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The Concept of God:  Jagnath: 
Lord of the Universe

 This figure of Jagnath, which is celebrated as the Lord of the Universe, is really an epitome of the theology, which is essentially the theology of Eastern Churches and that of the Hebrew Kabala.  It developed in India soon after the advent of Thomas.  The description of the figure can be summarized as follows:

The Jagnath symbol is an excellent representation of the Eastern Theology

Jagnath

In the beginning, God alone existed.  We cannot attribute any quality to God, because qualities are relative.  Without the existence of another, we cannot define qualities.  This God – the beginning - is referred to as Nirguna Brahman (God without Qualities).  This is represented as the darkness.  God who resides in darkness symbolized the God who cannot be known.  “Jehovah hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness” (1 King 8:12)  “Jehovah spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice”  (Deu. 5:22)

Then the fact remains that we have a creation and movement.  Therefore, this Nirguna Brahman put on a variation within himself.  It is as though he differentiated himself to parts thus creating a God with Properties and Qualities.  This God is known as Saguna Brahman (God with Properties).  God is a person not a force.  This is because creation needs a purposeful act.  The two open eyes represent this waking up process.  This God has expressed himself and hence can be known through creation and in intimacy. Out of the mouth of this Jagnath proceeds the AUM – the Word. 

The Aum is a person as its vibrations takes the form of a man - a person and rises to create.  It is this person Om that created the universe with all its variations – material and immaterial.  The whole creation is in a way Word becoming flesh.  The whole cosmos forms the body of God. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being”.  This concept explains the immanence and transcendence of God.  Church as the body of Christ is just an extension of this Jagnath concept.

They also present the trinity in almost exact manner.

When the unknowable God came to be knowable, they appeared as Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Early Thomas Christian trinity in contrast to the later competing trinity can be seen represented in the above figure of “The Early Trinity” in Hinduism.  The serpent Anantha Naga represents the timelessness.  Anantha means without end. The coiled serpent represents the infinities.   Once movement and change occur, time comes into existence because time is simply a measure of change.  It started as in Gen 1: “I n the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said”

 


The Early Trinity

What is interesting is the representation of Trinity.  The bottom base is the dark face – a God who cannot be seen - Father.  On the top the white face – a God who can be seen – Son – the incarnate God. And the female figure commonly called in Hinduism as Sakthi – the Power – the Life giving spirit.  Energy is represented as Red.  In order to show the aspect of life giving, the Holy Spirit is represented as a female.  In Aramaic, in the language Jesus spoke, the Holy Spirit was indeed Feminine Gender.  It is a true Hebrew concept.  Thus in the book of Proverbs, we have wisdom - represented as a female -  who cooperated in the creation with God from the beginning.  The second birth also comes from the Mother Spirit as we had the first birth from our  Earthly Mother. 

More iconographic representations of this Trinity (in contrast to later Hindu Trinity) can be found all over India.


The Lords of the Cosmos (Jagnath)

It is not the essence of God that creates out of nothing, But it is the energies that cause the matter and its vibrations that forms the cosmos.  Since it is within God, the created cosmos is indeed the body of God.  Since it is part of the God, though not His essence, it is his body indeed.  The body is flesh.