The following is taken from a condemnatory review of The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening that was posted on the Amazon page where it can be ordered. It is extremely revealing about the attitude toward and the concept of God held by the reviewer–and most of contemporary Christianity.
As a child I encountered this argument and being ignorant accepted it. Later on when I learned what had been going on in the real world outside the blind and narrow world of Churchianity I realized it was errant nonsense.
Throughout history there have been masters in the Eastern religions–Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism–that have manifested themselves in living physical bodies after their physical death. For example: Shyama Charan Lahiri Mahasaya, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri and Paramhansa Yogananda.
My friend Durgaprasad Sahai was present when Swami Keshavananda, a disciple of Lahiri Mahasaya written about in Autobiography of a Yogi, manifested in physical form in Benares. He told me about it in detail. I myself saw the Raja of Solan–a true yoga adept–in physical body in Brindaban two or three years after his death.
Resurrection after cremation
These masters did not retain the physical body after their various appearances to others, but if that is desired as proof there is the well-known and proven example of Sri Hariakhan Baba in the twentieth century. Baba went with one of his disciples on pilgrimage to Kailash. At one point the disciple got smallpox and was dying. Hariakhan Baba took the disease on his body and died of it.
The disciple had his body cremated and, grieving, went to Almora to inform his fellow devotees of Baba’s death. At the edge of Almora he came to a shop of a devotee in order to tell him the sad news. “Why are you not with Baba?” asked the man, and said he was at a certain devotee’s house. When the disciple hurried there he found Hariakhan Baba there in his resurrected physical body in which he lived for more years.
And what about those that have never even died? Are they not more free from the bonds of death than someone who dies and resurrects? In India today there are deathless masters such as Ashwatthama (from the days of the Mahabharata War), Agastya Muni and Mahavatar Babaji of Autobiography of a Yogi. I personally know three people who met Babaji, and know others whose gurus knew him well and told them many things about him.
And since when is physical embodiment a proof of immortality? The body is not the spirit. No one ever really dies.
Furthermore, according to the Nathanamavali (see The Christ of India) Jesus was raised from the dead by his guru, Sri Chetan Nath of the Nath Yogi Order.
Now how could anyone know that unless they knew every human being that ever lived?
I met a missionary in India who insisted on this nonsense. I reminded him that Jesus said: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also” (John 14 12). Since we were in Calcutta I told him about the many times those in helpless moral conditions (some hopelessly addicted to drugs) came to Sri Ramakrishna who was living in the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple and begged for his help. He would simply touch them and they would instantly be freed from their bondage. I also told him of yogis I had met in America and India who could do the same thing. “Can you do that?” I asked. “No,” he answered. “Then who are the true Christians–them or you, according to Jesus?” I asked. And he had no answer.
The blessing of a saint
A very close friend of mine who was a devotee of Anandamayi Ma committed a terrible evil which from that moment on blighted her life. For some years she was burdened with the effects of her deed. One time we were both in India and I urged her to go that very day to Ma and plead for help. The next time I saw her the change was instantly evident: the terrible cloud had been dispelled. I told her so, and she told me that Ma had put both her hands on her head and lightly touching her had moved them downward to her feet. And from that moment the guilt and mental damage was gone forever. She bowed down to Ma and left completely free. And she remained so.
Over and over I have seen great yogis deliver people at a glance. Many times I have witnessed profound spiritual release and and healing occur when people have simply entered the place where the yogis were and stood looking at them, often with tears of relief and joy streaming down their faces.
One woman I knew could not recover from the death of her father, a long-standing devotee of Ma Anandamayi, so she came from Europe to India to see Ma. “If I can just tell her my grief, I know she will help me,” she told me. And I well remember the morning she returned from seeing Ma, radiant with joy, completely free from sorrow.
As Yogananda wrote in his autobiography, there are many Yogi-Christs in India. I have known some. And they could raise the dead, heal the sick and cleanse lepers like Jesus, too.
Why thank the Lord Jesus if it is your faith that enables you to be saved? You say: “If we can believe in him and accept.” Even as a Fundamentalist I saw the absurdity of my salvation being determined by my own emotional response to Jesus. Why would that be the condition of my salvation? Then I would be the cause of my salvation, and not him. (Later on I learned from reading Indian spiritual writings that this was the actual truth. Thank you, India!)
A personal story
What has faith to do with the reality of something? In 1962 I was instantly healed of fever and a terrible ulcer in my throat by Swami Krishnananda of Krishnanagar in rural Bengal. (Swamiji was a disciple of Sri Ma Sarada Devi, the virgin wife of Sri Ramakrishna.) I just could not believe I was healed. I not only believed that the ulcer was still be there, I kept swallowing very hard to get it to start hurting again. But it did not. I had been healed. Faith had nothing to do with it.
What a terrible belief about God! That he is such a psychotic failure that if his handiwork goes wrong and does not do as he wants it to he will either destroy it or torture it for eternity in unquenchable fire. Some savior! Some love!
I would like to ask all who believe as does this reviewer: Who do you really believe in: God or Godzilla?