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1. Why the Cross is the Symbol of Christ: Understanding the Rig Vedic Purusha Sukta Hymn
At the beginning of every cosmic manifestation, the Second Person of the Godhead, Lord Baladeva, the Servitor Lord, Original Spiritual Master and Savior of all devotees, sacrifices Himself as the cosmic Purusha for the creation, maintenance and redemption of the entire universe. The Rishis (compare Hebrew Roeh, 'Seers') assist Him at His Self sacrifice. The remnants of His sacrifice become the food of all beings. Commemoration of His sacrifice becomes the central rite / act of worship in the whole universe. His consecrated Body / Remnants / Sesha or Purusha-ida / Prasadam are the 'remnants of His sacrifice', sacramental food of the twice born. All of the Devas are born from His sacrifice. From His head the brahmanas are manifest, from His arms the kshatriyas, from His thighs the vaishyas and from His legs the sudras are manifest. Thus the varnashrama dharma, sacramental 'Mystical Social Body' of Purusha, is the primal cause of theocentric human civilization and all sacramental social life.
The Vedic sacrifices all began with this cosmic Self-sacrifice of Purusha Yupa Dhvaja, and ultimately commemorated His 'once-and-all-sufficient' Self-offering. Thus Purusha or Yagya Purusha as 'Self Sacrifice Personified' was called Yupa Dhvaja ('Stake-flagged') because the instrument of His cosmic sacrifice was the sacred Axis Mundi Yupa Stake, cross or post to which He was fixed in the primal Purusha Sukta Hymn, for His cosmic sacrifice. Thus in the Vedic Sacrificial system, sacrificial victims were fixed to a post, pole or cross called a Yupa, in memory of Purusha's cosmic sacrifice.
All the Vedic sacrifices related to the Purusha Sukta were intercessory or atoning in nature. Thus Vedic kings and brahmanas just like the Jews would perform great Vedic sacrifices to atone for the sins of the nation. This was still going on in India when Shakya Muni Buddha promoted His ahimsa doctrine to stop it. In fact a 'Scape Goat' type of Vedic Rite was recently performed in Nepal, to cleanse the Nation of its bad karma for the assassination of its royal family.
The Apostolic Catholic and related Christian worship of Jesus Christ as the Second Person of the Godhead Self-offered for the salvation of the whole universe is the worship of Baladeva, the original Spiritual Master as Yupa Dhvaja, Who "takes away the sins of the world". Thus the sacramental social body of Christ in Catholicism is related to the mystical social body of Purusha Yupa Dhvaja or Yagya Purusha, and the Eucharist is Lord Jesus Purusha's Maha Prasadam. As the Second Person of the Godhead, He is the Original Spiritual Master and the Savior of all universes. None come to the Father but through, with, in and by Him.
2. The Cosmic Sacrifice of Purusha and Benevolent Sacramental Social Order
Vaishnavism is a living tradition today, and the earliest authentic monotheistic understanding of the Sanskrit canon of Vaishnava sacred texts is not in doubt. Thus Vaishnavas have no difficulty in understanding that all of the Vedic Devas were manifest from the Body (Vishva Rupa) of Vishnu as the cosmic Purusha. In the Sanskrit Rig Vedic Hymns this doctrine is revealed throughout and especially explained in the Purusha Sukta. The Purusha Sukta is considered by many scholars to be the oldest, or at least among the very oldest of the Vedic Hymns. This Purusha Sukta Hymn is still chanted every day hundreds of millions of times by Vaishnavas and related religionists, in various forms and languages, especially as sacrificial offerings are being made. The Vedic Hymns themselves are considered part of the cosmic manifestation of Vishnu as Purusha Yupa Dhvaja, from whose self-sacrificed Universal Form, all of a cosmic manifestation is created, maintained and ultimately beatified / redeemed. The Vedic- Vaishnava Purusha doctrine of His once-and-all- sufficient Cosmic Sacrifice comes down to the present as a vibrant living tradition not only in Vaishnavism, but is at the core of the Judeo-Catholic doctrine of the atoning cosmic sacrifice of Messiah-Christ (Yupa Dhvaja), and is found also at the heart of Pure Land Buddhism and Theistic Shaivism, Parsism and numerous other ancient traditions. The Vedic doctrine of the daiva varnashram dharma sacramental social body of Purusha (Greek Polieus) endures in Catholicism as the mystical sacramental social body of Christ. Thus the Parish and Polis social order of the Pur of Purusha organized humanity into its first forms of daiva varnashram dharma high civilization.
In the Theocentric daiva varnashram dharma system human community is envisioned as a sacramental social body in which mutual loving Self-sacrifice and the value-in-trade of goods and services between all members creates a living organismic social set. To understand the socio-biology of the Theory of Organismic Sets, read Prof. Nicholas Rashevsky's Organismic Sets regarding the physics, biophysics and socio-biology of sets, hierarchical systems and connectivity. Through His cosmic Self-sacrifice Purusha becomes the Creator, Maintainer and Redeemer of every cosmic manifestation and as Vishnu, the guna avatara of sattva guna He becomes the food of all beings. Humanity is invited back into a knowing, personal relationship with Him through the eucharistic sacrifices of the Vedas. Thus the Rig Vedic Hotri priests and Sama Vedic Saman priests performed Purusha Sukta related sacrifices and distributed the consecrated Purusha-ida or Prasadam 'remnants of His Sacrifice' throughout the His Social Body, thereby creating sacred order, and high civilization as a result. To this day Vaishnavas, Shaivites, Pure Land Buddhists and others in the East perform Purusha Sukta related sacrifices, and distribute the consecrated remnants of these sacrifices as the Real Presence of Purusha in their Theo-Phagos mystery feasts.
Of course among the Vaishnavas and other Sattvic (pietistic, ascetic) groups these sacrifices were and are always ahimsa or non-bloody vegetarian or lacto-vegetarian offerings. These are related to the Jewish 'praise' and 'thanks' offerings, and the unbloody offerings of the Nazarites and the priesthood of Mechizedek, who offered bread and wine. Among the rajasic groups, sacrifices may be bloody as certain allowed animals were / are used to represent Purusha. The Jew's 'sin', 'guilt' and 'trespass' offerings were bloody sacrifices. Then there were / are the tamasic groups, which sacrifice all kinds of forbidden creatures in forbidden ways, including human sacrifice. These 'Left Hand Tantric' groups are historically connected to the orgiastic and cannibalistic pseudo-Dionysic Maenad or Bacchant related traditions of the ancient Mediterranean. Thus one key to understanding the complex historical connections between orthodox sattvic Purusha worshiping groups and other heterodox rajasic and tamasic groups in the ancient world is their sacrificial practices.
In the Mediterranean the sattvic practices of the Heliopolitan Ascetics, including the Nazarite Jews etc. clearly identifies them with the orthodox sattvic form of Krishna-Vishnu worship. The Helleno- Semitic and Egyptian sacrifices of bulls and goats etc., according to the Vedic (Hebrew Yeda = Veda) Royal rites, connected the Kingly traditions of the East and West. The sattvic and rajasic traditions were perennially locked-into conflict with the tamasic practitioners of 'black magic' and the unorthodox sacrifices and cannibalism of the tamasic or left-hand tantric traditions, like those of the heretical worship of Kali in the East, and the Maenads in the West. While the sattvic traditions worked towards creating ever more benevolent social orders and the rajasic traditions worked towards creating ever more materially powerful social orders, the tamasic traditions were anarchistic, anti-social or created shadow government criminal conspiracies organizing crime as both anarchic attempts to destroy sattvic and rajasic sacramental social order, or as counter-governments to feed-off-of / exploit functioning sattvic and rajasic societies.
3. Three interpretations of the Vedic Purusha sacrifice and the practices resultant from these interpretations
1) The Purusha sacrifice in the mode of goodness (sattva guna) - the sacramental worship of the cosmic creator-redeemer God (the proper interpretation and practices)
Purusha is the Virata rupa or Vishva rupa, universal form of Baladeva (Semitic Baal-Theos / Tov), the second person of the Godhead. As the cosmic Purusha, he is both the creator and redeemer of all material worlds. He is also the life-sustaining maintainer, as the self- sacrificed 'food of all beings'. At the beginning of the cosmic manifestation, he offers himself for the simultaneous creation and redemption of the cosmic manifestation. His Self-sacrificed body becomes the food of all beings within the universe. Through the commemorative rites of the faithful, His consecrated body becomes the sacramental food of the holy or redeemed. This is the origin of Vaishnava, Shaivite and Shakta, and Pure Land Buddhist 'prasadam', the theophagos mystery love-feasts of the Mediterranean Proto Catholic ascetics, and the Judeo-Catholic Eucharist.
Jesus Christ, the cosmic deity, 'a priest after the order of Melchizedek' as the 'Lamb slain from the foundation of the world' and the cosmic 'once and all-sufficient sacrifice' was Purusha Yupa Dhvaja, whose voluntary death on the (cosmic axis mundi) yupa cross or stake redeemed the world. As Krishna's prasadam is Balarama, Balarama-Vishnu as the cosmic Purusha becomes the eucharistic food (prasadam) of all the faithful. In the mode of goodness (Melchizedek's offerings to El-Elyn were un-bloody) Purusha's authorized Vedic priests offered 'bread and wine' (or soma) as the 'body and blood' of the cosmic Purusha. In sattvic Vishnu temples and homes the Purusha medha related offerings were and are always 'bread and new wine' (juice) and unbloody. Thus Jesus, appearing in the line of Melchizedek (who offered bread and wine) and in the line of the Nazarites (including John the Baptist), instituted His commemorative sacrifice as a strictly un-bloody one. John the Baptist was the leader of the ascetic Nazarite sect of his time and Jesus 'took initiation' from him. Thus the Lord Himself established and confirmed His own sattvic rites and the priestly / sacramental lineages that He intended to perpetuate them down to our time, in order to incarnate His visible sacramental social body in the world. In doing so He definitively sought to end the mode of passion animal sacrifices and mode of ignorance human sacrifices in the name of Purusha.
In other words, in Jesus, Purusha himself stepped into time as His own 'high priest', revealing His once-and-all-sufficient cosmic self- sacrifice, and instituted the proper non-bloody eucharistic form of His commemorative sacrifice for the salvation of the world.
As a result, as His eucharistic (Purusha Yupa Dhvaja maha prasadam) devotions spread, these replaced other regional forms of animal and human sacrifice (and cannibalism) in the name of Purusha. Thus today there is not a Catholic Church on earth where bloody sacrifices are allowed as the sacramental offering. The Catholic Mass rite / moksha ritya is strictly a vegetation offering associated with the cosmic Self-sacrifice of God for the redemption of the universe. Thus while rajasic and tamasic Hindus, Muslims and Jews still perform ritual blood sacrifices, the sattvic priesthoods of Jesus Christ, Krishna, Rama, Shiva, Devi, and Buddha etc. do not. Their sacrifices are purely un-bloody.
For example, after their 'conversion' to Christ, no longer did the Romans constantly sacrifice every creature from doves to pigs and dogs, upon dozens of different altars, and hire 'priests' to examine their entrails whenever there was some 'omen' frightening them. To be "in Christ" meant being free of the fear of lesser masters, spirits or 'gods'. In the early days, to become a Catholic often meant forsaking the bloody altars of rajasic and tamasic paganism for the holy bread and wine sacrifice of Christ's liberating manumission Mass. When we say "celebrate" Mass, this is because ours is a "praise and thanks" offering! We are celebrating what Jesus Purusha has already done and continues to do in our lives at each moment! He has "taken away the sins of the world", has given us His life and is always giving us His ever-new life! His Real Presence (Real Incarnation) as His maha prasadam, "bread of life", sustains us both spiritually and materially, and it makes a real visible sacramental social 'body' out of us!
The Spirit of Christ inspires and animates His sacramental social body, a body that is fed on His eucharistic flesh and blood, under the forms / appearance of "bread and wine". Christ's Church is not sustained on the carcasses of sheep and cattle. The sacrifice of sheep and red heifers could not ever save us. The bloody sin, guilt and trespass offerings of the Vedas, or the Old Testament, did not please God. In the Vaishnava, Buddhist and Catholic revelations, God has objected to such bloody sacrifices being conducted in His name. In each of these traditions, God reveals His own Second Person's cosmic Self sacrifice as the once and all sufficient atonement for "the sins of the world". Only the cosmic Purusha can "take away the sins of the world", and we can only celebrate and commemorate that He has done this and is doing this as long as "the world" endures. When the actual Catholic priest of Christ offers the unbloody sacrifice of the Mass, he is acting in persona Christ, who is our high priest, as well as the sacrificial victim. He is doing this directly under the order of Christ himself, who personally came here and established His in persona priesthood among His disciples.
In sattvic pietistic Shaivism, Shaktism and other traditions it is the same. The sattvic rites of Purusha are and always have been blood-less. No beast or human is offered in these rites. Only the God-man Purusha is offered in His sattvic eucharistic form, becoming the sanctified food of the faithful.
If you go to any of these above sattvic places of worship, you will find that the 'eucharistic offering' is made using either directly the Purusha sukta hymn, or clear passages from it or references to it. In all cases it is also associated with the redemption of the world from sin, and the food thus consecrated is considered the Real Presence of the Deity as Purusha! Many many volumes should be written on this. It is the common sacrament that binds all of the ancient sattvic traditions of the Lord together.
As Jesus, Purusha as Yupa Dhvaja has stepped into time to reveal His will on this subject, and He has confirmed that His commemorative eucharistic sacrifice is strictly in the mode of goodness. His original and eternal emblem or 'dhvaja' is His yupa cross or stake. This is why various 'crosses' were so prominent as symbols of the cosmic 'solar' (Hari) monotheism in various ancient cultures. For instance, the ankh cross represented Heri-Asar (Vedic Ashura = Purusha) Polieus in Egypt for thousands of years and remained His symbol in Coptic Egyptian Catholicism.
The related un-bloody Theophagos (god-eating) mystery feasts of the ancient Mediterranean were the eucharistic meals of the Heliopolitan monotheists who worshiped Helios-Dionysos as Polieus / Purusha (Asar / Osiris / Ashura / Ahura etc.). The 'ascetic' Helios worshipers like the Pythagoreans, Orphics, Platonists and a Asclepiadae abstained from the eating of flesh. The rajasic people ate the offered flesh of beasts sacrificed in the name of Purusha. The tamasic people ate humans.
2) The Purusha sacrifice in the mode of passion - cults of creatures and kings
The rajasic 'mode of passion' people interpreted Purusha not as the Self-sacrificed form of the transcendent Deity, but as a projection of the greatest among men... the king. Or it could also be said that some considered the cosmic force of the impersonal male principle Purusha to be embodied in the king. This led to substitutional sacrifices for the king in the form of totem animals. The king's or royal line's totem animal was thus sacrificed and eaten in a 'eucharistic' ritual. Such animal sacrifices were common throughout the ancient world.
In the Levitical priesthood tradition of the Israelites, in Egypt, throughout the Mediterranean, and very prominently in India and the East, Vedic animal sacrifices were performed as substitutions for the sacred Purusha-king, who carried the sins of his nation. Many volumes have already been written about such king-related animal sacrifices and totem animal-eating around the world. Many more should be written tying these practices to the global Vedic age of rajasic Purusha sukta worship.
3) The Purusha sacrifice in the mode of ignorance - tamasic human sacrifice
Alongside the sattvic and rajasic sacrificial worship of Purusha was tamasic or mode-of-ignorance worship. Those in the mode of ignorance could not understand the revelation of the transcendent spiritual realm and its Deity. They could not even grasp the concept of cosmos. They had no concept of the Self-sacrifice of a cosmic Purusha. To them, Purusha just meant man, or male person. They couldn't grasp the concept of symbolic animal substitution, as practiced by the rajas or sacred 'Purusha' Polieus kings. Thus their perverse highest act of worship was the actual sacrifice and consumption of humans. The accounts in the below are true and in fact during my talks with sattvic tradition leaders and government persons in India and Nepal it was confirmed to me that these abominable 'left-hand-tantric' rites of human sacrifice and eating are still going on among the corrupt tamasic heretical Kali and bhuta (ghost) worshipers of the East. There are references to the practice of human sacrifice in the Vedas themselves. (One story involves manumission!)
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, when some corrupt Kali dasas are about to sacrifice a saint to her icon, she is so infuriated, that she manifests on-the-spot and slays them all. These corrupt Kali worshipers in the East were historically related to the corrupted Baal-Asherah heretics among the Semites, the Setu worshipers in Egypt and the corrupt Maenad false Dionysos worshipers in Europe. The pseudo-dionysian Maenads were a prominent movement devoted to this tamasic practice of human sacrifice and flesh eating.
Typically these cannibalistic practices were forbidden in civilized societies. They were practiced mainly by isolated, traditionally tamasic tribes, anti-social outcasts, the criminal underground, those who practiced 'black magic' for mundane power, or uneducated, remote and uncivilized people in general.
It is these practices which Vaishnava, Buddhist and Catholic civilizations particularly tried to end. Thus a fair study of the accusations that these traditions suppressed religious freedom and aggressively tried to convert the 'pagans / heathens' to their beliefs and practices would show that it was primarily these tamasic, and to a lesser extent the rajasic corrupt Purusha-medha beliefs and practices that the sattvic traditions were trying to end. Even the most liberal and benevolent of Vaishnava and Buddhist kings, including the ahimsa emperor Ashoka in his maturity, tried to suppress the corrupt tamasic religions.
When tamasic left-hand tantric corruptions took hold in hierarchical or otherwise organized civilized societies, this led to ritual regicide or deicide with the sprinkling of the Purusha-man's blood on the fields etc. and the eating of the former, or conquered king or tribal leader by his successor or rival. In cannibalistic societies both beloved or admired and hated persons may be eaten for various reasons, but these reasons usually have some element of corrupted perverse 'Purusha' worship in them.
4. False claimants to Purushahood
All authentic Purusha sukta based Vedic sacrifices are prophetic of, or commemorate the universal all-atoning Self sacrifice of Bala-Yahu, the second person of the Eli-Yahu (Hari-Vasu) Godhead (Ya is a name of Bala Deva as Purusha). However, degraded sinful humanity conducted unholy, bloody sacrifices in the modes of passion and ignorance, which were not desired or sanctioned by the Lord. The communities formed around these bloody 'sacraments' of false 'gods', embodied the spirit of their 'idols' and these communities with their false messiah-kings enslaved and oppressed many and continuously made war on those who were trying to "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness". Thus 'anti-Christs' and their false prophets flourished and set up their kingdoms of chaos and oppression in the world. This is a story oft repeated in the Vaishnava tradition. For example when the anti-Krishna Vasudeva Paundraka challenged Sri Krishna or when Parasurama had to destroy the disobedient kings of the world, or when Sri Krishna Himself had to relieve the burden of the earth by destroying all of the proud and rebellious kings and other kshatriyas on battlefield of Kurukshetra. Since the 'legendary' times of the Mahabharata, from age to age these false sacred incarnation kings (Vasudevas / Basileos in Biblical Greek) proclaimed themselves to be incarnations or empowered / anointed embodiments of Godhead... until Jesus Christ Basileos basileos / Vasudeva of the Vasudevas, the king of kings Himself appeared to put all of the false Purusha-kings to shame.
Could any of them claim to be the self-sacrificed cosmic Purusha, sacrificed once for all? Could any of them say "this is my body" or "this is my blood"? Could any of them bear the weight of the cosmic manifestation like Kurma or Ananta Deva, or swallow the sins of the universe like Shiva, or heal all illnesses and raise the dead like Charaka / Asclepius Iasas (Jesus), or sit at the right hand of God the Father like Bal-Yahu Baladeva, or dance with the kouroi and korae in the supreme garden of paradise like God himself? Which of the false cosmic Purusha kings ever showed anyone his universal form, like Jesus showed his disciples during his Transfiguration? (Christ in the cosmic mandorla is the Catholic Transfiguration icon of His cosmic Purusha mandala.)
Just as the Jewish sacrificial system was related to the Rig Vedic Purusha's once-and-all-sufficient cosmic intercessory redemptive Self sacrifice of Toba-Yahu / Vasu-Deva, in each Purusha worshiping culture there were sacrificial rites of redemption or manumission, which commemorated the once and all sufficient Self sacrifice of the redeeming Second Person of the Godhead. When Jesus declared Himself to be the eucharistic Lord - a declaration unique in the history of religions - and subsequently His Gospel spread to the various Purusha worshiping people, their sacrificial manumission rites were seen as prophetic of Jesus Christ. Thus we see that there are uniquely local and cultural features in the Mass rites of the universal Catholic Church. There is the essential core of the rite which can be clearly seen as a pre-advent (of Jesus) Heliopolitan Asyla Federation related manumission (redemption) rite. In India this is a moksha ritya (= Mass rite). I have studied these manumission rites in great depth and they are the core of the universal Catholic Mass / eucharistic celebration. Jewish devotees of Jesus Christ saw their own atoning sacrificial system in relationship to the supreme atoning sacrifice of Christ. What I have learned is that in the exact same way, the other Purusha worshipers saw their Rig Vedic related sacrificial systems 'prophetically fulfilled' in the atoning death of Jesus Yupa Dhvaja. Thus their diverse manumission rites and related eucharistic mystery feasts were universalized through the realization that Purusha had stepped into time and made His cosmic once-and-all-sufficient Self offering before the eyes of history.
Through the cosmic atoning death of Jesus Christ upon His yupa stake / cross, the ancient (primal) type of the Rig Vedic Purusha sukta sacrifice had become a manifest reality. In revealing Himself as the cosmic Purusha, Jesus had said "this is My body" and in fact all of the redemptive mystery feasts of the Asyla manumission rites found their 'fulfillment' in His eucharistic "real presence". Thus the mahaprasadam of Purusha Jesus Yupa Dhvaja, became the blessed sacrament of Catholicism. Paul, Thomas and the other apostles did not invent the eucharistic sacrifice, or the manumission rites that were part of it. The redemptive rites and mystery feasts were already existing among the various Purusha worshiping people. As Jesus summed-up in His person and passion the Jewish traditions of sacrifice and communion, He also summed-up the manumission and mystery feast traditions of the Asclepius worshiping Greeks, the Near Eastern Semitic Eshmun worshipers, and the devotees of Roman Aesculapius, Egyptian Serapis etc.
Thus as we see the history of the early Catholic Church unfold, the manumission rites of Serapis in Alexandria, Egypt, and greater Africa become the mass rites of Coptic and Ethiopian Geez Catholicism.
In Jerusalem, Antioch and the East the Mass evolves liturgically from the earlier Purusha worshiping manumission traditions of those cities and regions.
So too the Greek and Roman Mass rites followed the pattern of their pre-advent Polieus (Purusha) manumission and mystery feast prototypes. The Lord as incarnate in the social body of each polis was Polieus. Each sacred Heliopolitan polis city worshiped the Supreme Lord as incarnate in His sacramental social body as the city / polis. Citizens were united in the mystical social body of their God as Polieus. The sacrifices of the people and their city were offered to Polieus, the patron protecting holy spirit of their community. Although the local name and form of the one Lord was different in each location (locale, loka), He was Polieus in every location and every polis city had to accept certain core doctrines and practices to call themselves polis cities. The Helio-politan cities had to acknowledge the same one Supreme God, one Savior and one Holy Spirit. There were numerous alliances of these sacred cities in the ancient world, and the Hebrews, Israelites and Jews belonged to many of them from century to century. These cities all held public sacrifices (bloody or non bloody) and practiced manumission in relationship to their sacrifices and related 'mystery feasts'. These Helio-politan alliances prefigured the diversity-in-unity of the one holy and apostolic Catholic communion. When the apostles went out into the mission field, they went to places of Heliopolitan Purusha worship, where the Gospel was received as fulfillment of the local or regional 'prophetic' Polieus tradition. Thus we see the close relationship of the Jews to Serapis worship at Alexandria before the advent of Jesus, and the rise of Coptic Catholicism at the temple of Serapis after the mission of Saint Mark there.
When anti-Catholic Gnostics, Protestants, Muslims or feminists claim that Paul, or Peter and Paul, invented Catholic doctrine, the Mass or Real Presence in the Eucharist, Catholic sacramental social order, etc., they are showing that they know absolutely nothing about the historical genealogy of these doctrines and practices.
The Cosmic Sacrifice and its triguna-styled worship