Contradictions and confusions

concerning Jesus Christ and

Christianity

 

Taken from SathyaSai Baba’s discourses.

Date: 01-21-02

From: http://www.saiguru.net/english/articles/new.htm

          (1) Jesus birth date.

Truly speaking, Christmas falls in the month of March, not in December. Since it is very cold in December and people are confined to their homes, they utilise this time to celebrate Christmas. Actually, Jesus was born in the month of March. With the passage of time, this fact has been distorted and misrepresented in the Bible. (25.12.1998, SS, v.42, #1, January 1999 ., p.6)

There are various theories about the birth date of Jesus based on the ‘bright star that appeared at his birth.’ It is visible once in 800 years, it is said. Some say he was born on the fifteenth day of September. But, he was born at 3-15 a.m. (early morning) on December 28, 1980 years ago. It was Sunday. (25.12.1979, SSS, v.24, .288)

The 25th is not the birth. It was on the 24th, near midnight. (J.Hislop. Conversations with Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba. ch.XXIX, p.92)  

(2) Jesus own words about himself.

Jesus never laid any claim to His association with God either as a Messenger or a Son. It is only in order that men may realise their own relation with God that such interpretation is made. 24.11.1998)

There were controversies regarding Jesus. These differences were the cause of the ordeals he had to go through. But Jesus was prepared to face any trouble or any penalty. He considered Compassion as the supreme quality. At first, he declared he was a "Messenger of God". Then, he announced: "I am the Son of God". Ultimately he declared: "I and my Father are one". 25.12.1997, SS 41, #1,p.9)  

(3) Jesus's sufferings.

At the time of crucifiction, Jesus prayed: "O Father! What sin have I committed? Why am I put to suffering thus?" (24.11.1998)

When Jesus reached this stage ("I and my Father are one"), He had no suffering at all; He was always blissful and was prepared for anything. Even at the time of crucifixion, he was smiling, because he realised that He was not the body. (25.12.1998, SS 42, #1, p.5)  

(4) Paul and the closest devotees of Jesus.

When it was ordered that all the devotees of Jesus should be crucified along with Him, even His closest devotees, Peter, Matthew, and Paul refused to identify themselves as His followers. (25.12.1998, SS v.42,#1,p.4)  

(5) Romans and Jews.

In the beginning even Romans were Jews, not Christians. It is only after the advent of Jesus that the term Christians came into use. (24.11.1998)

(6) Early years of Jesus.

Jesus grew up at Nazareth till he reached thirty. After Joseph’s passing, Jesus sought his mother’s permission to embark on his Divine mission. He got baptised y John, the Baptist and spent forty days in penance in a forest. (25.12. 1988, SSS XXI, p.272)

Jesus realised that he was Christ in his 25th year. For 8 years following his 16th birthday he travelled in India, Tibet, Iran, and Russia. He was variously regarded as a beggar or as a sannyasi. Jesus had no money. His parents were very poor and practically abandoned him at an early age. (J.Hislop. Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. ch.XXX, p.97)

Jesus announced himself as a Messenger of God. He spent many years in austerities so that he could shower compassion and love on all humanity. Later, he asked himself, "Am I just a messenger, or am I more closely related to God, a part of God with the Divine as my essence?" Jesus spent twelve long years, wandering alone in deserts engaged in this inquiry. At the end of this period, he returned to the society of men and announced "I am the Son of God." ( 25.12.1979, SSS XIV, p.286)  

(7) Jesus and Persona.

He (Jesus) said that He was ‘Persona’ meaning that He was the spark of Divine. This has been translated by the British as ‘Person’, which has been termed as ‘Purusha’ by Bharatiyas. Therefore ‘Purusha’ or ‘Persona’ have originated from the Roman language. (24.11.1998)  

(8) Jesus and animal sacrifice.

Jesus opposed the practice of animal sacrifice in Jerusalem. As a result he had to face strong opposition. (25.12.1998, SS v.42,#1,p.2)  

(9) Jesus and his disciples.

Similarly, among Christ’s eleven disciples differences developed and they fell apart. Only Mathew remained true to Jesus. He propagated the gospel. Peter was the first among Jesus’s disciples. But he denied Christ when the authorities questioned him. (7.09.1996. SS v.39, #10,p.269)             

Discussion.

Analysing contradictions and factual errors in SSB’s discourses we can put forward several hypotheses to explain them. First of all let us consider those hypotheses which assume that what we read in SSB’s printed discourses is not what he wanted to say, i.e. that we deal with different sorts of errors and mistakes.

(1) Misprints. This type of errors concerns wrong word spelling or the wrong number in a date. For example, in SSB’s discourse of 25.12.1979, which is printed in the Sathya Sai Speaks series (v.XIV, p.288) the date of Jesus’s birth is given as 28th December. At the same time in the book "Eastern view on Jesus Christ" (as refered in Dale Beyerstein’s materials on the Internet). Jesus’s birth date from the same discourse is given as 24th December. It is very much to the point to say that books published by Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust contain rather a lot of misprints which seem to be reproduced for decades. However, the above examples cannot belong to this type.

(2) Interpreter’s mistakes. When SSB delivers a discourse he speaks Telugu and speaks quite fast. Often he gives too little time for an interpreter to translate, starting speaking again while an interpreter has not finished translation yet. This impose a sort of pressure on an interpreter and can be a potential cause for mistakes. At the same time we see that SSB watches an interpreter’s work quite carefully and correct him if necessary (see, for example, video of 25.12.1996 discourse). Publications in Sanathana Sarathi and Sathya Sai Speaks series have been prepared by qualified and well educated people who know Telugu (SSB’s mother tongue) and have been able to correct mistakes using the original version in Telugu. So, one is very unlikely to find such sort of mistakes in SSB’s printed discourses. That is why in the collection given above most of quotations might look quite correct but at the same time they are in conflict with other SSB’s quotations.

(3) Lapses. It might be possible to assume that SSB as an Avatar, playing a role of a being with human limitations, affords himself the possibility of some small human lapses. It seems, for instance, that J.Hislop adhered to this point of view as it can be seen from his discourse published in the book "Seeking Divinity", p.183: So all you can say about any inconsistency in Swami’s pronouncements is that it is evidence of what He, Himself, says, "I come to you as a human being." Now the sages also say that any exibition of human fallibility on Swami’s part will never affect dharma. He will never be unrighteous. These fallibilities could be manifested to a certain extent, but never to a point where it would violate dharma, because Swami is a very soul of dharma."

Example (4) from the collection can be such sort of a lapse of just a wrong word ("Paul"). However, most of the given above examples are extended thoughts expressed in several sentences. That can by no means be considered as a lapse.

So, we have to assume that in the most cases what we read in SSB’s discourses is exactly what he wanted to say.

The following analysis concerns an important question about possible sources of information available to SSB. According to SSB’s biography it is known that SSB left secondary school at the age of 14 and has not completed his education. At the same time the scope of topics he deals with in his discourses is very vast and reveals encyclopaedic knowledge and erudition. It is worth to note that one of the sources of information for SSB could be those people in his surroundings, with whom he was and has been in constant communication. For example, we can mention here some well educated and erudite people among his close devotees such as former personal biographer prof. Kasturi, former editor of Sanathana Sarathi  Dr. Narasimhan, prof. Gokak and some others.

As well, however, it is unreasonable to discount those paranormal abilities which SSB does have and which give him an access to mental planes of other people. A lot of cases are recorded, when SSB could read other people thoughts, watch their past and future and so on. In regard to these abilities the question could be formulated in such a way: whether SSB has an information access limited by some factors (e.g. {to the}  mental plane of some person) or the source of information for SSB is Universal Consciousness (etheric plan, Akasha chronicles, etc.), i.e. he has unlimited access to all (!) possible information (total knowledge). What SSB himself says sounds as if the last is true. ("J.Hislop: I have asked important persons around Sai if Sai is all knowing at all times, or only when he so chooses. They give different answers. Sai: Sai knows everything. That people are in doubt is due to the Maya of the Avatar." J.Hislop. My Baba and I. p.195, interview of 9.12.1980).

If we assume the first is correct, then we can explain observed mistakes and contradictions by wrong concepts and biased thoughts of some persons’ mental planes which are read by SSB and presented by him. If we assume that the second is correct, the only hypothesis we are able to keep is that SSB does it deliberately, fully realising that people would accept everything he says as pure truth. It seems it is too difficult to find any reasonable explanation to actions of such a sort.

The only reliable conclusion we can come to is the following. There are inner conflicts and contradictions in SSB’s words, so they can’t be taken for pure truth. That means we should apply to his words the same intellectual faculties of reasoning and discrimination that we use in regard to the rest of the world around us.