, covenant, bloodshed and burning. It is the greatest manifestation of love. Jesus said: “Greater love has no one than this, that one laid down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
Some Important Features of the Prajapati’s Sacrifice fulfilled in Jesus
(1) The meaning of the word ‘Prajapati’ (the Lord of all creation) is fulfilled only in Jesus.
According to the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ is the creator of the world: “All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” (John 1: 3). About Him it is also written: “Thou Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Thy hands” (Hebrews 1: 10). Jesus is the real Prajapati – the Lord of all creation.
(2) According to the Vedas, Prajapati is called Purusa, the Man of perfection. (Purusasukta, Rg Veda 10: 90: 1-16). Christ refers to Himself ‘Son of Man” (Matt.20:28).
(3) The definitions of ‘Purusa’ in Vedic literature are meaningful only when they applied to Jesus.
Definition #1 is quoted from ‘Yajur Veda’ 32:4: “Purvoh jatah Purusah” which means one who is born in the beginning. Well, Jesus has no beginning. He is eternal. Still Jesus is called the first born in the Bible: “He is the image of invisible God, the first born of all creation” (Colossians 2: 15).
Definition # 2 “Purnatvad Purusah” means the One who is perfection is Purusah is also fulfilled in Jesus. When all men of the world are imperfect beings, Jesus Christ, the Son of Man is the one and the only perfect Man in this world.
Definition #3: “Sa yat purvo asmat sarvasmat sarvan papmana ausat tasmat Purusah (He who burns out sin before all is Purusa” (Brhadaranykoponisad 1.4.1). The Chandogyopanisad 1.6. 6-7 says: This man is above all sin and one who worships Him and follows Him also raise himself above sins.”
Jesus Christ came to this world to save sinners from their sins. At the same time He was above from sins. He is the one and the only sinless Man in this world. According to the Vedas the victim of the Purusa-Prajapati’s sacrifice should be blameless. It is completely fulfilled in Jesus.
(4) The Sacrificial Man should be closely tied to the sacrificial pillar (Sathapathabrahmana 18.104.22.168). Christ was closely nailed to the cross, the sacrificial pillar.
(5) The blood of the Sacrificial Man should be shed, according to the Vedas. Fulfilled in Jesus’ crucifixion.
(6) The Sacrificial Man should return to life after the sacrifice. (Brhadaranykopanisad 22.214.171.124,5). Fulfilled in Jesus’ resurrection