Correlations Between Hinduism, Christian Gnosticism And The New Age Spiritual Philosophy

by Thomas Ivan Dahlheimer

The New Age spiritual philosophy is a syncretic spiritual philosophy. It draws heavily from Hinduism and Buddhism (similar Eastern religions) and, to a lesser extent, from Christian Gnosticism.

People who are of the New Age spiritual philosophy have an ecumenism of the world's religions mission. This mission is an important part of the New Age spiritual revolution that is seeking to, in effect, religiously unite humanity in an emerging new astrological age. New Agers are on a mission to unite humanity in a one-world spiritual philosophy or, in effect, a one-world religion that will serve as the basis and principle of unity for a one-world culture wherein all of humanity will be united.

There are correlations between Hinduism and Christian Gnosticism. When researching Hinduism and Christian Gnosticism (especially the kind espoused by Valentinus) I discovered parallels between the two. For example: Both Hinduism and Gnosticism preach a universal Godhead, an absolute Divine Reality that is unknowable but toward which we must all strive to rejoin, called Brahman by the Hindus and the Pleroma by the Gnostics.

Gnostics believe that the Old Testament God Jehovah is a different God than Jesus's Father in Heaven. A demiurge, known as Ialddabaoth/Jehovah by the Gnostics, created the world we live in which is false and illusory, and this imperfect Old Testament God is known as Brahma by the Hindus. Brahma/Jehovah created maya, the satanic principle that is the delusory power inherent in the structure of creation, by which the One appears as many. Brahman/the Pleroma both exist (as the same absolute Divine Reality) beyond the veils of this false world, and we must all strive to rejoin It.

Brahman has three aspects, including Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. From one perspective, the universal Godhead that we must all strive to rejoin only includes two aspects of Brahman. They are Shiva and Vishnu. Shiva and Vishnu are One and It is the uncreated eternal Spirit. Spirit created Brahma who then sinned and consequently lost his Divine status. We must all strive to rejoin Shiva-Vishnu (Spirit). And we must also all strive to restore Brahma's Divine status, by restoring our collective Divine status, thus rejoining Brahma-Ourselves with Shiva-Vishnu (Spirit). Following this directive, we must all strive to rejoin the universal Godhead, Shiva-Vishnu-Brahma (Brahman).

Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) was a Hindu who is considered one of the preeminent spiritual figures of modern times. He wrote: "The word 'God' means the manifested, transcendental Being beyond creation, but existing in relation to creation. Spirit existed before God. God is the Creator of the universe, but Spirit is the Creator of God."

When Brahma-God sinned He lost his Divine statue by becoming a sin-ridden corrupted/imperfect being. He then created the imperfect world that we live in. After Brahma sinned, Spirit told Him "You shall never be worshiped." When every human being has, through many incarnations, rejoined the universal Godhead we will have restored Brahma-Ourselves to His-Our Divine statue. At the time, there will be no one to worship Brahma, who is our collective Self, because we will be, once again, the Divine Brahma and finally experiencing our full Oneness with Spirit.

When Spirit emanated Brahma, It gave Brahma a span of time to either remain obedient to Its will or become disobedient. If Brahma had remained obedient, Brahma would have returned to Spirit and they would then have had a better relationship than they originally had. Unfortunately, that did not happen, so now Brahma (our collective Self) has to return to Spirit through this material creation, which is a long evolutionary journey.

An online encyclopedia on Hinduism states that Brahma-God "converts itself into the universe [which is 'only a part of His manifestation'] yet [He] maintains a distinct identity." He is now the "manifested [created], transcendental Being beyond creation, existing in relation to creation." He exists "in relation to creation," because it is now a "part of his manifestation." Spirit (Shiva-Vishnu) is the ultimate source, or Creator because It "created"/emanated Brahma.

Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891), the Mother of the New Age movement, wrote: "In the Mandukya Upanishad [an ancient Sanskrit Vedic Hindu text] it is written, 'As a spider throws out and retracts its web, as herbs spring up in the ground . . . so is the Universe derived from the undecaying one,' Brahma, for the 'Germ of unknown Darkness', is the material from which all evolves and develops, 'as the web from the spider, as foam from the water,' etc. This is only graphic and true, if the term Brahma, the 'Creator', is derived from the root brih, to increase or expand. Brahma 'expands', and becomes the Universe woven out of his own substance."

Mahatma Gandhi said: "Theosophy is the teaching of Madame Blavatsky. It is Hinduism at its best." Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) was, as previously stated, "a Hindu" who is widely revered as the Father of Yoga in the West. When writing about Satan, who is known as maya in Hindu sacred text, he wrote:

Maya is "the delusory power inherent in the structure of creation, by which the One appears as many. Maya is the principle of relativity, inversion, contrast, duality, oppositional states; the 'Satan' (lit., in Hebrew, 'the adversary') of the Old Testament prophets; and the 'devil' whom Christ described picturesquely as a 'murderer' and a 'liar,' because 'there is no truth in him.'" (John 8:44).

"Maya is Nature herself—the phenomenal worlds, ever in transitional flux as antithesis to Divine Immutability. In God's plan and play (lila), the sole function of Satan or maya is to attempt to divert man from Spirit to matter, from Reality to unreality." (ref.)

Explanation: "to attempt to divert man from Spirit" [or, convince man that he is not Spirit]. The serpent in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6) was right, he said "you shall be like God," or become aware that you are Spirit. Jehovah/Yahweh, when expressing the evil satantic principle of maya, originally refutes this, but later repents and righteously says the serpent was telling the truth.

Explanation: "From Spirit to matter" - meaning the satanic principle inherent in the structure of creation, maya, attempts to convince individual humans to believe that we are not really One with all other people, or essentially One Being, and that we are not Spirit and that our bodies (made of matter) are a part of who we are. To believe we are Spirit is "Reality," and to believe that we are matter (or even partially matter) is "unreality."

Pope John Paul II wrote that the practice of New Age spirituality "is only a new way of practicing Gnosticism." Gnostics and New Agers - including me - believe that the Old Testament God is the Creator of the world and that Jesus's Father in heaven is a different God who is the "Father of Truth." The most common form of ancient Gnosticism was Valentinianism. The renowned Christian Gnostic Valentinus (100-160), who was once a candidate for the Bishop of Rome, wrote: "... the world is the total mountain of evil, a deserted dwelling place of beasts, to which all who lived before the law and all Gentiles render worship. But Jerusalem represents the creation or the Creator whom the Jews worship.... You then who are spiritual should worship neither the creation nor the Craftsman [Creator], but the Father of Truth."

Gnostics and New Agers - including me - believe that holy Lucifer ("light bearer") is a totally different entity than evil Satan, the "prince of darkness." We also believe that the Serpent in the Garden of Eden was Lucifer's-Jesus's first coming, and that He came to set humanity free from our bondage to this corrupt world that Jehovah created. From a Hindu and New Age perspective, He came to set us free from our bondage to Brahma's satanic principle, maya.

Three paragraphs from a Gnostic website read:

Gnostics consider that the biblical myth of creation can be explained as follows: the creator satan of the world trapped Adam and Eve in his miserable world, and Lucifer, in the form of a serpent, offered them the forbidden fruit of saving Gnosis, and showed them that the creator was deceiving them. In other words, the creator said to man "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." On the other hand, the Serpent said "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." The bible continued: "And the eyes of both of them were opened". It doesn't say "they both died", it says "the eyes of both of them were opened", like the Serpent had said. Later, the creator says "And now man has become as one of us, to know good and evil". The creator lied. He said that man would die if he ate the fruit, but man did not die. The Serpent was telling the truth. The creator himself ended up agreeing that the Serpent was right.

Gnostics of later times, at the beginning of Christianity, who came to be known as Christian Gnostics or Gnostic Christians, regarded Christ as the Serpent of Genesis. This was because Christ, much later than the events in the earthly paradise, came carrying a liberating message, just like the Serpent. A message which frees man from this impure world. These Christian Gnostics believed that it was this knowledge which allowed man to make contact with the other world, the one opposed to the demiurge [the Old Testament God, Jehovah]: the unknowable world of the True God [Jesus's Father in heaven"].

Christ, the bearer of this message, this Gnosis, has been likened to the Serpent of Genesis, who returns to Earth for a second time to help humanity. The first coming was Serpent Lucifer and the second was Christ Lucifer. According to Christian Gnosis, when Christ came to the world, it was his second time, since the first time was in the earthly paradise. In both cases it was, actually, Lucifer, the Messenger of the Unknowable. In both cases, the message was the same: Gnosis that disturbs, causes changes, wakes up and liberates those who listen to it. For Christian Gnostics, the Serpent is Christ, the Savior who came to this world twice.

Wikipedia: "God as the devil" (referring to the Old Testament God, not Jesus's "Father in heaven")

"In the Hebrew Bible God is depicted as the source of both light and darkness, as in Isaiah 45:6-7. This concept of 'darkness' or 'evil' was not yet personified as 'the devil.'"

"The author of the Books of Chronicles is thought to have first introduced the notion of 'divine intermediaries', which was not found in the earlier parts of the Hebrew Bible. The main evidence adduced by theologians to support this is 1 Chronicles 21, a reworked version of 2 Samuel 24."

"This change is made most evident in the Chronicler's treatment of 2 Samuel 24:1: 'And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.' Which, in 1 Chronicles 21:1, becomes: 'And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.'" — King James Version

"In the Book of Samuel, YHWH himself is the agent in punishing Israel, while in 1 Chronicles an 'adversary' is introduced."

My summary:

The Hindu "Gods" Shiva and Vishnu are One God. It is eternal and was never created or emanated. This "God"/Spirit is Jesus's supernatural "Father." Spirit emanated/"created" Brahma. Brahma (the same god as the Old Testament god YHWH) then sinned before creating the world, which caused him to be composed of both light and darkness (Isaiah 45:6-7). Brahma/YHWH created the cosmos, which is a physical manifestation of a corrupted part of His original, totally spiritual Self.

Brahma/YHWH created maya-satan by manifesting the dark side of the part of Himself that became the world. The part of the consciousness of Brahma that is in the world is the world soul. It is an emanated, entity and it is not worthy of worship. Brahma did not want to have to create nature-satan-maya, but because of his original sin, which occurred before the world began, he had to. When the world soul is not worshiped by individual humans, they can and should have a good relationship with it. It can help us on our spiritual journey to Oneness with Spirit.

When referring to the world soul, David Spangler, one of the founding figures of the modern New Age movement, wrote: "It is generally not accorded the status of being the ultimate source, or Creator, but might be looked upon as a great angelic or archangelic being presiding over the well being of the world, or as the gestalt, the wholeness of all the lives and patterns that manifest upon, and as, the earth." Clarification: Because Spirit emanated/"created" Brahma, Spirit, not Brahma, is the 'ultimate source, or Creator' of the world.

In an on-line encyclopedia article there is a statement that reads: "In this most common form of Gnosticism [Valentinianism] the Demiurge [Creator Jehovah] had an inferior though not intrinsically evil function [as the world soul] in the universe..." Hindus and New Agers - including me - believe that the part of Brahma that is in the universe is the world soul and that he is not worthy of worship, but that he is a fundamentally good entity.


A related 10/31/2017 post of mine on Constance Cumbey's blog is presented here on my website.

A related post of mine on Cumbey's blog reads:

In respect to the Lucifer-Jesus vs. Lucifer-Satan debate on this Constance Cumbey blog, I would like to say that the posters who have refuted my position on this topic have expressed their opinions and that's all they are, they are OPINIONS. Throughout the history of Christianity renowned Christian theologians have had different opinions on this topic. Many have said that Lucifer is not Satan, or that Lucifer was not the name of Satan prior to Satan's rebellion against God.

Jesus said in Luke 12:51, "Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." Bringing "peace on earth" through successful international unification efforts (like what the UN and Pope Francis are doing today) gives strength to the nations and solves global problems, bringing "division" weakens the nations.

Isaiah 12:14 says: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!" - [King James Bible] When God the Father sent Jesus to the earth, Jesus had to fall from heaven because it is "above" the earth. And, in a way, Jesus did not want to "fall" to the earth or to be "cut down to the ground," but He chose to allow this to happen to Him for our benefit. Jesus, like Lucifer, (they are the same person) originally came to bring "division" on earth or to "weaken the nations," this is no longer the mission of Lucifer-Jesus. Today, the UN and Pope Francis are working to fulfill Jesus's current mission, which is, to bring peace on earth.

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