Friday, January 2, 2015

How is the name Govinda related to Jesus?

There is a new mantra you can check out at

You can hear the entire thing on YouTube if you click on the link below:

Jesus Sahasranama Music is available on Youtube

This post is in response to a genuine question that proceeds from an examination of the content of a particular line of the mantra.
How is the name Govinda related to Jesus?

From wikipedia:
Govinda is a name of Krishna and also appears as the 187th and 539th name of Vishnu in the Vishnu Sahasranama, the 1000 names of Vishnu.[3]According to Adi Sankara's commentary on the Vishnu Sahasranama, translated by Swami Tapasyananda, Govinda has four meanings:[3] The sages call Krishna "Govinda" as He pervades all the worlds, giving them power.
The Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata states that Vishnu restored the earth that had sunk into the netherword, or Patala, so all the devas praised Him as Govind (Protector of the Land).
Alternatively, it means "He who is known by Vedic words alone".
In the Harivamsa, Indra praised Krishna for having attained loving leadership of the cows which Krishna tended as a cowherd, by saying, "So men too shall praise Him as Govinda."
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in his commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita, states that Govinda means "master of the senses".[4] In the Mahabharata, when Draupadi's saree was stripped by Dushasana in the court of Hastinapura, it is said that Draupadi prayed towards Lord Krishna (who was in Dwaraka at that time) invoking him as "Govinda" at the instance of extreme distress where she could no longer hold her saree to her chest. For this reason, it is believed that "Govinda" is how the Lord is addressed by devotees when they have lost it all and have nothing more to lose. This may be the reason why in colloquial Tamil and Telugu the slang-term "govinda" sometimes refers to the prospect of losing or failing in something important.
From a critical reading of the information above we can derive the following:
Govinda is interpreted by Hindu sages as the following:
  • He who 'pervades all the worlds' = He who is omnipresent Jeremiah 23:24 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him declares the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth declares the Lord. 
  • He who is the 'Protector of the Land' = He who protects the world John 16:33 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 
  • He who is known by Vedic words alone = He who is known as 'the word' John:1-1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
  • He who is 'master of the senses' = He who although being God lived as a human among us.John:1-14 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 
  • He to whom devotees cry out 'when they have lost it all and have nothing more to lose' = He who is our refuge and strength in times of trouble. Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 
Taking the logical form it proceeds thus, if A=B and B=C then A=C.
A= Govinda
B=meaning/interpretation of Govinda
C=attribute of Jesus/Jesus

The verses that are referenced are verses that talk about the attributes of Jesus in the Bible and if the word Govinda means these things referenced in the Wikipedia article then it is just as applicable as a name for Jesus.
I would like to end this post with a verse to the wise:
Romans 1:20:
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Isthar and Easter - is there really a connection?

There is a picture floating around on the internet that you may have come across and perhaps even believed to be true.

I'm talking about this picture:

The claim that the word Easter is related to an Assyrian and Babylonian goddess at first look seems plausible. Right off the bat trying to say that Easter and Germanic-English word is related to Ishtar an Assyrian word is like saying elephants and tigers are related because they are both found in Africa!

Wikipedia says this about the origin of the word Easter:

The festival that early Christians celebrated was called in Greek Πάσχα (Pascha), a transliteration of the Aramaic form of the Hebrew פֶּסַח, the Passover feast of Exodus 12.1
If early christians called it Pascha then how did it become easter is the obvious question. 
Frankly English and German are one of the few languages that actually use the word Easter instead of Pascha. English as you know has germanic roots. The modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre, originally referring to the name of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Ēostre - NOT Isthar as this picture suggests.
But then why did someone along the way select this goddess as opposed to another to express idea behind easter is another reasonable question.The Anglo-Saxon goddess Ēostre was considered the goddess of the dawn. The closest connection that can be made as far as I can make out is in terms of symbolism:
Just as the “morning star” breaks forth from the darkness of night, so the Lord’s people will break out of the darkness of the grave - William Barclay
In Revelation 22:16, Jesus unmistakably identifies Himself as the morning star. Maybe therein lies the symbolic connection of the origin of the word Easter.

Another point to note is that in this article from Ralph Woodrow regarding the book Babylon Mystery Religion he explains that just because something looks or seems related like similar sounding words does not necessarily follow that they are related using this example.

By this method, one could take virtually anything and do the same—even the “golden arches” at McDonald’s! The Encyclopedia Americana (article: “Arch") says the use of arches was known in Babylon as early as 2020 B.C. Since Babylon was called “the golden city” (Isa. 14:4), can there be any doubt about the origin of the golden arches? As silly as this is, this is the type of proof that has been offered over and over about pagan origins.2
In conclusion, Easter refers to the resurrection of Christ and that just happens to use the word (in English) which was once used to describe an Anglo Saxon goddess. Although there is an connection as far as the origin of the word is concerned there is no other connection that can be inferred.
Then why don't we just use another word for Easter and do away with problem for good.
Well many words we use today, the days of the week for example, have pagan origins but does that mean by using them we are referring to greek gods when we use the word as a day of the week. We understand that the name refers to the day of the week and also that once referred to some greek or roman gods.

1. The Antenicene Pascha: A Rhetorical History Volume 7 of Liturgia Condenda Series, ISSN 1381-2041 Author Karl Gerlach
2. Ralph Woodrow regarding the book Babylon Mystery Religion.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oral Tradition: a reason to trust the gospels

Oral Tradition: a reason to trust the gospels from CPX on Vimeo.
While some people question the reliability of the bible's accounts of Jesus' life, Prof. Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary argues that a proper understanding of oral tradition gives good reason to find them trustworthy.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Marthomites - Who are they?

Mar Thoma Church Logo

Christians come in all shapes and sizes.

What kind am I?

I am an Indian Christian more accurately I am a Marthomite.
A Christian from Kerala will probably understand the type of church that I belong to. 

But to a Christian in the western world, explaining who I am and where I'm coming from is not an easy task. The Mar Thoma Church describes itself in the following manner:

We are Apostolic in origin, catholic in nature, Biblical in faith, Evangelical in principle, Ecumenical in outlook, Oriental in worship, Democratic in function, Episcopal in character and a Reformed Church.1

Each of the following few posts will expand and discuss this definition and its relevance to Marthomites.


1. Reformation in the Malankara Church. Living the Gospel Pub. Mar Thoma Sabha Council, February 2011.