Rawlinson, H. G. Intercourse between India and the western world from the earliest times to the fall of Rome

(Cambridge :  University Press,  1916.)



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India and the West                177

debt to the East, we have already spoken^.
Manicheism is a strange farrago of Christian,
Jewish, Persian, and Buddhistic ideas. Gnosticism,
a far more serious and noble creed, together with
its later offshoots, shews traces of both Hindu and
Zarathustrian influence. Its doctrine of the plu¬
rality of Heavens is essentially Indian : its " three
qualities " {TrvevjxaTLKOL, \\}v^iKoi, vXlkol) resemble
the " three gunas" of the Sankhya system.
Origen's heretical belief in Metempsychosis must
not be overlooked.

A great deal has been made, by Weber and
others, of the supposed resemblances between the
Krishna legend and the Gospel story 2. Nanda,
the foster-father of Krishna, goes up to Mathura
to pay his taxes {kara) to Kamsa; Krishna is
born in a cow-shed (gokula); the wicked Kamsa,
in order to slay him, massacres the infants of
Mathura; Krishna raises the son of a widow from
the dead; Kubja anoints him with precious
ointment, and so forth. But these parallels (with
the possible exception of the "Massacre of the
Innocents") are vague and unsatisfactory, in spite

^ Nestorianism, however, became the actual Christian
church of India, though Nestorianism has no peculiarly
Oriental affinities.

2 See the Vishnu Purdna, trans. Wilson, p. 503 ff. for the
birth and childhood of Krishna. The raising of the widow's
son only occurs in the late Jaimini Bharata. The Vallabhas
of Gujarat worship the Infant Krishna and his Mother.
Much has been made of this curious coincidence, e.g. by
Kennedy in J.R.A.S.  1907.

R. I.                                                                                         12
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