by Acharya S
excerpted from Suns of "God -
Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled"
This chapter from
Suns of God is 46 pages long, with 142 footnotes and 4
pages of illustrations comprising 12 images. This
article represents reportage of a debate and does not
draw any firm conclusion as to whether or not Krishna
was ever depicted as "crucified" in the Christian sense.
Blood sacrifice is the oldest and most universal act of piety. The
offering of animals, including the human animal, dates back at least
twenty thousand years, and, depending on how you read the scanty
archaeological evidence, arguably back to the earliest appearance of
humanity. Many religions recount the creation of man through the
bloody sacrifice of a God-man - a divinity who is torn apart to sow
the seeds of humanity.
Patrick Tierney, The Highest Altar: The Story of Human Sacrifice
[A] peculiarity noticed in some of the Irish Pre-Christian
illustrations of the Crucifix is the absence of nails; the legs
being bound with cords at the ankles It is singular that the dress
of one crucified figure, as worn about the loins, corresponds with
that of the fabled crucified Christna.
James Bonwick, Irish Druids and Old Irish Religions
The orthodox depiction of Krishna's death relates that he was shot
in the foot by a hunter's arrow while under a tree.
As is true with
so much in mythology, and as we have seen abundantly, there are
variances in Krishna's tale, including the account of his death. In
The Bible in India, citing as his sources the Bagaveda-Gita and
Brahminical traditions, French scholar and Indianist Jacolliot
recounts the death of Christna as presciently understood by the
godman, who, without his disciples, went to the Ganges to work out
After thrice plunging into the sacred river, Krishna knelt
and prayed as he awaited death, which was ultimately caused by
multiple arrows shot by a criminal whose offenses had been exposed
by Krishna. The executioner, named Angada, was thereafter condemned
to wander the banks of the Ganges for eternity, subsisting off the
Jacolliot proceeds to describe Krishna's death thus:
The body of the God-man was suspended to the branches of a tree by
his murderer, that it might become the prey of the vultures.
News of the death having spread, the people came in a crowd
conducted by Ardjouna, the dearest disciple of Christna, to recover
his sacred remains. But the mortal frame of the Redeemer had
disappeared - no doubt it had regained the celestial abodes and the
tree to which it had been attached had become suddenly covered with
great red flowers and diffused around it the sweetest perfumes.
Jacolliot's description includes a number of arrows, instead of just
one, which, along with the suspension in the tree branches,
resembles the pinning of the god to Medieval European image of
Archers Shooting into Victim Tied to Tree a tree using multiple
Krishna's subsequent disappearance has been considered an
ascension. Moreover, this legend is evidently but a variant of the
orthodox tale, constituting an apparently esoteric tradition
recognizing Krishna's death as a crucifixion.
Indeed, as John Remsburg says in
There is a tradition, though not to be found in the Hindoo
scriptures, that Krishna, like Christ, was crucified.
In Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions,
elaborates upon the varying legends concerning Krishna's death:
The accounts of the deaths of most of all virgin-born Saviours of
whom we shall speak, are conflicting. It is stated in one place that
such an one died in such a manner, and in another place we may find
it stated altogether differently. Even the accounts of the death of
Jesus are conflicting
The Vishnu Purana speaks of Crishna being shot in the foot with an
arrow, and states that this was the cause of his death. Other
accounts, however, state that he was suspended on a tree, or in
other words, crucified.
Doane then cites M. Guigniaut's Religion de l'Antiquité, which
The death of Crishna is very differently related. One remarkable and
convincing tradition makes him perish on a tree, to which he was
nailed by the stroke of an arrow.
Doane further relates that the pious Christian Rev. Lundy refers to
Guigniaut's statement, translating the original French un bois fatal
as a cross.
Doane next comments:
Although we do not think he is justified in doing this, as M.
Guigniaut has distinctly stated that this bois fatal (which is
applied to a gibbet, a cross, a scaffold, etc.) was un arbre (a
tree), yet, he is justified in doing so on other accounts, for we
find that Crishna is represented hanging on a cross, and we know
that a cross was frequently called the so cursed tree. It was an
ancient custom to use trees as gibbets for crucifixion, or, if
artificial, to call the cross a tree.
To wit, the legend of Krishna's death has been interpreted to mean
that he was pinned to a tree, essentially representing a
However, it is not just tradition but artifacts that
have led to the conclusion that Krishna was crucified. Indeed, there
have been found in India numerous images of crucified gods, one of
whom apparently is Krishna, important information not to be
encountered in mainstream resources such as encyclopedias.
Moreover, it appears that Krishna is not the first Indian god
depicted as crucified. Prior to him was another incarnation of
Vishnu, the avatar named Wittoba or Vithoba, who has often been
identified with Krishna.
As Doane further relates:
It is evident that to be hung on a cross was anciently called
hanging on a tree, and to be hung on a tree was called crucifixion.
We may therefore conclude from this, and from what we shall now see,
that Crishna was said to have been crucified.
In the earlier copies of Moor's Hindu Pantheon , is to be seen
representations of Crishna (as Wittoba ), with marks of holes in
both feet, and in others, of holes in the hands. In Figures 4 and 5
of Plate 11 (Moor's work), the figures have nail-holes in both feet
. Plate 6 has a round hole in the side ; to his collar or shirt
hangs the emblem of a heart (which we often see in pictures of Christ Jesus)
Rev. J. P. Lundy, speaking of the Christian crucifix, says:
I object to the crucifix because it is an image, and liable to gross
abuse, just as the old Hindoo crucifix was an idol.
And Dr. Inman says:
Crishna, whose history so closely resembles our Lord's, was also
like him in his being crucified.
Thus, we discover from some of the more erudite Christian writers,
admitting against interest, that images of a Indian god crucified,
with nail holes in the feet, had been discovered in India, and that
this god was considered to be Krishna, as Wittoba.
As we have seen,
Moor's book was mutilated, with plates and an entire chapter
removed, which have luckily been restored in a recent edition of the
Fortunately, Higgins preserved for posterity some of
Moor's statements and plates, recounting and commenting upon the
missionary's remarkable discovery:
Mr. Moor describes an Avatar called Wittoba , who has his foot
This incarnation of Vishnu or CRISTNA is called Wittoba or Ballaji .
He has a splendid temple erected to him at Punderpoor. Little
respecting this incarnation is known. A story of him is detailed by
Mr. Moor, which he observes reminds him of the doctrine of turning
the unsmote cheek to an assailant.
This God is represented by Moor
with a hole on the top of one foot just above the toes, where the
nail of a person crucified might be supposed to be placed. And, in
another print, he is represented exactly in the form of a Romish
crucifix, but not fixed to a piece of wood, though the legs and feet
are put together in the usual way, with a nail-hole in the latter.
There appears to be a glory over it coming from above . Generally
the glory shines from the figure. It has a pointed Parthian coronet
instead of a crown of thorns....
In the images provided by Moor we possess representations of an
Indian god, Wittoba/Krishna, in cruciform, with nail Indian
Crucifixion in Spaceholes.
The image of the godman crucified without
the wood, "in space," can also be found reproduced in Lundy's book,
wherein he asserts that it is indeed non-Christian, to wit
uninfluenced by Christianity and representing an older tradition of
a crucified god.
With this transcendent cruciform of the deity and
others in mind, Higgins continues his intriguing detective tale:
… I cannot help suspecting, that it is from this Avatar of Cristna
that the sect of Christians heretics got their Christ crucified in
Long after the above was written, I accidentally looked into Moor's
Pantheon, at the British Museum, where it appears that the copy is
an earlier impression than the former which I had consulted: and I
discovered something which Mr. Moor has apparently not dared to tell
us, viz. that in several of the icons of Wittoba, there are marks of
holes in both feet, and in others, of holes in the hands. In the
first copy which I consulted, the marks are very faint, so as to be
scarcely visible. In figures 4 and 5 of plate 11, the figures have
nail-holes in both feet.
Fig. 3 has a hole in one hand. Fig. 6 has
on his side the mark of a foot, and a little lower in the side a
round hole; to his collar or shirt hangs the ornament or emblem of a
heart, which we generally see in Romish pictures of Christ; on his
head he has an Yoni-Linga. In plate 12, and in plate 97, he has a
round mark in the palm of the hand.…
Figure 1, plate 91, of Moor's Pantheon, is a Hanuman, but it is
remarkable that it has a hole in one foot, a nail through the other,
a round nail mark in the palm of one hand and on the knuckle of the
other, and is ornamented with doves…
It is unfortunate, perhaps it has been thought prudent, that the
originals are not in the Museum to be examined. But it is pretty
clear that the Romish and Protestant crucifixion of Jesus must have
been taken from the Avatar of Ballaji, or the Avatar of Ballaji from
it, or both from a common mythos.
As Higgins relates, Moor was compelled by Christian zealots not to
publish the volume intact.
Elaborating on Higgins's contentions
regarding Christian mutilation of documents, Graves says:
[Higgins] informs us that a report on the Hindoo religion, made out
by a deputation from the British Parliament sent to India for the
purpose of examining their sacred books and monuments, being left in
the hands of a Christian bishop at Calcutta, and with instructions
to forward it to England, was found, on its arrival in London, to be
so horribly mutilated and eviscerated as to be scarcely cognizable.
The account of the crucifixion was gone - cancelled out.
In recounting his experiences in India regarding the images he
subsequently used as plates in his book, the missionary Moor states,
"A man, who was in the habit of bringing me Hindu deities, pictures,
etc., once brought me two images exactly alike."
self-appointed, post-mortem censor, Rev. Simpson, notes at this
point that these images were of a crucifix.
Simpson then comments,
"The subject, a crucifix, is omitted in the present edition, for
very obvious reasons."
In other words, the crucifix image was
removed so it would not offend good Christian sensibilities. In
fact, it apparently would serve as evidence that the crucified
savior god motif predated Christianity and was found in "heathen"
Moor continues his story concerning the presentation to him of the
Affecting indifference, I inquired of my Pandit what Deva it was: he
examined it attentively, and, after turning it about for some time,
returned it to me, professing his ignorance of what Avatara it could
immediately relate to; but supposed by the hole in the foot, that it
might be Wittoba, adding that it was impossible to recollect the
almost innumerable Avataras described in the Puranas.
The subject [of plate 98] is evidently the crucifixion; and, by the
style of workmanship is clearly of European origin, as is proved
also by its being in duplicate. These crucifixes have been
introduced into India, I suppose, by Christian missionaries, and
are, perhaps, used in Popish churches and societies…
This quote is taken from the later edition of Moor's book
(Simpson's), in which the plate had been removed.
Moor thus claimed
the image was originally Christian, introduced into India. As noted,
Higgins - whom Rev. Taylor calls a "sincere Christian" - does not
concur with Moor's conclusions that the crucifix image with the
coronet is of "European origin."
He argues thus:
This God is represented by Moor with a hole on the top of one foot
just above the toes, where the nail of a person crucified might be
supposed to be placed. And, in another print, he is represented
exactly in the form of a Romish crucifix, but not fixed to a piece
of wood, though the legs and feet are put together in the usual way,
with a nail-hole in the latter.
There appears to be a glory [halo]
over it coming from above. Generally the glory shines from the
figure. It has a pointed Parthian coronet instead of a crown of
thorns. I apprehend this is totally unusual in our crucifixes….
All the Avatars or incarnations of Vishnu are painted with Ethiopian
or Parthian coronets. Now, in Moor's Pantheon, the Avatar of Wittoba
is thus painted; but Christ on the cross, though often described
with a glory, I believe is never described with the Coronet. This
proves that the figure described in Moor's Pantheon is not a
…Mr. Moor endeavours to prove that this crucifix cannot be Hindoo,
because there are duplicates of it from the same mould, and he
contends that Hindoos can only make one cast from one mould, the
mould being made of clay. But he ought to have deposited the two
specimens where they could have been examined, to ascertain that
they were duplicates.
Besides, how does he know that the Hindoos,
who are so ingenious, had not the very simple art of making casts
from the brass figure, as well as clay moulds from the one of wax?
Nothing could be more easy. The crucified body without the cross of
wood reminds me that some of the ancient sects of heretics held
Jesus to have been crucified in the clouds….
I very much suspect that it is from some story unknown, or kept out
of sight, relating to this Avatar [Wittoba], that the ancient
heretics alluded to before obtained their tradition of Jesus having
been crucified in the clouds…. I therefore think it must remain a
That nothing more is known respecting this Avatar, I cannot help
suspecting may be attributed to the same kind of feeling which
induced Mr. Moor's friend to wish him to remove this print from his
The innumerable pious frauds of which Christian priests stand
convicted, and the principle of the expediency of fraud admitted to
have existed by Mosheim, are perfect justification of my suspicions
respecting the concealment of the history of this Avatar: especially
as I can find no Wittobas in any of the collections.
I repeat, I
cannot help suspecting, that it is from this Avatar of Cristna that
the sect of Christian heretics got their Christ crucified in the
As we have seen, Lundy also argued, no doubt reluctantly, that this
same god Indian crucified in the clouds was pre-Christian,
repeatedly demonstrating from,
"'sculptures on the walls of ancient
temples, from monuments, inscriptions, and other archaic relics'
that, among other things, Krishna was 'crucified in space,' as he
Regarding this Indian "crucified man in space," Lundy
There is a most extraordinary plate, illustrative of the whole
subject, which representation I believe to be anterior to
Christianity. (See Fig. 72.) It is copied from Moor's Hindu
Pantheon, not as a curiosity, but as a most singular monument of the
crucifixion. I do not venture to give it a name, other than that of
a crucifixion in space.
It looks like a Christian crucifix in many
respects, and in some others it does not. The drawing, the attitude,
and the nail-marks in hands and feet, indicate a Christian origin;
while the Parthian coronet of seven points, the absence of wood and
of the usual inscription, and the rays of glory above, would seem to
point to some other than a Christian origin.
Can it be the
Victim-Man, or the Priest and Victim both in one, of the Hindu
mythology, who offered himself a sacrifice before the worlds were?
Can it be Plato's Second God who impressed himself on the universe
in the form of the cross? Or is it his divine man who would be
scourged, tormented, fettered, have his eyes burnt out; and lastly,
having suffered all manner of evils, would be crucified?
learned his theology in Egypt and the East, and must have known of
the crucifixion of Krishna, Buddha, Mithra, etc.
At any rate, the
religion of India had its mythical crucified victim long anterior to
Christianity, as a type of the real one, and I am inclined to think
that we have it in this remarkable plate…
As regards Plato's Second God, Lundy cites the Greek philosopher's
"Republic, c. II, p. 52. Spens' Trans."
Lundy's decisive assertions
regarding the crucifixion of Indian gods, as well as the "mythical
crucified victim long anterior to Christianity, as a type of the
real one," are more than noteworthy. Throughout his book, Lundy
strains himself with this "type of" argumentation, because he simply
cannot deny - and maintain his honesty and integrity - that there were
numerous correspondences between pre-Christian Paganism and
Indeed, in his extensive defense of Christianity,
Lundy, a more pious Christian could not be found, repeatedly
acknowledges that virtually every salient point of Christianity is
to be found in earlier "Pagan" religions:
The ancient Christian monuments, from which I have drawn my facts
and illustrations, reveal so many obvious adaptations from the Pagan
mythology and art, that it became necessary for me to investigate
anew the Pagan symbolism: and this will account for the frequent
comparisons instituted, and the parallels drawn between Christianity
Many of the Pagan symbols, therefore, are necessarily
used in this work - such, for instance, as seem to be types of
Christian verities, like Agni, Krishna, Mithra, Horus, Apollo, and
Orpheus. Hence I have drawn largely from the most ancient Pagan
religions of India, Chaldea, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and
somewhat from the old Aztec religion of Mexico.
These religions were
all, indeed, systems of idolatry, perversions and corruptions of the
one primeval truth as held by such patriarchs as Abraham and Job;
and yet these religions contained germs of this truth which it
became the province of Christianity to develop and embody in a purer
system for the good of mankind.
It is a most singular and astonishing fact sought to be developed in
this work, that the Christian faith, as embodied in the Apostles'
Creed, finds its parallel, or dimly foreshadowed counterpart,
article by article, in the different systems of Paganism here
brought under review. No one can be more astonished at this than the
author himself. It reveals a unity of religion, and shows that the
faith of mankind has been essentially one and the same in all ages.
It furthermore points to but one Source and Author.
therefore, is no cunningly devised fable of Priest-craft, but it is
rather the abiding conviction of all mankind, as given by man's
With this type of reasoning, Lundy tries to make a distinction
between Paganism and Christianity, while admitting that Christianity
"borrowed" from Paganism.
Unlike modern apologists, who seem quite
unaware of the erudite works of Lundy and so many other leading
Christians of the past two to three centuries, Lundy does not dare
deny that Christianity is founded upon Paganism; yet, he claims that
the former is superior, because it represents "religion," while the
latter is "mythology."
In his sophistic argumentation, Lundy cites
the cases of primitive peoples:
Two illustrations, in what is called savage life, may serve to
express more clearly the difference between mythology and religion.
Paul Macroy informs us in his book of
Travels in South America, one
of the most remarkable journeys of modern times for its curious
information, that the Mesaya Indians of the river Japura, cannibals
out of revenge, eating only their hereditary enemies, the Miranhas,
but whose last cannibal war-feast was held in 1846, and who have
only mathematical capacity enough to count as far as three, have yet
a well-defined religion, consisting in the belief of a Supreme
Being, the Creator and Moving Power of the universe, whom they fear
to name, and whose attributes are power, intelligence and love.
visible manifestation of this God, curiously enough, is the bird
bueque, a charming warbler, with a gold and green back and a bright
red breast… The dove is still a survival of this visible symbol or
manifestation of god as Spirit in our Christianity, and we may not
therefore smile at this Mesaya notion of the bueque as God's visible
Lundy then goes on to compare unfavorably another primitive,
tribe, the Yuracares, who "neither adore nor respect any deity, and
yet are more superstitious than all their neighbours."
as Lundy explains, the Yuracares do possess a variety of gods. Now,
as this learned Christian apologist is certainly not unintelligent,
it cannot be suggested that he himself could not see the paradoxes
in his various statements; yet, again, he exerts every effort in
creating a difference between mythology and "true religion," without
Also, it is somewhat ironic that Lundy is compelled to
use as examples savages, including - as proof of his assertion of the
superiority of "religion," as he attempts to define it - a group
notorious for the brutality and atrocity of cannibalism.
apparently considering himself successful in thus distinguishing
between mythology and religion, Lundy triumphantly remarks:
Religion, then, differs from the myth in being the product of the
reason and understanding rather than the imagination.
Evidently, Lundy considers the beliefs of these savage cannibals to
be the "product of reason and understanding!"
Furthermore, in page
after page of comparison between Paganism and Christianity, the
Reverend shows that the Christian imagination could not have been
more overworked in its creation of myth, ritual and dogma.
In any case, concerning the Indian crucifix, Lundy continues:
The annexed plate (Fig. 72) is an exact facsimile of Moor's. Wittoba
is one of the incarnations of Vishnu, with holes in the feet, of
which Moor gives several examples.
Lundy subsequently seconds his "enemy" Higgins's opinion, contrary
to that of Moor, reiterating that the plate is not of Christian
Now this Wittoba or incarnation of Vishnu is Krishna… And so…the
hole in the foot must refer to the fatal shot of the hunter's arrow
as Krishna was meditating in the forest, and whom he forgave; but
the hands also have holes, and these must refer to the crucifixion
of Krishna, as spoken of above.
…The Pundit's Wittoba, then, given to Moor, would seem to be the
crucified Krishna, the shepherd-god of Mathura, and kindred to
Mithra in being a Saviour - the Lord of the covenant, as well as Lord
of heaven and earth - pure and impure, light and dark, good and bad,
peaceful and warlike, amiable and wrathful, mild and turbulent,
forgiving and vindictive, God and a strange mixture of man, but not
the Christ of the Gospels.
Regarding Lundy's latter assertion that the Indian god is "God and a
strange mixture of man, but not the Christ of the Gospels," we ask,
Christ is all of the things Lundy lists, especially when
one factors in the Savior's biblical "Father," the architect of good
and evil, who is generally not amiable but almost always wrathful,
Furthermore, while Krishna is the "shepherd-god of Mathura,"
Christ is the shepherd god who lived in Maturea. Moreover, Lundy,
evidently dismayed by this non-Christian crucifix, unconvincingly
attempts to justify its existence as a "prophecy of Christ," as had
the early Church fathers done with so many mythical motifs when
confronted with their existence prior to the Christian era.
Regarding Lundy's admissions, Blavatsky remarks:
One is completely overwhelmed with astonishment upon reading Dr.
Lundy's Monumental Christianity. It would be difficult to say
whether an admiration for the author's erudition, or amazement at
his serene and unparalleled sophistry, is stronger. He has gathered
a world of facts which prove that the religions, far more ancient
than Christianity, of Christna, Buddha, and Osiris, had anticipated
even its minutest symbols.
His materials come from no forged papyri,
no interpolated Gospels, but from sculptures on the walls of ancient
temples, from monuments, inscriptions, and other archaic relics,
only mutilated by the hammers of iconoclasts, the cannon of
fanatics, and the effects of time. He shows us Christna and Apollo
as good shepherds; Christna holding the cruciform chank [crook] and
the chakra [wheel], and Christna "crucified in space," as he calls
Of this figure - borrowed by Dr. Lundy from Moor's Hindu
Pantheon - it may be truly said that it is calculated to petrify a
Christian with astonishment, for it is the crucified Christ of
Romish art to the last degree of resemblance.
As it is, Dr. Lundy contradicts Moor, and maintains that this figure
is that of Wittoba, one of the avatars of Vishnu, hence Christna,
and anterior to Christianity, which is a fact not very easily put
down. And yet although he finds it prophetic of Christianity, he
thinks it has no relation whatever to Christ!
His only reason is
that "in a Christian crucifix the glory always comes from the sacred
head; here it is from above and beyond…."
To be sure, an image of a crucified Krishna, prior to Christianity,
is a fact not easily ignored, and one must wonder how it came to be
Interestingly, the Wittoba temples whence ostensibly came these
images are located at Terputty and Punderpoor, the former of which
was, in Moor's time, under the control of the British, who had
purchased the site. It may be asked why the British would thus be so
interested in an avatar purportedly so minor and unimportant as to
warrant exclusion of his story from their reports.
The avatar was,
in fact, important enough to be widespread and to have names in a
number of different dialects, names or titles that included Wittoba,
Ballaji, Vinkatyeish, Terpati, Vinkratramna Govinda and Takhur.
Concerning Ballaji, Higgins says,
"The circumstance of Ballaji
treading on the head of the serpent shows that he is, as the
Brahmins say, an Avatar of Cristna."
Higgins also states that very
ancient monuments of the crucified god Bali of Orissa can be found
in the ruins of Mahabalipore. It is interesting to note the
correlation between Bali and "Baali," Baal, Bal or Bel, the
Phoenician, Babylonian and Israelite god, whose Passion is
represented on a 4,000-year-old tablet purportedly in the British
Furthermore, among others with the prefix "Bhel" or some
other variant, there is an Indian sun-worshipping site of some
antiquity called Bhelapur or Bhaila Pura, "a place of Bhailasvamin,"
the latter being a name of the sun god. The name Bhailasvamin is
quite similar to the Belsamen of the British Isles, with "Brit" also
apparently related to "Bharat," the indigenous name of India.
Any evidence of crucified gods in India - asserted by some to be
commonplace in sacred areas, but hidden by the priesthood - may today
be scant. It is an intriguing coincidence that many of the scholars
who unwillingly and against interest exposed this information were
not only Christian but also British, and that the British took over
pertinent places, possibly with the intent of destroying such
evidence, among other motives.
As Higgins - himself a Brit - says:
And when we perceive that the Hindoo Gods were supposed to be
crucified, it will be impossible to resist a belief that the
particulars of the crucifixion have been suppressed.
Higgins also states:
When a person considers the vast wealth and power which are put into
danger by these Indian manuscripts; the practice by Christian
priests of interpolating and erasing, for the last two thousand
years; the well-known forgeries practiced upon Mr. Wilford by a
Brahmin; and the large export…to India of orthodox and missionary
priests; he will not be surprised if some copies of the books should
make their appearance wanting certain particulars in the life of
And, Higgins further remarks:
Neither in the sixteen volumes of the Transactions of the Asiatic
Society of Calcutta, nor in the works of Sir. W. Jones, nor in those
of Mr. Maurice, nor of Mr. Faber, is there a single word to be met
with respecting the crucifixion of Cristna. How very extraordinary
that all the writers in these works should have been ignorant of so
striking a fact! But it was well known in the Conclave, even as
early as the time of Jerome.
The "Conclave," of course, is the Catholic cardinals' clique that
elects popes. Unfortunately, Higgins does not recite his argument or
cite his sources for such a fascinating claim.
Nor does the mystery end there. In his comments concerning the
various enigmatic images of an Indian god crucified, Rev. Lundy also
acknowledges other striking assertions, regarding purported Irish
Was Krishna ever crucified?
Look at Fig. 61 and see. It is indeed an
ancient Irish bronze relic, originally brought to the island from
the East by some of the Phoenicians. It is unlike any Christian
crucifix ever made. It has no nail marks in the hands or feet; there
is no wood; no inscription; no crown of thorns, but the turreted
coronet of the Ephesian Diana; no attendants; the ankles are tied
together by a cord; and the dress about the loins is like Krishna's.
It is simply a modification of Krishna as crucified. Henry O'Brien
thinks it is meant for Buddha. But another most accomplished
Oriental scholar says it is Krishna crucified:
tradition avers the fact of Krishna dying on the fatal cross (a
tree), to which he was pierced by the stroke of an arrow, and from
the top of which he foretold the evils that were coming on the
earth, which came to pass from thirty to forty years afterwards,
when the age of crimes and miseries began; or about the same length
of time as intervened between our Lord's crucifixion and the
destruction of Jerusalem, an age of bitter calamities and crimes…."
Lundy is obviously convinced that a
pre-Christian image of a god was found in Ireland and is Phoenician
in origin, Irish representing Krishna "crucified," as described in the orthodox
The good Reverend then provides images of "Irish" and
"Egyptian" crucifixes, and remarks:
"Here are two crucifixes, one with the wood, and the other without
it. Fig. 65 is the old Irish cross at Tuam, erected before Christian
times, and is obviously Asiatic; Fig. 66 is from an old Nubian
temple at Kalabche, long anterior to the Christian era…"
Again, we have pre-Christian images of crucified
gods, according to a pious and learned Christian authority. The same
Christian authority verifies, against interest, this crucial
information also provided by his "enemy" Higgins, as Lundy himself
Indeed, in his argument against the charge that the Indian
priesthood fabricated the Krishna and Buddha stories based on the
gospel fable, Higgins likewise claims that "Buddha" was crucified,
"the immaculate conception, crucifixion, and
resurrection of Buddha, in Nepaul and Tibet."
In his assertions, he
discusses the equinoctial date (March 25th) for the death and
resurrection of a number of solar-fertility gods, and refers to the
writings of Father Georgius (Alphabetum Tibetanum, 510), saying:
The following passage from Georgius will show that the crucifixion
and resurrection of Buddha took place precisely at the same time as
all others: In plenilunio mensis tertii, quo mors Xacae accidit.
The Catholic missionary Georgius's remarks in English are:
full moon of the third month, wherefore death befalls Saca
Hence, Saca/Buddha dies at the vernal equinox, as is
appropriate for a sun god.
Higgins's arguments against the charge of plagiarism by Indians from
Christians are quite logical and sound.
He notes, for example, the
archaeological evidence found at Ellora and Elephanta, as well as
the intricacy of the Indian religious system, which indicates
antiquity. He then definitively states that the Krishna stories are
"most clearly no interpolation" and that they are an intrinsic part
He further points out the absurdity of supposing that
the Christian religion - with its miniscule enclaves in India - could
have so influenced the vast subcontinent and its well-established
religious system, i.e., the enormous Hindu population, with its
"great variety of dialects."
As Higgins says:
…In the history of Buddha, as well as of Cristna, are to be found
many of the stories which are supposed to be forged.
So that two
sects hating one another, and not holding the least communication,
must have conspired over all the immense territories east of the
Indus, to destroy and to rewrite every old work, to the amount
almost of millions; and so completely have they succeeded that all
our missionaries have not, in any of the countries where the
Brahmins are to be found, or in which there are only Buddhists, been
able to discover a single copy of any of the works uncorrupted with
the history of Cristna.
Buddha is allowed by Mr. Bentley to have
been long previous to Cristna, and he is evidently the same as
Cristna, which can only arise from his being the sun in an earlier
Another Indian sun god apparently frequently depicted as crucified
is Indra, who as a solar hero could be considered interchangeable
with Wittoba and Krishna.
The crucifixion of Indra is likewise
recorded in the monk Georgius's Alphabetum Tibetanum, p. 203,
according to Higgins, who provides pertinent passages in the
Nam A effigies est ipsius Indrae crucifixi signa Telech in fronte
manibus pedibuseque gerentis.
Although written in the 18th century, this work is in Latin, which
was commonly used by the better educated precisely in order to go
over the heads of the masses and keep secrets from them.
Father Georgius's book contained images of this Tibetan savior,
been nailed to the cross. There are five wounds, representing the
nail-holes and the piercing of the side. The antiquity of the story
is beyond dispute."
Titcomb also relates the crucifixion of Indra as
found in Georgius:
The monk Georgius, in his Tibetanum Alphabetum (p. 203), has given
plates of a crucified god worshipped at Nepal. These crucifixes were
to be seen at the corners of roads and on eminences. He calls it the
In Asiatic Researches, Col. Wilford, another pious Christian,
verifies that the "heathen" Hindus venerated crosses in public
places and at crossroads.
The appearance of the crucified gods as
roadside protectors is logical: If you were going to put up an image
of a god as a protector, would you not make his arms as widespread
as possible, i.e., in cruciform?
In fact, it would be surprising if
such images did not exist.
The Cross and Crucifix
In reality, the claims concerning cruciform Indian gods are not
implausible but to be expected, as it is well known that the
reverence for the cross can be found in numerous cultures, long
prior to the Christian era.
As is acknowledged by the Catholic
Encyclopedia ("Archaeology of the Cross and Crucifix"):
The sign of the cross, represented in its simplest form by a
crossing of two lines at right angles, greatly antedates, in both
the East and the West, the introduction of Christianity. It goes
back to a very remote period of human civilization.
… It is also, according to Milani, a symbol of the sun…, and seems
to denote its daily rotation.
The cross was in pre-Christian times a common symbol, revered as a
divine sign, an emblem of the solar deity, representing the times of
the year when the sun appears to be "hung on a cross," i.e., the
vernal and autumnal equinoxes.
The Catholic Encyclopedia ("CE") continues:
In the proto-Etruscan cemetery of Golasecca every tomb has a vase
with a cross engraved on it.
Thus, even the practice of marking graves with the cross precedes
the Christian era by centuries.
There are a number of different shapes for the "sacred cross,"
including the "crux gammata," or swastika, which is found around the
globe for millennia, and appears on Christian monuments as well.
CE further states:
Many fantastic significations have been attached to the use of this
sign on Christian monuments, and some have even gone so far as to
conclude from it that Christianity is nothing but a descendant of
the ancient religions and myths of the people of India, Persia, and
Then these theorists go on to point out the close
relationship that exists between Christianity, on the one hand,
Buddhism and other Oriental religions, on the other…. [The crux gammata]
is fairly common on the Christian monuments of Rome, being
found on some sepulchral inscriptions, besides occurring twice,
painted, on the Good Shepherd's tunic in an arcosolium in the
Catacomb of St. Generosa in the Via Portuensis, and again on the
tunic of the fossor Diogenes (the original epitaph is no longer
The "crux-ansata" or ankh of the Egyptians, which is a cross with a
loop on top resembling a human stick figure is likewise a common
motif, representing eternal life.
Regarding the so-called Christian cross, the "crux-immissa," with
the crossbeam above center, the CE says:
In the bronze age we meet in different parts of Europe a more
accurate representation of the cross, as conceived in Christian art,
and in this shape it was soon widely diffused.
The Bronze Age in Europe extended from around the 3rd to the 2nd
millennia BCE; hence, this "Christian" cross was an important symbol
long before the Christian era.
The cross has also been discerned in the Old Testament.
The cross, mentioned even in the Old Testament, is called in
Hebrew…"wood," a word often translated crux by St. Jerome (Gen., xl,
19; Jos., viii, 29; Esther, v, 14; viii, 7; ix, 25).
Christian writers such as Barnabas asserted that not only was the
brazen serpent of Moses set up as a cross but Moses himself makes
the sign of the cross at Exodus 17:12, when he is on a hilltop with
Aaron and Hur.
As we can see, along with the sign of the cross in
the pre-Christian world are represented gods and humans in
cruciform, with arms extended.
Concerning the cross and cruciform,
CE also states:
The early Christians in their artistic labours did not disdain to
draw upon the symbols and allegories of pagan mythology, as long as
these were not contrary to Christian faith and morals. In the
Catacomb of St. Callistus a sarcophagus, dating from the third
century, was found, the front of which shows Ulysses tied to the
mast while he listens to the song of the Sirens.
Near him are his
companions, who with ears filled with wax, cannot hear the alluring
song. All this is symbolical of the Cross, and of the Crucified, who
has closed against the seductions of evil the ears of the faithful
during their voyage over the treacherous sea of life in the ship
which will bring them to the harbor of salvation.
Thus, CE asserts that the Greek hero Ulysses or Odysseus is bound to
a cross and symbolizes "the crucified." The cruciform image of a god
or human with arms extended dates back at least several centuries
prior to the common era.
As CE also says:
Cruciform objects have been found in Assyria. The statues of Kings
Asurnazirpal and Sansirauman, now in the British Museum, have
cruciform jewels about the neck (Layard, Monuments of Nineveh, II,
pl. IV). Cruciform earrings were found by Father Delattre in Punic
tombs at Carthage.
It is evident that the images of gods in the shape of a cross were
commonly used, likely for protection as well as eternal life.
therefore not surprising to find crucifixes in Pagan iconography,
especially as concerns the sun god, which we have shown Krishna to
be. Indeed, it is clear is that a cross with a man on it, or a
crucifix, was revered in pre-Christian times, thus rendering the
supposedly Christian motif unoriginal.
Such was admitted by early
Christian writer Minucius Felix (c. 250) in his Octavius, in which
Felix denied that Christians worship a "criminal and his cross,"
which may signify a denial of Jesus being a "criminal," rather than
that Christianity did not then possess the tradition of a god
Nevertheless, Felix thereafter asserts that the Pagans
did so venerate the crucifix, which certainly indicates that the
image of crucified man or god existed among the pre-Christians:
Chapter XXIX.-Argument: Nor is It More True that a Man Fastened to a
Cross on Account of His Crimes is Worshipped by Christians, for They
Believe Not Only that He Was Innocent, But with Reason that He Was God.
But, on the Other Hand, the Heathens Invoke the Divine Powers
of Kings Raised into Gods by Themselves; They Pray to Images, and
Beseech Their Genii.
…in that you attribute to our religion the worship of a criminal and
his cross, you wander far from the neighbourhood of the truth, in
thinking either that a criminal deserved, or that an earthly being
was able, to be believed God…. Crosses, moreover, we neither worship
nor wish for. You, indeed, who consecrate gods of wood, adore wooden
crosses perhaps as parts of your gods.
For your very standards, as
well as your banners; and flags of your camp, what else are they but
crosses glided and adorned? Your victorious trophies not only
imitate the appearance of a simple cross, but also that of a man
affixed to it. We assuredly see the sign of a cross, naturally, in
the ship when it is carried along with swelling sails, when it
glides forward with expanded oars; and when the military yoke is
lifted up, it is the sign of a cross; and when a man adores God with
a pure mind, with hands outstretched.
Thus the sign of the cross
either is sustained by a natural reason, or your own religion is
formed with respect to it.
Again, the pious Christian writer Felix, in the 3rd century, takes
umbrage at the notion that Christians worshipped a "criminal and his
cross," and retorts that the Pagans' own,
"victorious trophies not
only imitate the appearance of a simple cross, but also that of a
man affixed to it."
Another early Christian authority, Tertullian, likewise confirmed
the Pagan cross and crucifix, in his response to the charges that
Christians adored the cross.
As CE relates:
The Christian apologists, such as Tertullian (Apol., xvi; Ad.
Nationes, xii) and Minucius Felix (Octavius, lx, xii, xxviii),
felicitously replied to the pagan taunt by showing that their
persecutors themselves adored cruciform objects.
In The Apology (Chapter XVI), Tertullian writes:
…Then, if any of you think we render superstitious adoration to the
cross, in that adoration he is sharer with us. If you offer homage
to a piece of wood at all, it matters little what it is like when
the substance is the same: it is of no consequence the form, if you
have the very body of the god.
And yet how far does the Athenian
Pallas differ from the stock of the cross, or the Pharian Ceres as
she is put up uncarved to sale, a mere rough stake and piece of
Every stake fixed in an upright position is a
portion of the cross; we render our adoration, if you will have it
so, to a god entire and complete. We have shown before that your
deities are derived from shapes modelled from the cross. But you
also worship victories, for in your trophies the cross is the heart
of the trophy.
The camp religion of the Romans is all through a
worship of the standards, a setting the standards above all gods.
Well, as those images decking out the standards are ornaments of
crosses. All those hangings of your standards and banners are robes
of crosses. I praise your zeal: you would not consecrate crosses
unclothed and unadorned.
Others, again, certainly with more
information and greater verisimilitude, believe that the sun is our
god. We shall be counted Persians perhaps, though we do not worship
the orb of day painted on a piece of linen cloth, having himself
everywhere in his own disk. The idea no doubt has originated from
our being known to turn to the east in prayer.
But you, many of you,
also under pretence sometimes of worshipping the heavenly bodies,
move your lips in the direction of the sunrise. In the same way, if
we devote Sun-day to rejoicing, from a far different reason than
Sun-worship, we have some resemblance to those of you who devote the
day of Saturn to ease and luxury, though they too go far away from
Jewish ways, of which indeed they are ignorant.
But lately a new
edition of our god has been given to the world in that great city:
it originated with a certain vile man who was wont to hire himself
out to cheat the wild beasts, and who exhibited a picture with this
inscription: The God of the Christians, born of an ass. He had the
ears of an ass, was hoofed in one foot, carried a book, and wore a
Both the name and the figure gave us amusement.
In this pithy paragraph, Tertullian has given an interesting picture
of the Pagan impression of Christianity, as well as an
acknowledgement of the Pagan reverence of the cross and cruciform or
This pious Christian writer must also address the
allegation that Christians worship the sun, thus admitting that
non-Christians perceived the solar orb to be the object of Christian
worship, an assertion, therefore, that has existed essentially from
the beginning of the Christian era and that has been made countless
Furthermore, Tertullian raises the issue of Christians
being accused of worshipping an ass, not as blasphemous a notion as
it may appear, since the ass-headed god was popular in Egypt as Set
or Seth. Indeed, in the "quarters of the imperial pages" of Rome,
there is an image of a crucified ass-headed god.
As the Catholic Encyclopedia points out, in images Christ was not
represented as crucified until the 6th-7th centuries CE. The CE
further says ("Ecclesiastical Art"):
But though with the triumph of Constantine the outline of the "chrisme"
(chi-rho), or the Greek monogram of Christ, was universally held in
honour and introduced into all Christian monuments and even into the
coinage, the crucifix as a Christian emblem was as yet practically
The "chi-rho" (C+R) itself resembles a human cruciform, as CE
implies, and examples of it may be found in ancient mason's marks,
such as at Phaestos on Crete, dating from the second millennium BCE.
Regarding the archaeological record, Lundy, an expert on early
Christian monuments, concurs that the crucifix in Christianity is a
late artistic development:
In the earliest monuments there is no scene of the Crucifixion….
…Neither the Crucifixion, nor any of the scenes of the Passion, was
ever represented; nor the day of judgment, nor were the sufferings
of the lost.
Nevertheless, CE relates that a "very important monument" dating to
the early third century depicts the crucifixion "openly." This
image - the ass-headed god - is Pagan-made, states the Catholic
Encyclopedia, not Christian, although it is apparently ridiculing
the Christian religion.
CE further describes the image:
On a beam in the Pedagogioum on the Palatine there was discovered a
graffito on the plaster, showing a man with an ass's head, and clad
in a perizoma (or short loin-cloth) and fastened to a crux immissa
(regular Latin cross).
Near by there is another man in an attitude
of prayer with the legend Alexamenos sebetai theon, i.e., "Alexamenos
This graffito is now to be seen in the Kircherian
Museum in Rome, and is but an impious caricature in mockery of the
Christian Alexamenos, drawn by one of his pagan comrades of the
…In fact Tertullian tells us that in his day, i.e. precisely at the
time when this caricature was made, Christians were accused of
adoring an ass's head, "Somniatis caput asininum esse Deum nostrum"
(Apol., xvi; Ad Nat., I, ii). And Minucius Felix confirms this (Octav.,
ix). The Palatine graffito is also important as showing that the
Christians used the crucifix in their private devotions at least as
early as the third century.
It would not have been possible for Alexamenos' companion to trace the graffito of a crucified person
clad in the perizoma (which was contrary to Roman usage) if he had
not seen some such figure made use of by the Christians. Professor
Haupt sought to identify it as a caricature of a worshipper of the
Egyptian god Seth, the Typho of the Greeks, but his explanation was
refuted by Kraus.
Recently, a similar opinion has been put forth by Wnsch, who takes his stand on the letter Y which is placed near the
crucified figure, and which has also been found on a tablet relating
to the worship of Seth; he therefore concludes that Alexamenos of
the graffito belonged to the Sethian sect.
Obviously, if this ass-headed god is not Christ, it is another god,
centuries before Christ himself was ever portrayed pictorially as
Regarding this image purported to be of an ass-headed
Christ crucified, Lundy claims that it is in reality the Egyptian
god Anubis, although the original head of that Egyptian god was a
jackal. It is true that Anubis is depicted in cruciform; yet, as
Tertullian is forced to refute, the Christians were accused of
worshipping an ass-headed god, which is likely Seth or Set, the
Egyptian god of night and darkness, the "twin" of the sun god Horus.
In reality, both sides of the twin-faced god are depicted as
crucified. Indeed, Doane remarks that the Romans',
"man on a cross"
referred to by Tertullian is the "crucified Sol, whose birthday they
annually celebrated on the 25th of December..."
Moreover, it is
interesting to note that the sun god Sol is depicted with a crown of
seven rays, the same number found on the Parthian coronet of the
Indian god "crucified in space." It is apparent that this latter
image is, in fact, a depiction of the sun god, the solar logos.
Evans also asserts that the Roman crucifix portrayed the sun god:
Just as the Brahmans represented their god Krishna as a crucified
man with a wreath of sunbeams around his head, just as the ancient
Assyrians represented their sun god Baal as a man surrounded by an
aureole, and with outstretched arms, thus forming a perfect cross,
so the Romans reverenced a crucified incarnation of the god Sol, and
many ancient Italian pictures of Jesus as a crucified Savior bear
the inscription, "Deo Soli," which may mean "To the only God," or
"To the God Sol."
Indeed, as we have seen, the sign of the cross and crucifix were
sacred motifs relating mainly to the sun or the solar deity.
sun, as a symbol or proxy of the divine, was deemed to sacrifice
"himself" and to bestow eternal life; hence, the cross and crucifix
became symbols of these concepts.
In this regard, after discussing
ancient depictions of a god within the circle of the zodiac, Lundy
So too, are the Pagan crucifixes on pp. 157, 159, 160, and notably
the Hindu one, fig. 72, p. 175…doubtless intended to convey the idea
of the sacrifice of this central Zodiacal figure for the life of the
universe - his going out in space to give life to all others, or the
great sacrifice continually going on in nature and in human society
whereby crucifixion and death minister to the general welfare and
Lundy readily acknowledges the pre-Christian reverence of the cross,
attempting to trace it to the Hebrew religion, from which, he
claims, so many of the "perverted" and "corrupt" Pagan "mythologies"
borrowed their ideas.
We know through historical studies and
archaeology that the assertion that Paganism was plagiarized from
the Bible is false; so, any borrowing must have been in the opposite
In any case, like others, Lundy observes that when Moses
lifted up the serpent of brass, the latter's image was affixed upon
a cross, which, as Lundy says, is a,
"sign of symbol, expressed by
the author of the book of Wisdom, according to the Septuagint, as sumboulon swthriaV, the symbol of salvation. (Num. 21:8-9, and
The cross and crucified god were symbols of salvation, which is
essentially immortality of the soul. Regarding the Egyptian
religion, Rev. Cox says:
To the Egyptian the cross…became the symbol of immortality, and the
god himself was crucified to the tree which denoted his fructifying
"The god himself was crucified to the tree"
- the Egyptian god,
asserts this pious Christian authority.
This fructifying god, of
course, is the solar deity, i.e., Osiris/Horus. Indeed, it has been
likewise evinced that the sun god Horus himself is shown in
cruciform, between two thieves, no less.
In describing an Egyptian image of the sun reaching down to his
worshippers with hands at the ends of his rays holding the crux
ansata/ankh, Lundy relates:
The sun's disc is sending forth rays of light, each ending with a
hand; and some are bestowing life's hopes and blessings in the
symbol of immortality, the cross. All that was dear in this life,
and the life to come, is here intended by these hands holding forth
the very sign of eternal life, and coming forth from the one source
of all life and blessing.
As is evident, the concept of a divine incarnation who bestows
eternal life, salvation, and redemption from sins by his suffering,
often on a cross, is old and widespread, anterior to the Christian
In reality, the list of crucified gods and godmen does not end with
the Indian, Egyptian and Roman deities.
Kuhn relates that Zoroaster,
who was born of an immaculate conception, was,
"called a splendid
light from the tree of knowledge" whose soul in the end "was
suspended a ligno (from the wood), or from the tree, the tree of
Kuhn them remarks,
"Here again we find the cross or tree
of Calvary, the tree of the Christ, identified with the tree of
knowledge of Genesis."
Another god said to have been crucified was Prometheus, the Greek
titan of fire and foresight. It has been claimed by a number of
writers that the version of the Prometheus story passed down to us
through Christian censors has been mutilated so as to hide its
similarities to the Christ myth.
As Graves says:
In the account of the crucifixion of Prometheus of Caucasus, as
furnished by Seneca, Hesiod, and other writers, it is stated that he
was nailed to an upright beam of timber, to which were affixed
extended arms of wood, and that this cross was situated near the
The modern story of this crucified God, which
represents him as having been bound to a rock for thirty years,
while vultures preyed upon his vitals, Mr. Higgins pronounces as an
impious Christian fraud. "For," says this learned historical writer,
"I have seen the account which declares he was nailed to a cross
with hammer and nails."
Graves further relates that the "New American Cyclopedia" (i. 157)
states that Prometheus was "crucified."
Lundy apparently concurs
with this perspective that the Prometheus story was censored. In his
remarks concerning the widely used solar symbol, the swastika, he
Dr. Schliemann found it on terracotta disks at Troy, in the fourth
or lowest stratum of his excavations, indicating an Aryan
civilization long anterior to the Greeks, say from two to three
thousand years before Christ.
Burnouf agrees with other
archaeologists in saying that this is the oldest form of the cross
known; and affirms that it is found personified in the ancient
religion of the Greeks under the figure of Prometheus, the bearer of
fire; the god is extended on the cross on Caucasus, while the
celestial bird, which is the Cyena of the Vedic hymns, every day
devours his immortal breast.
The modification of this Vedic symbol
became the instrument of torture and death to other nations, and was
that on which Jesus Christ suffered death at the hands of the Jews
Indeed, even the Catholic Encyclopedia admits that Prometheus was
depicted in ancient times as bound to a cross:
On an ancient vase we see Prometheus bound to a beam which serves
the purpose of a cross….
…Speaking of Prometheus nailed to Mount Caucasus, Lucian uses the
substantive and the verbs and, [sic] the latter being derived from
which also signifies a cross. In the same way the rock to which
Andromeda was fastened is called crux, or cross.
CE also says:
The penalty of the cross goes back probably to the arbor infelix, or
unhappy tree, spoken of by Cicero (Pro, Rabir., iii sqq.) and by
Livy, apropos of the condemnation of Horatius after the murder of
Regarding the execution or, rather, expiatory sacrifice upon an
"unhappy tree," CE further comments:
This primitive form of crucifixion on trees was long in use, as
Justus Lipsius notes ("De cruce", I, ii, 5; Tert., "Apol.", VIII,
xvi; and "Martyrol. Paphnut." 25 Sept.). Such a tree was known as a
cross (crux). On an ancient vase we see Prometheus bound to a beam
which serves the purpose of a cross.
Obviously, with such an admission against interest made by the
world's most powerful Christian organization, we can safely assume
that Prometheus was bound to a cross, and that this information has
We can also be assured that other gods and,
possibly, humans were depicted on crosses, since, as admitted by CE,
the "primitive form of crucifixion on trees was long in use." In
fact, as we shall see, this primitive crucifixion was part of
ancient human sacrifice rituals in numerous parts of the world.
Another of the crucified Pagan gods was Orpheus Bakkhikos, who was
depicted on a cross, although this image apparently dates to the 2nd
or 3rd centuries CE. However, it may well be that the image
represents an earlier tradition, one that was much more commonly
The deliberate destruction of cultural artifacts, books,
sculptures, etc., for centuries by Christians makes it difficult to
Yet another deity hung a tree was the Norse god Baldur, as Rev. Cox
The myth of Baldur, at least in its cruder forms, must be far more
ancient than any classification resembling that of the Hesiodic age
[8th cent. BCE]. Such a classification we find in the relations of
the Jotun or giants, who are conquered by Odin as the Titans are
overthrown by Zeus; and this sequence forms part of a theogony
which, like that of Hesiod, begins with chaos.
From this chaos the
earth emerged, made by the gods out of the blood and bones of the
giant Ymir, whose name denotes the dead and barren sea. This being
is sprung from the contact of the frozen with the heated waters, the
former coming from Nifleim, the region of deadly cold at the
northern end of the chaotic world, the latter from Muspelheim, the
domain of the devouring fire.
The Kosmos so called into existence is
called the "Bearer of God" - a phrase which finds its explanation in
the world-tree Yggdrasil, on which Odin himself hangs, like the
Helene Dendritis of the Cretan legend,
I know that I hung On a wind-rocked tree
Nine whole nights With a spear-wounded,
And to Odin offered, Myself to myself,
On that tree, Of which no one knows
From what root it springs.
Concerning the Norse god Odin, Frazer says:
The human victims dedicated to Odin were regularly put to death by
hanging or by a combination of hanging and stabbing, the man being
strung up to a tree or a gallows and then wounded with a spear.
As we can see, the god hung on the tree and pierced in the side is a
Pagan motif, likely predating Christianity by centuries, if not
Regarding the Syrian god Tammuz, who was also worshipped by
Israelites/Jews (Ezek. 8:14), Graves claims he was crucified around
1160 BCE, asserting that Higgins relates this story, and that Julius Firmicus writes about Tammuz (Thammuz)
"rising from the dead for the
salvation of the world."
Titcomb relates the same information
regarding Tammuz, as well as others, giving the solar meaning of
this pervasive mythical motif:
The crucified Iao ("Divine Love" personified) is the crucified
Adonis, or Tammuz (the Jewish Adonai), the Sun, who was put to death
by the wild boar of Aries - one of the twelve signs of the zodiac.
The crucifixion of "Divine Love" is often found among the Greeks.
Hera or Juno, according to the Iliad, was bound with fetters and
suspended in space, between heaven and earth. Ixion, Prometheus, and
Apollo of Miletus were all crucified.
Moreover, the rites of the "crucified Adonis," the dying and rising
savior god, were celebrated in Syria at Easter time.
As Frazer says:
When we reflect how often the Church has
skillfully contrived to
plant the seeds of the new faith on the old stock of paganism, we
may surmise that the Easter celebration of the dead and risen Christ
was grafted upon a similar celebration of the dead and risen Adonis,
which, as we have seen reason to believe, was celebrated in Syria at
the same season.
Interestingly, Tammuz was represented by a tau (T) or cross.
History of the Cross: The Pagan Origin and Idolatrous Adoption and
Worship of the Image, originally published in 1871, pious Christian
Henry David Ward quotes "The Illustrated History of the British
Empire in India" as saying:
The mystic T, the initial of Tammuz, was variously written. It was
marked on the foreheads of the worshippers when they were admitted
to the mysteries.
Indeed, this mark of the cross upon the forehead was common among a
number of pre-Christian peoples, including the Persians and Hebrews.
Obviously, we possess traditions and images of crosses and crucified
gods not only in the Pagan world at large but also in the
Israelite/Jewish world, and in the very area where Christianity is
purported to have been created.