by Acharya S
excerpted from Suns of "God -
Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled"
Let our Christian readers bear in mind that the worship of the
virgin and her child was common in the East, ages before the
generally received account of Christ's appearance in the flesh
Existence of Christ Disproved
Crishna was born of a chaste virgin, called Devaki, who, on account
of her purity, was selected to become the "mother of God."
Doane, Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions
A recurring theme in ancient religion revolves around the manner of
the sun god's birth, as well as the chastity of his mother. In a
number of instances the sun god is perceived as being born of the
inviolable dawn, the virgin moon or earth, or the constellation of
The virgin status of the mothers of pre-Christian gods and godmen has been asserted for centuries by numerous scholars of
mythology and ancient religion. Nevertheless, because of the motif's
similarity to a major Christian tenet, apologists attempt to debunk
it by simply stating that these Pagan mothers were not virgins, for
a variety of reasons, including their marital status, number of
children and the manner of impregnation.
Regardless, the virgin
status of the ancient goddesses or mothers of gods remains, despite
their manner of impregnation, because the fathers, like that of
Jesus, are gods themselves, as opposed to mortals who physically
penetrate the mothers. Also, the mothers are not "real people," but
goddesses themselves, who therefore do not possess female genitalia.
Thus, despite being a mother, the goddess retains her virginity.
fact, the Virgin is one face of the Triple Goddess of ancient times,
comprising the Maiden, Mother and Crone.
Concerning the Triple
Goddess, McLean says:
The more general archetype was often seen in mythology as threefold;
thus, for example, Aphrodite was seen as Aphrodite the Virgin,
Aphrodite the Wife, and Aphrodite the Whore. A similar triplicity is
found in the figure of Isis as Sister, Wife and Widow of Osiris.
Regarding the Great Mother Goddess, whether called by the name
Sophia, Ishtar or Isis, whose cult extended all over the
Mediterranean and beyond, Legge says:
Her most prominent characteristics show her to be a personification
of the Earth, the mother of all living, ever bringing forth and ever
In The Once and Future Goddess,
Many goddess were called virgin but this did not mean that chastity
was considered a virtue in the pagan world. Some, like,
Ishtar, Astarte, and Anath, the love goddesses of the Near East and
classical mythology, are entitled virgin despite their lovers, who
die and rise again for them each year."
Concerning the Goddess, Rev. James relates:
Among the Sumerian and Babylonians she had been known as Inanna-Ishtar,
while in Syria and Palestine she appeared as Asherah, Astarte and
Anat, corresponding to Hera, Aphrodite and Artemis of the Greeks,
representing the three main aspects of womanhood as wife and mother,
as lover and mistress, and as a chaste and beautiful virgin full of
youthful charm and vigour, often confused one with the other.
As one example of this confusion, in spite of this mythological
theme of the triple goddess and her perpetual virginity, the virgin
status of the Egyptian Madonna Isis is challenged because, according
to one popular legend, she fecundated herself using Osiris's severed
However, in another tradition Isis was miraculously
impregnated "by a flash of lightning or by the rays of the moon." In
The Golden Bough, Frazer tells another version in which Isis
conceived Horus "while she fluttered in the form of a hawk over the
corpse of her dead husband."
In this story, Horus is born before
Osiris is rent into pieces; hence, Isis does not use the dead god's
phallus to impregnate herself.
Frazer also says:
The ritual of the nativity, as it appears to have been celebrated in
Syria and Egypt, was remarkable. The celebrants retired into certain
inner shrines, from which at midnight they issued with a loud cry,
"The Virgin has brought forth! The light is waxing!"
even represented the new-born sun by the image of an infant which on
his birthday, the winter solstice, they brought forth and exhibited
to his worshippers.
No doubt the Virgin who thus conceived and bore
a son on the twenty-fifth of December was the great Oriental goddess
whom the Semites called the Heavenly Virgin or simply the Heavenly
Thus, as is proper for goddesses, Isis retained her virginity,
maintaining her epithets of "Immaculate Virgin" and the
"uncontaminated goddess" regardless of her status also as "Mother of
God" and "Magna Mater" or Great Mother.
The same motif exists within
Christianity, in which the Virgin Mother is essentially impregnated
by the "holy ghost" but nonetheless remains a virgin. Isis is, in
reality, the virgin or new moon, receiving or being impregnated by
the light of the sun. In the mythos, the moon gives birth monthly
and annually to the sun; hence, she is mother of many yet remains a
Confirming Isis's rank as perpetual virgin, in
The Story of
Religious Controversy, Joseph McCabe, a Catholic priest for many
Virginity in goddesses is a relative matter.
Whatever we make of the original myth Isis seems to have been
originally a virgin (or, perhaps, sexless) goddess, and in the later
period of Egyptian religion she was again considered a virgin
goddess, demanding very strict abstinence from her devotees. It is
at this period, apparently, that the birthday of Horus was annually
celebrated, about December 25th, in the temples.
As both Macrobius
and the Christian writer [of the "Paschal Chronicle"] say, a figure
of Horus as a baby was laid in a manger, in a scenic reconstruction
of a stable, and a statue of Isis was placed beside it. Horus was,
in a sense, the Savior of mankind. He was their avenger against the
powers of darkness; he was the light of the world. His
birth-festival was a real Christmas before Christ.
The Chronicon Paschale, or Paschal Chronicle, is a compilation
finalized in the 7th century CE (current era) that seeks to establish a Christian
chronology from "creation" to the year 628 CE, focusing on the date
In establishing Easter, the Christian authors naturally
discussed astronomy/astrology, since such is the basis of the
celebration of Easter, a pre-Christian festival founded upon the
vernal equinox, or spring, when the "sun of God" is resurrected in
full from his winter death. The vernal equinox during the current
Ages of Pisces has fallen in March, specifically beginning on March
21st, lasting three days, when the sun overcomes the darkness, and
the days begin to become longer than the night.
In the solar mythos,
the sun god starts his growth towards "manhood," when he is the
strongest, at the summer solstice.
Hence, Easter is the resurrection
of the sun. As does Macrobius, the Paschal Chronicle relates that
the sun (Horus) was presented every year at winter solstice (c.
12/25), as a babe born in a manger.
Concerning the Paschal Chronicle, Dupuis relates:
"the author of the Chronicle of Alexandria expresses himself in the
'The Egyptians have consecrated up to this day the
child-birth of a virgin and the nativity of her son, who is exposed
in a "crib" to the adoration of the people'"
Another important source who cites the
Paschal Chronicle and
mentions Isis's virginity is James Bonwick in Egyptian Belief and
In an ancient Christian work, called the "Chronicle of Alexandria,"
occurs the following: "Watch how Egypt has consecrated the
childbirth of a virgin, and the birth of her son, who was exposed in
a crib to the adoration of her people"
CMU (Christian Mythology Unveiled)
cites the "most ancient chronicles of Alexandria, which "testify
"To this day, Egypt has consecrated the pregnancy of a virgin, and
the nativity of her son, whom they annually present in a cradle, to
the adoration of the people; and when king Ptolemy, three hundred
and fifty years before our Christian era, demanded of the priests
the significance of this religious ceremony, they told him it was a
CMU further states,
"According to Eratosthenes [276-194 bce], the
celestial Virgin was supposed to be Isis, that is, the symbol of the
Interestingly, all sources cited herein relate a different
translation of the Chronicle, which would indicate that they used
the original Latin text and that it contained the word "virgin."
Regarding Isis's baby, Count Volney remarks:
It is the sun which, under the name of Horus, was born, like your
[Christian] God, at the winter solstice, in the arms of the
celestial virgin, and who passed a childhood of obscurity,
indigence, and want, answering to the season of cold and frost.
The virginity of Isis was quite clearly a tenet held by her
devotees. By Budge's assessment, Isis is also "the deity of the
dawn," which, as we will see, would make her "inviolable" and
"eternal," i.e., a perpetual virgin.
The worship of the Virgin Isis was eventually turned into that of
the Virgin Mary.
As Legge says:
The worship of the Virgin as the Theotokos or Mother of God which
was introduced into the Catholic Church about the time of the
destruction of the Serapeum, enabled the devotees of Isis to
continue unchecked their worship of the mother goddess by merely
changing the name of the object of their adoration, and Prof.
Drexler gives a long list of the statues of Isis which thereafter
were used, sometimes with unaltered attributes, as those of the
Concerning this usurpation, which simply constituted the changing of
the goddess from one ethnicity to another, apologist Sir Weigall
while the story of the death and resurrection of Osiris may have
influenced the thought of the earliest Christians in regard to the
death and resurrection of our Lord, there can be no doubt that the
myths of Isis had a direct bearing upon the elevation of Mary, the
mother of Jesus, to her celestial position in the Roman Catholic
In her aspect as the mother of Horus, Isis was represented
in tens of thousands of statuettes and paintings, holding the divine
child in her arms; and when Christianity triumphed these paintings
and figures became those of the Madonna and Child without any break
in continuity: no archaeologist, in fact, can now tell whether some
of these objects represent the one or the other.
As noted, the tri-fold nature of the Goddess in general reflects, or
is reflected in, the moon.
In Greek mythology, the "triple moon" is
represented by Selene; other goddesses also are lunar, such as
Artemis, who was the "virgin" moon, and Hera, Zeus's wife and mother
of several children. Hera, however, despite being portrayed as
having relations with Zeus, remains a virgin, or, rather, becomes a
"born-again virgin," by virtue of ritualistic bathing.
Hera's three facets link her to the three Seasons and the three
phases of the Moon. In her earliest appearance in myth she is
associated with the cow, showing her connection with fecundity and
birth, especially associated by the Greeks with this animal. She
renewed her virginity each year by bathing in the stream Canathos
near Argos, a place especially sacred to her.
Like Hera, Artemis too renews her virginity annually by bathing nude
in a "sacred fountain." Even a promiscuous male god such as Zeus was
both "Father" and "Eternal Virgin."
In reality, the virgin-mother motif is common enough in
pre-Christian cultures to demonstrate its unoriginality in
In Pagan and Christian Creeds, Carpenter recites a
long list of virgin mothers:
Zeus, Father of the gods, visited Semele in the form of a
thunderstorm; and she gave birth to the great saviour and deliverer
Dionysus. Zeus, again, impregnated Danae in a shower of gold; and
the child was Perseus Devaki, the radiant Virgin of the Hindu
mythology, became the wife of the god Vishnu and bore Krishna, the
beloved hero and prototype of Christ.
With regard to Buddha, St.
"It is handed down among the Gymnosophists of India that
Buddha, the founder of their system, was brought forth by a Virgin
from her side."
The Egyptian Isis, with the child Horus on her knee,
was honored centuries before the Christian era, and worshipped under
the names of "Our Lady," "Queen of Heaven," "Star of the Sea,"
"Mother of God," and so forth. Before her, Neith, the Virgin of the
World, whose figure bends from the sky over the earthly plains and
the children of men, was acclaimed as mother of the great god
The saviour Mithra, too, was born of a Virgin, as we have
had occasion to notice before; and on Mithraist monuments the mother
suckling her child is not an uncommon figure.
The old Teutonic goddess Hertha (the Earth) was a Virgin, but was
impregnated by the heavenly Spirit (the Sky); and her image with a
child in her arms was to be seen in the sacred groves of Germany.
The Scandinavian Frigga, in much the same way, being caught in the
embraces of Odin, the All-father, conceived and bore a son, the
blessed Balder, healer and saviour of mankind. Quetzalcoatl, the
(crucified) saviour of the Aztecs, was the son of Chimalman, the
Virgin Queen of Heaven. Even the Chinese had a mother-goddess and
virgin with child in her arms; and the ancient Etruscans the same.
Carpenter also mentions the black virgin mothers found all over the
Mediterranean and especially in Italian churches, representing not
only Isis but also Mary, having been refigured or "baptized anew" as
the "Jewish" Mother of God.
As stated, the theme of the virgin-born god can be found in the
Americas as well, including in the story of Quetzalcoatl, but also
in Brazil, among the Manicacas. It can likewise be found in India,
where natives have revered for eons "Devi" or "Maha-Devi," "The One
Great Goddess," in whose name temples have been built. Doane relates
that a researcher named Gonzales found an Indian temple dedicated to
the "Pariturae Virginisthe Virgin about to bring forth."
This "Devi" is apparently the same as Krishna's mother, Devaki, and,
as was the case with these many ancient gods, Krishna has also been
considered to have been "born of a virgin."
repeats the assertion, also made by Rev. Cox, that Krishna's father
was Vishnu, not the mortal Basudev, a sensible notion in light of
Krishna's status as a sun god and incarnation of Vishnu.
Krishna, Doane also states:
According to the religion of the Hindoos, Crishnawas the Son of God,
and the Holy Virgin Devaki
The ex-priest McCabe also reports Krishna's mother as a virgin, with
Vishnu as his father:
Thus one of the familiar religious emblems of India was the statue
of the virgin mother (as the Hindus repute her) Devaki and her
divine son Krishna, an incarnation of the great god Vishnu.
Christian writers have held that this model was borrowed from
Christianity, but the Hindus had far earlier been in communication
with Egypt and were more likely to borrow the model of Isis and
One does not see why they should borrow any model. In nearly
all religions with a divine mother and son a very popular image was
that of the divine infant at his mother's breast or in her arms.
None of these writers originated this contention, as, moving back in
time, we find reference to Devaki's virgin status in the writings of
the esteemed Christian authority Sir William Jones from 1784:
"The Indian incarnate God Chrishna, the Hindoos believe, had a
virgin mother of the royal race, who was sought to be destroyed in
his infancy about nine hundred years before Christ. It appears that
he passed his life in working miracles, and preaching, and was so
humble as to wash his friends' feet; at length, dying, but rising
from the dead, he ascended into heaven in the presence of a
Regarding Krishna and Jones, the anonymous author of
Mythology Unveiled ("CMU"), who wrote around 1840, possibly 1842,
It has been admitted by most of the learned that the Shastras and
Vedas, or scriptures of the Hindoos, were in existence 1400 years
before the alleged time of Moses Sir William Jones, of pious and
orthodox memory, confesses that,
"the name of Chrishna, and the
general outline of his story, was long anterior to the birth of our
Saviour, and, to the time of Homer, we know very certainly. I am
persuaded also (continues he) that a connection existed between the
old idolatrous nations of Egypt, India, Greece, and Italy, long
before the time of Moses. In the Sanscrit Dictionary, compiled more
than two thousand years ago, we have the whole story of the
incarnate Deity, Born of a Virgin, and miraculously escaping in his
infancy from the reigning tyrant of his country."
alarmed at some prophecy, sought the infant's life; and, to make
sure work, he ordered all the male children under two years of age
to be put to death.
Here is the true origin of the horrid story
about Herod, of which no Greek or Roman historian says a single
word. That the Christian story was taken from the Indian allegory,
is traceable in every circumstance the reputed father of Chrisna was
a carpenter a new star appeared at the child's birth he was laid in a
manger (celestial) he underwent many incarnations to redeem the world
from sin and mental darkness, (ignorance and winter) and was,
therefore, called Savior he was put to death between two thieves he
arose from the dead, and returned to his heavenly seat in Vaicontha.
In this paragraph is a significant portion of disputed information
found in Kersey Graves's The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors:
wit, Krishna's virgin birth, his father as a carpenter, and his
death between two thieves.
Yet, CMU's book was written decades
before Graves (1875), which means that Graves may finally be
absolved from the illegitimate charges of fabrication slung his way
for the past century....
Entering into this important debate is the erudite and pious
Christian Rev. Dr. Lundy (1889), who makes the following remarkable
Just as the story of Krishna does not occur in the Vedas, so there
is no account of Orpheus in the works of Homer or Hesiod.
if we may believe so good an authority as Edward Moor, both the name
of Krishna, and the general outline of his story, were long anterior
to the birth of our Savior, as very certain things, and probably
extend to the time of Homer, nearly 900 years BC., or more than a
hundred years before Isaiah lived and prophesied; that same Edward
Moor, who deprecates,
"the attempts at bending so many of the events
of Krishna's life to tally with those, real or typical, of Jesus
And yet has nothing to say of such events as do bear a
striking resemblance to our Lord's life. Krishna's childhood and
absurd miracles may be, as some affirm with Sir Wm. Jones,
interpolations from the Apocryphal Gospels into the original story;
but the fact remains of the Eighth Incarnation of Vishnu in the
Hindu religion and literature long before the Apocryphal or genuine
Gospels were written.
From that candid and cautious Bampton Lecturer of 1809, the Rev.
J.B.S. Carwithen, also the author of an excellent history of the
Church of England, I cite the following passages on this subject,
"From some passages in the Puranas, which are thought to be of
modern insertion, and especially from a similarity which has been
discovered in the Bhagavat Purana, between the life of Krishna the
Indian Apollo, and the life of Christ, a similarity which has caused
a modern infidel to draw an impious parallel between them, it has
been conjectured, not without some appearance of probability, that
the Apocryphal Gospels, which abounded in the first ages of the
Christian Church, might have found their way into India; and that
the Hindus had engrafted the wildest part of them on the adventures
of their own divinities.
Any coincidence, therefore, which may be
discovered between the Sanscrit records, and the Mosiacal and
Evangelical histories, is more likely to proceed from a
communication through this channel, than from ancient and universal
"On this opinion (sic) it may be remarked that both the name of
Krishna and the general outline of his story are long anterior to
the birth of our Saviour; and this we know, not on the presumed
antiquity of the Hindu records alone. Both Arrian and Strabo assert
that the God Krishna was worshipped at Mathura on the river Jumna,
where he is worshipped to this day. But the emblems and attributes
essential to this deity are also transplanted into the mythology of
Hence the similarity between Krishna and
Apollo and Orpheus.
In any event, the pious Lundy synopsizes the Krishna tale thus:
Krishna, then, is an incarnate god and a shepherd-god, long anterior
to Christianity. He is exposed like Moses [and Jesus] to the fury of
a tyrant; like Moses he lived among cattle and flocks, and their
keepers; or like David he rises from a low condition among his
father's sheep to be a king; or like David's Lord, he becomes the
shepherd of his people, feeding them in a green pasture, and leading
them forth besides the waters of comfort.
The Virgin Goddess
The virgin goddess motif is prevalent in the ancient world because
it is astro-theological, representing not only the moon but also the
earth, Venus, Virgo and the dawn.
As the Roman poet Virgil described
or "prophesied" in his Eclogues in 37 BC, the "return of the
virgin," i.e., Virgo would, along with other astro-theological
events, bring about "a new breed of men sent down from heaven," as
well as the birth of a boy "in whom the golden race [shall] arise."
The virgin-born "golden boy" is the sun.
As Hackwood states:
The Virgin Mary is called not only the Mother of God, but the Queen
of Heaven. This connects her directly with astronomic lore. The
ornamentation of many continental churches often includes a
representation of the Sun and Moon "in conjunction," the Moon being
therein emblematical of the Virgin and Child.
As the Moon is the symbol of Mary, Queen of Heaven, so also a bright
Star sometimes symbolizes him whose star was seen over Jerusalem by
the Wise Men from the East.
Regarding the astrotheological nature of the gospel story, including
the virgin birth/immaculate conception, the famous Christian
theologian and saint Albertus Magnus, or Albert the Great,
"We know that the sign of the celestial Virgin did come to the
horizon at the moment where we have fixed the birth of our Lord
Jesus Christ. All the mysteries of the incarnation of our Savior
Christ; and all the circumstances of his marvelous life, from his
conception to his ascension, are to be traced out in the
constellations, and are figured in the stars."
As Albert the Great acknowledged, the virgin-birth motif is astro-theological, referring to the hour of midnight, December 25th,
when the constellation of Virgo rises on the horizon.
of the Virgin, celebrated in Catholicism on August 15th, represents
the summer sun's brightness blotting out Virgo. Mary's Nativity,
celebrated on September 8th, occurs when the constellation is
visible again. Such is what these "Christian" motifs and holidays
represent, as has obviously been known by the more erudite of the
Catholic clergy. Hence, the virgin who will conceive and bring forth
is Virgo, and her son is the sun....
In vain do apologists attempt to debunk the virgin status of
Krishna's mother, because, even if she were not considered as such
although she certainly was the other virgin birth stories preceding
Christianity are abundant enough to demonstrate that this important
aspect of Christian doctrine is of Pagan origin.
In addition to the
virgin-born deities and heroes already named were a number of
others, which is to be expected since we know the astro-theological
meaning behind the motif, as it applies to the sun god, who was
worshipped all over the world by a wide variety of names and
Concerning these miraculous births, Dr. Inman comments:
Jupiter had Bacchus and Minerva without Juno's aid, and Juno
retaliated by bearing Ares without conversation with her consort. We
deride these tales, and yet think, that because we laugh at a
hundred such we will be pardoned for believing one.
Again, the Christian virgin birth is no more historical or
believable than that of these numerous other gods.
"The idea of a Virgin-Mother-Goddess is practically
The list of Pagan virgin mothers includes the following:
Alcmene, mother of Hercules who gave birth on December 25th
Alitta, Babylonian Madonna and Child
Anat, Syrian wife of "the earlier Supreme God El," called "Virgin
Cavillaca, Peruvian huaca (divine spirit) impregnated by the "son of
the sun god" through eating his semen in the shape of a fruit
Chimalman, mother of Kukulcan
Chinese mother of Foe (Buddha)
Coatlicue, mother of the Mexican god Huitzilopochtli
Cybele, "Queen of Heaven and Mother of God"
Danae, mother of Perseus
Demeter/Ceres, "Holy Virgin" mother of Persephone/Kore and Dionysus
Devaki, mother of Krishna
Frigga, mother of the Scandinavian god Balder
Hera, mother of Zeus's children
Hertha, Teutonic goddess
Isis, who gave birth to Horus on December 25th
Juno, mother of Mars/Ares, called "Matrona" and "Virginalis," the
Mother and Virgin
Mandana, mother of Cyrus/Koresh
Maya, mother of Buddha
Mother of Lao-kiun, "Chinese philosopher and teacher, born in 604
Mother of the Indian solar god Rudra
Nana, mother of Attis
Neith, mother of Osiris, who was "worshipped as the Holy Virgin, the
Great Mother, yet an Immaculate Virgin."
Nutria, mother of an Etruscan Son of God
Ostara, the German goddess
Rohini, mother of Indian "son of God"
Semele, mother of Dionysus/Bacchus, who was born on December 25th
Shin-Moo, Chinese Holy Mother
Siamese mother of Somonocodom (Buddha)
Sochiquetzal, mother of Quetzalcoatl
Vari, Polynesian "First Mother," who created her children "by
plucking pieces out of her sides."
Venus, the "Virgo Coelestis" depicted as carrying a child
Obviously, the correspondences between
Christianity and Paganism,
including between the Christ and Krishna myths, are dramatic and not
"non-existent," as some have attempted to contend.
The debate then
becomes whether or not the Christ fable was plagiarized from the
Krishna myth, vice versa, or both come from a common root. In this
regard, it should be kept in mind that there was plenty of commerce,
materially and religiously, between India and Rome during the first
centuries surrounding the beginning of the Christian era.
Since it is possible to show that most of the salient comparisons
can be found in pre-Christian Pagan mythology, dating back millennia
and existing independent of the Krishna story, the point becomes
moot as to whether or not Christianity took its godman and tenets
from Hinduism, as it already had many other antecedents to draw
In reality, the virgin-birth motif is primitive and
prehistoric, relating back to ages and cultures in which
impregnation was considered mysterious and magical.