As with all false religions and cults, there is a small portion of truth contained in their beliefs. But this small amount of truth is corrupted by a large amount of deception and lies, which leads one away from what is true and real.
The full and undistorted truth is found ONLY in the Person of Jesus Christ and God ‘s plan of salvation as revealed in the Bible.
The chart below compares Hinduism and Christianity on other important doctrines:
- God – Infinite yet Personal Being.
- Humanity – Separate from the Person of God, created by God in His image for personal relationship with Him.
- Humanity’s Problem – Moral rebellion against a sovereign Lord and God.
- Solution to Humanity’s Problem- To repent of our selfish rebellion, receive God’s saving grace, and be reconciled to Him in personal relationship
- Means of Salvation- Trust in Christ’s finished work at the Cross to pay for our sins, and surrender of our lives to His Lordship in personal relationship with Him.
- Result of Salvation- Restoration of eternal and personal relationship with God.
- God-Impersonal force.
- Humanity-Extensions of the being of Brahman, always existing.
- Humanity’s Problem– Ignorance of man’s divinity.
- Solution to Humanity’s Problem– Enlightenment that sets one free from ignorance and the illusion of this life.
- Means of Salvation- Continuous striving to be free of one’s desires, seeking through personal effort a consciousness of unity with the divine within one’s self.
- Result of Salvation – Absorption into the “Oneness”; loss of all individuality.
For the Hindu, enlightenment is a major key to finding unity with Brahman, the “Ultimate Reality”. There are three basic paths to this unity:
- dharma: a path of works – by trying to fulfill a specific set of religious and social obligations. This will include staying within your caste, marrying within your caste, and raising up at least one son who will do the same.
- inana: the path of knowledge – a life of self-renunciation and meditation upon the pantheistic realities of Hinduism . This path includes the practice of yoga (a difficult physical regimen using breath control, posture and concentration in order to control one’s consciousness) . This path is open only to men in the highest castes.
- bhakti: the path of passionate devotion – this focuses usually on one god out of the 330 million gods of Hinduism. This path has its greatest appeal to the lower castes, and consists primarily of passionate worship of that one god, goddess or demigod chosen.
Worshipping Many Gods
This brief overview of Hinduism shows its orientation toward a kind of salvation by works and through the worship of many gods.
The practitioner of Hinduism is engaged in a search for enlightenment. The direction of his effort is from mankind toward God. All of his work is based on his own effort to attain this mystical state in the face of an impersonal god.
By contrast, in biblical Christianity it is God Who has taken the initiative. The direction of revelation and divine effort is God reaching toward humanity in love. And, as shown earlier, salvation is a free gift given by God which cannot be earned by human effort and striving (Rom 6:23; 1 John 4: 10). It can only be received by a person.