Leviticus 4: 22-24 – Answering Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati

If sacrifices are atonement for sin, why will the men fear to sin?

Those sentences which are colored in orange are from Maharishi Dayananda Saraswati book Satyarth Prakash (The Light of Truth) and those which are colored in black are Jerry Thomas’s response.

"When a ruler hath sinned….he shall bring his offering a kid of the goats, a male without blemish:…..they kill the burnt offering before the Lord: it is sin offering." (4:22 – 24.)

C. Bravo, ye Christians! Such being the case why should the Christian rulers, judges and commanders (of the army) and the like officials fear sin. It is strange that these people should sin for their gratification and by way of atonement for their sins take the lives of cows, calves and other (useful) animals. This is why Christians have no scruples, in taking the life of any bird or animal. Come ye Christian, renounce this barbarous religion and embrace the Vedic faith – the religion of light, culture and righteousness. That alone will give you true happiness.

Answer: The question regarding the sacrifice of animals is a repetition. I will not dwell again on that. I will answer the new aspect of this question, i.e. “such being the case why should the Christian rulers, judges and commanders (of the army) and the like officials fear sin.”

This question exposes not only Maharishi’s shallow understanding of the Christian doctrines but also the weakness of his Vedic faith.

In the Vedic faith, the only persuading factor for a person to perform the righteous acts is the rewards and punishments. The fear of being reincarnated as a worm or a fly acts as deterrent from sinful acts while emancipation becomes a persuading factor to do righteous acts.

In Maharishi’s own words, “The soul is continually chained down to this wheel of births and deaths till by the practice of the highest virtue and complete absorption into Divine contemplation and the acquisition of the highest knowledge it obtains Emancipation. By the practice of deeds of the highest virtue, etc., it is born as a good and great personage among men; and being freed from births and deaths and the consequent pain and suffering, it enjoys perfect bliss in Emancipation till the end of the Grand-Dissolution.” (Satyarth Prakash, Chapter 9).

Now, rewards and punishments are a part of the Biblical faith too. But the Biblical faith does not stand on rewards and punishments alone. If the primary (and often sole) motive for a person to do righteous acts is his own liberation, then in the act of doing those, he already is implicated in the sin of selfishness.

Therefore, the Biblical motives to perform righteous acts are anchored primarily on the love of God.

Prophet Moses, inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote:

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good? 

Further our LORD Jesus Christ Himself said:

Matthew 22:35-40 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked [Him a question], testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?"  Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." 

The anchor of all the law and prophets as per the Biblical God is love. So, why would a Christian continue to do righteous works? He will do so out of his love for the God and fellow-beings and not for selfish ambitions.

It is not the fear of punishments but the love for God and fellow-beings that drives Christian for righteous acts.

Oh Vedic followers reject the selfish principles of Vedas. Come and fall at the feet of LORD Jesus Christ so that you may have liberation and can live in this world reflecting the love of Christ.

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