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Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ

Reviewed by Danny McNeal

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Close your eyes. Got 'em closed? Picture the love child of Indiana Jones and Lara Croft, an adventurer-archaeologist, translator of several languages, intellectual marvel, consummate historian, linguistics expert, respected mythologist and passionate human being, trotting the globe in the service of modern-day society and uncovering evidence of ancient civilizations so that we may come to understand the truth about our past.

Except for being able to claim a lineage from fictional characters, this fantastical personage is made flesh in Acharya S. Having studied with the giants of her academic field and having prostrated herself to well-respected altars of knowledge (not the least of which a 125-year-old, highly exclusive Athens institute which houses tens of thousands of the world’s most coveted academic volumes and ancient texts), living an adventurous life of academic discovery most of us can only dream of, Acharya S travels the literary world over in search of archaeological and anthropological evidence.

Her finds are real; you can touch them. Her evidences are sound; you can corroborate them. No blind faith is required. Well researched and well documented, saliently savvy and playfully punchy, Acharya S's Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled offers a continuance of the wildly successful Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold. Nearly 600 pages of accessible archaeology and hands-on history are linked for the layperson in this newest volume, replete with brilliant insight and impeccably documented facts and evidences for an adventurous romp through the ancient past. Political posturing and rusty rhetoric are left out; science and fact reign here. The Christian Church demands that its claims be taken on faith, at face value and as truth without the inductions of intellectual discernment or informed reason, much less evidence. Acharya S asks that not a single word of her arguments or evidences be taken on faith but instead reasoned out and corroborated by her readers. For this, she has vested herself with more integrity than all priests, monks, ministers and missionaries, past and present, combined, for never has a believer been invited by such parties to uphold his faith with sound logic and objective research. Whether the author herself can be said to be biased against religion is immaterial; it is the research of the reader, the truth seeker, in which objectivity is to be affirmed.

It has been interesting to follow the Christian apologists' attempts to refute Acharya’s work. The Christ Conspiracy was pounced upon rather fervently, though nearly every single point raised by the apologists lacked import or content and rather belonged to a spurious "nitpick" category that failed to speak to, let alone refute, the arguments of the narrative. Undaunted, the author launched into countless hours of further professional and scholarly study over the next six years. Suns of God answers the Christian apologists with the unwavering, booming voice of reason, logic and hard scientific fact, leaving them speechless and fumbling through pages and pages of unorganized and contrived rhetoric. Says Acharya S:

"The arguments against Christ as a myth by modern apologists are not original but the same as the rants of the early Church fathers, which have been dealt with repeatedly for centuries. In every age are found individuals who ridicule and otherwise 'counter' with sophistry and circular argumentation common-sense assertions by astute writers firmly pointing to the emperor’s transparent nakedness." (Suns of God, p. 564).

One of the very mainstays of modern Christian apology is the false claim that the charge of Christianity's plagiarism of various older Pagan philosophies is a modern invention. "This charge of 'borrowing' by Christianity from Paganism is not new and was raised by non-Christians from the beginning of the true era of Christian germination, i.e., the second and third centuries (p. 20)," admonishes Acharya, who goes on to outline the main points of one of Christianity's earliest critics, Celsus, a philosopher and pundit of the day who wrote circa 178 CE. Despite the early Christian Church’s campaign to eradicate Celsus's damning criticism from public consciousness as well as from history's annals, Celsus's work lives on in the work of others and has been recently compiled by R. Joseph Hoffman to yield Celsus's True Doctrine. The witticism of Celsus reminds this reviewer of Jonathan Swift's scholarly allegorical social commentary, as in Gulliver's Travels. Acharya S describes Celsus as "surprisingly modernistic," and indeed not a single one of his critiques of Christianity that this reviewer has read was not immediately recognizable as one of the myriad of modern critiques facing Christianity today.

Throughout history, Christians have managed to suppress these venerable critiques through the oppressiveness of meticulously upheld ignorance in the populace and the fear of the sword, affording the Church a thousand-year reign as "thought police," a lofty perch from which Christian vultures could launch their attacks on free thought and destroy unflattering commentary. They attempted to eradicate all negative thought against Christianity, and yet today those selfsame venerable critiques, complete with their evidences, are shown to have survived the onslaught of nearly two thousand years of frenzied cultural destruction. Acharya S has produced nothing less with Suns of God than a modern sourcebook of alternative thought regarding Christianity, an impeccable platform from which discerning individuals may launch their own search for the truth regarding Christianity. Never again will the crimes of Christendom be hidden from Humanity's sight. The days of doctrinally imposed ignorance are numbered.

Another mainstay of modern Christian apology is the obstructionist call for "primary sources." Acharya writes:

"When it comes to religion, alternative perspectives are considered highly suspect and are subject to intense scrutiny, held up to impossible standards of proof, while the accepted paradigm is lightly handled and can pass with little or no evidence at all. Those who step outside the box are dunned with requests for credentials and bibliographies, while believers in the mainstream ideology require no credentials except belief and seem not to need to read much at all, including the very 'sacred scriptures' they defend. Moreover, when doing investigative research into religion, dating back thousands of years, one must use a variety of sources, ancient and modern [a very basic and widely accepted tenet of academia!]. If one uses works too modern, the hue and cry is for 'primary sources!' If one uses material 'too old,' the criticism is that it is 'outdated.' Hence, the religious scholar is put in a double bind, while the critical fanatic is never satisfied (p. 8)."

These apologists fail to realize, or else are hoping that no one else realizes, that this argument, as specious, sophomoric and ultimately ineffective as it is, damns Christianity as much as it will ever damn critics of Christianity. Where are the Christians’ primary sources authenticating their bible, which, as it stands, is rife with demonstrable historical inaccuracies and therefore itself meets no academic standard’s criteria for acceptance as a primary source? The author continues the charge:

"Where are the primary sources that prove Christianity and the existence of Jesus Christ? Where are the precious originals of the gospels, written by the very hands of the apostles and other witnesses to Jesus’s alleged advent? The earliest New Testament manuscripts in existence date only to the third or fourth century. Not only are there no primary sources proving Christian claims, but what texts do exist have been altered thousands of times (p. 10)."

Further, if their bible is to otherwise be accepted as a "primary source," why is it not considered "outdated" at its age of nearly 2000 years, if much younger primary sources of Christian criticism are to be judged outdated? Christian apologists have an annoying habit of attempting to use academic scholarship when it suits them and to deny such scholarship when it does not, not acknowledging that reason, logic and science are a double-edged sword. Real scholars and scientists will live and die by the double-edged sword of science and reason, but blind believers will abandon the sword’s use at the first sign of trouble. So falls another column of support for Christian apology.

Suns of God is truly a magnificent volume. A myriad of striking revelations ensue from page 1, all affirming the astrotheological roots of Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and its tributaries through adamantine arguments weaved from well-researched and -documented facts and observable evidence uncovered from the earth itself. Its significance is undeniable. It is nothing less than a window into our very future. A phoenix wave of enlightened sentiment was propagated at the dawning of the Renaissance over 600 years ago, rising steadily out of the ashes of the Dark Ages. It has grown by leaps and bounds throughout our intervening history and now crashes upon the shores of our minds with a great tidal force. Its hallmarks are reason and logic, and they do not shrink in battle against blind faith and holy fear. Today, organized church membership continues to fall in the industrialized nations, while the accessibility of unrevised history, empirical data and scientific information has spread like wildfire among the world’s citizenry. In writing Suns of God, Acharya S presses this advantage, presenting thought-provoking arguments which lay waste to the languid conviction of blind faith and correcting errant criticisms of otherwise venerable historians, researchers and authors upon whose shoulders she now stands tall.

One such venerable soul is found in "the much-maligned Kersey Graves, [author of the 1875 volume] The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors, in which Graves outlined hundreds of such correspondences" as, for instance, damning connections between Christ and Krishna, of which Graves provides approximately 340! "Contrary to popular opinion, Graves did not fabricate any of these correlations," continues Acharya, "which means that he has been unfairly judged over the past century (p. 161)." "A number of these resemblances are hotly contested because they do not appear in mainstream, orthodox versions of the Krishna myth," Acharya further explains in her foreword to a 2001 edition of Graves's seminal work. "These motifs include the virgin status of Krishna's mother; his December 25th birthdate; his father's occupation as a carpenter; and his crucifixion between two thieves. However, with some digging of our own [which Christian apologists might want to think about trying themselves at some point], we discover that Graves did not make up any of these correlations...(Acharya S in Kersey Graves's The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors, Foreword, p. 1)." The claim that Krishna was said to have been born on December 25th in the Krishna mythos occurred earlier than Graves's work and so could not have been fabricated by him. Godfrey Higgins in his Anacalypsis, first published widely in 1836, mentions a date of birth for Krishna corresponding to the winter solstice. Acharya continues:

"Graves acknowledges his debt to Higgins; however, both Higgins and Graves used the original work of Christian authority Sir William Jones, the esteemed President of the Asiatic Researches Society, whose publications beginning in the late 18th century threw open the door to the study of Eastern culture, including its correspondences in religion to that of the West. Indeed, in the first volume of Jones’s Asiatic Researches published in 1784 can be found some of the most significant correlations between Krishna and Christ (Acharya S in Sixteen Crucified Saviors, p. 2)."

Acharya's work similarly venerates other scholarly critics of Christianity throughout history, toppling yet another column of support of Christian apology itself.

It is abundantly evident that the Christian apologists have failed to ever alter their tack in dealing with these venerable and damning critiques against Christianity, which have been with us since Christianity's germination. Other than having to curb their violence (Christian authorities can largely no longer get away with the outright and "broad-daylight" genocide of unbelievers), the Church's apologist foot soldiers carry on today much as they have throughout history, continuing to viciously attack the character and worth of critics of Christianity but rarely going on to speak to the actual points and arguments being made, let alone refuting them. For the world's modern-day citizenry, especially those among the exponentially increasing number of internet users, corroborating the facts in evidence against Christianity is becoming a simple enough matter that many truth seekers are beginning to do just that, an activity heretofore engaged in only by academicians and scholars. The apologists are utterly powerless against the exercise of intellectual discernment and informed reason in the average citizenry, and the Church lacks far too much of the sociopolitical strength it once enjoyed to even be able to consider a change in its plan of attack against its critics. The days of doctrinally imposed ignorance are numbered indeed!

With an impeccable groundwork of long-established facts and evidences laid and with the modern apologists stuttering and otherwise silenced as to the merits of such, Acharya S begins-well-at the beginning, launching into an in-depth look at the astrotheology of the ancients and citing corroborating evidences sometimes from Christian Church fathers and apologists themselves, fittingly using their own sophistry against them. She reconstructs the academic arguments of the time for the reader and traces the misuse of these arguments to establish the very basis of modern Christian apology, now shown to be flawed. Suns of God continues with an exhaustive study of the outgrowth of the astrotheological sentiment, which led to the devising of ancient solar pantheons by peoples all over the world. As each pantheon is resurrected and painstakingly reconstructed in front of the reader's very eyes, one can recognize quite clearly many of the figuratively identical bricks and columns, forms and architectures, which were cannibalized by and now support the mythoi of Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.

The volume then continues with exceedingly comprehensive reconstructions of the mythological lives of Krishna, Buddha and Jesus, relating the myriad similarities between their fantastical lives and the histories of nearly countless sun gods which came before. "Despite its boasts and claims, Christianity is not unique, as practically all of its dogma, tenets, beliefs, myths and fables can be found in the numerous cultures that preceded it in a wide area of the world (Suns of God, p. 563)," Acharya S authoritatively states at the last. However, all the while Christian readers of Suns of God will likely continue to loudly proclaim the dire need for Jesus in the world today and insist that their religion is a good thing, but Acharya S points out:

"It is further claimed that there are 'good things' in religion. Of course there are: Nothing can be so encompassing and be all bad-or all good. The good within religion is in accordance with human nature, inherent in the human conscience, such that it is not a product of religion but a nucleus. In other words, what is good in religion is already innately good and does not need religion to make it so. Many human beings are innately good; they would behave in a decent and empathetic manner, no matter what religion they believed or disbelieved. Moreover, the goodness and morality found within any given religion generally exists within other religions-thousands of them-and in secular ideologies as well (p. 8)."

Pointing out what religion does provide, however, the author warns:

"Fortunately, in many places today the torture related to religious conversion is no longer physical; yet it continues, in the form of psychological attacks, ad hominems, and the voodoo called 'prayer,' used by fanatics to 'smite their enemies' or otherwise entrap their psyches in a morass of superstition and oppressive dogma. Popular imagery and films such as 'The Passion of the Christ,' which depicts Jesus's scourging and crucifixion in gory, gruesome detail, represent mass mind-control and psychological abuse (p. 566)."

In the final analysis, as one of my favorite authors is fond of putting it, Acharya S deserves an audience with all who call themselves Hindu, Buddhist, Christian or atheist, or who call themselves beloved of God or born of evolution. She deserves an audience with all who call themselves Human. Asks Acharya of the reader:

"Do you truly want to continue to have religious 'enemies'?...Would it not be more pleasant and refreshing to know that, behind mythological and fantastical accretions, your beliefs and morals are essentially the same as those of your so-called adversaries? That most of us are human beings trying to manage and make sense of the world the best we can? That we are, in fact, one family sharing one home? In reality, the study of the origin of religion demonstrates that, despite the obvious divisiveness of modern religions, many cultures worldwide share a common heritage, one more fascinating and wondrous than has been perceived or depicted over the past few millennia. It is to this engrossing and shared inheritance that we shall now turn, with a mind to understanding our past and progressing into our future (p. 24)."

Let us begin to be honest with ourselves, then with each other. Let us close the battleground dialogue between theists and atheists and open the middle-ground dialogue. Let us agree to use true academic scholarship to keep the dialogue open. Let us teach one another how to open our minds to each other. Let us never forget that truth has to be worked for, and that minds are not changed overnight. Let us accept the challenge to refrain from making claims beyond their merit, from passing off opinion and belief as fact, and from letting ends justify means. Let us never tire of reasoning truth out with our own minds and senses and sharing what we've learned with our middle-ground compatriots. Let us, as Thomas Jefferson implored, "fix reason firmly in her seat and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion." Acharya S writes, "In this day and age, as the world becomes smaller than ever before, there is an increasing need for investigation and education in religion, as it is one of the most important and volatile of all human issues" (p. 3). The consequences of carrying on in battle with each other may be more than our world and civilization can take. Let us educate ourselves.

Give Suns of God an honest read with a truly open, objective mind. I dare you. If your beliefs are worthy of you, then they can surely stand up to the scrutiny.

Danny McNeal, Medical, Political, and Religious Studies Journalism, freelance

For more information, see Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled.

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"Murdock's scholarship is relentless! ...the research conducted by D.M. Murdock concerning the myth of Jesus Christ is certainly both valuable and worthy of consideration." —Dr. Kenneth L. Feder, Professor of Archaeology, Central Connecticut State University, Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience In Archaeology

"I find myself in full agreement with Acharya S/D.M. Murdock... I find it undeniable that...many, many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets and constellations..." —Dr. Robert M. Price, The Pre-Nicene New Testament

"I can recommend your work whole-heartedly!" —Dr. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus and The New Testament Code,

"Acharya S deserves to be recognized as a leading researcher and an expert in the field of comparative mythology, on a par with James Frazer or Robert Graves—indeed, superior to those forerunners in the frankness of her conclusions and the volume of her evidence." —Barbara Walker, The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets and Man Made God

"...I have found Murdock's scholarship, research, knowledge of the original languages, and creative linkages to be breathtaking and highly stimulating." —Rev. Dr. Jon Burnham, Pastor, Presbyterian Church, Houston, TX

"I've known people with triple Ph.D's who haven't come close to the scholarship in Who Was Jesus?" —Pastor David Bruce, M.Div, North Park Seminary, Chicago,

"Thirty years ago, when in divinity school, I might have had second thoughts about becoming an Episcopal priest if a book like D. M. Murdock's Who Was Jesus? had been available to me." —Bob Semes, Retired university professor of History and Religion, Founder and Executive Director of The Jefferson Center

"Ms. Murdock is one of only a tiny number of scholars with the richly diverse academic background (and the necessary courage) to adequately address the question of whether Jesus Christ truly existed as a walking-talking figure in first-century Palestine." —David Mills, Atheist Universe

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