Bridging the Gap Between Hinduism and Christianity

Gadadhara Pandit Dasa, Huffington Post, Jan.03

Growing up in a Hindu family in Los Angeles while attending a Christian high school for four years, I was never able to make any connection between the two traditions. In fact, they seemed worlds apart. My Christian friends were monotheists, worshippers of one God, with no images other than the cross, while on my home altar, there sat pictures and images of about 20 goddesses and gods, some of whom were human like while others were half human and half animal, carrying items such as weapons, lotus flowers and conch shells. I actually never let any of my friends see our home altar for two reasons: fear of ridicule and because I knew I wouldn’t be able to explain what it was all about.

It wasn’t until about 16 years later, when I decided to pursue the path of becoming a Hindu monk that I decided to see if a bridge existed between the two traditions. Living in New York City as a monk and conducting lectures and discussions at many of the local universities, to an audience of primarily Christians, I realized it would be important for me to explore the teachings of Jesus Christ, so I could become more familiar with the teachings and so that my explanations of Hindu wisdom could address some of their hang-ups about Hinduism. A fellow Hindu monk, who had been raised Catholic, suggested I look at the Gospels. I was very surprised to see the Gospels suggesting the same approach toward God and humanity as my Hindu faith.

The first general similarity I discovered was that both traditions were monotheistic. The Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavata Purana clearly suggest the idea of one supreme, divine, creator for all people. Even many Hindus accept that Hinduism is monotheistic.

Read the complete article here.