Who Says Krishna's Mother was a Virgin?
There have been many references to Krishna's mother as a "virgin" over the centuries, some of which I provide here. Whenever I read these types of remarks, I do not immediately dismiss them and their authors, derogatorily and haughtily presuming that they are wrong, fabricated or mendacious, but I investigate further in order to see from where
precisely this information may have come.
From studies of comparative religion and mythology, we can conclude the virgin-birth motif was evidently viewed at least at certain times as a "mystery," even within Christianity. (See here
.) Thus, we would not necessarily expect outright proclamations of this motif within various exoteric
religious teachings. There are, however, hints of it even in exoteric Hinduism, for example, and, on top of that, various writers over the ages who reported Krishna's mother as a "virgin" may have been members of secret societies and mystery schools that transcend nationality and allow secret doctrines to be shared. An indication of this esoteric knowledge within Hinduism may be seen in the following fascinating quote by an Indian Hindu initiate.
In his book Sree Krishna: The Lord of Love
, Baba Premanand Bharati remarks:
...During the Golden Age and the greater portion of the Silver Age all men and women are, what Christians call, virgin-born. The fuss that is made about this immaculate conception succeeds only to excite a smile of pity in the Shastra-enlightened Hindoo - a smile of pity for the ignorance of the facts in the past history of the human race of which they seem to know so little and care less to know more. This fact about the Golden and Silver Ages, this generally prevailing immaculate conception, ought to open their eyes. If they require any authority for this statement, I refer them to the study of the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata.
As we can see, this Indian initiate states outright that all individuals born during the entire Golden Age and most of the Silver Age are the result of immaculate conceptions and virgin births! According to Bharati, the Golden Age or Satya Yuga lasted some 1,728,000 years
- such an immense period, of course, would have produced many
virgin-born individuals. He further indicates that this knowledge is available to the "Shastra-enlightened Hindu" (but perhaps not to anyone else) and that it is indicated in the Mahabharata, a pre-Christian Indian text. Whether or not we believe in such ages is immaterial to this discussion. These remarks are extremely important
and must be kept in mind when studying any
religion but especially Hinduism as discussed here, so that we may understand there are mysteries
not widely available to the masses through mainstream texts and teachings.
Indeed, that "the mysteries" in general have existed and continue to exist is a fact
, as is the existence of brotherhoods and mystery schools. In the past, divulgence of mysteries was considered a capital offense, and not a few people have been killed because of supposedly committing just such an offense. (And, we can see from the rabid and deranged manner in which my work and I are treated that this nasty business of censorship continues to this day.)
These facts must be recalled when discussing any
religious idea or doctrine that is not necessarily well known to the public. In any event, the following quotes regarding Krishna's mother are provided here in order to demonstrate that neither I nor any other single individual to my knowledge has simply "fabricated" this notion of virginity. Where there is smoke, there may well be fire, and I have given reasons in the post above to conclude that the fire appears real but may have been extinguished at some point in an ongoing effort to make the characters of Hindu mythology appear to be "real people," as well as to bury a mystery
One source of much
smoke is another Indian writer who, in his remarks regarding Krishna, may have known the information discussed by Swami Bharati. In his book Bhagavad Gita: The Divine Message
, an Indian
disciple of the Indian guru Ramakrishna, Swami Abhedananda, states:
The Hindus have worshipped from ancient times the baby Krishna in the arms of Virgin Devaki just as the Roman catholics [sic] worship Madona [sic] with baby Christ.
Was Abhedananda privy to information kept from the public at large but transmitted to him from his master Ramakrishna? Or was this Indian mystic simply deluded by clever Westerners who nonetheless had absolutely no knowledge of the Hindu "Shastra enlightenment" that described the long Golden Age of virgin births
If what Swami Bharati says is common knowledge among initiates
- and his comment about "the Shastra-enlightened Hindoo" indicates that it is - we can imagine that the virgin-birth mystery was shared not only among Indian members of the brotherhood and mystery schools but also with outsiders who nonetheless were likewise members of a secret society, fraternity or mystery school. Indeed, such exchange of mysteries is not only hinted at but spelled out by various writers who were Freemasons. As Mason Godfrey Higgins remarks in his Anacalypsis
I was also told by a gentleman who was in the strictest intimacy with the late -----Ellis, Esq., of the Madras establishment; that Mr. Ellis told him, that the pass-word and forms used by the Master Masons in their lodge, would pass a person into the sanctum sanctorum of an Indian temple; that he, Mr. Ellis, had, by means of his knowledge as a Master Mason, actually passed himself into the sacred part or adytum of one of them. Soon after Mr. Ellis told this to my informant he was taken suddenly ill, and died, and my informant stated, that he had no doubt, notwithstanding the mistake which his friends call it in giving some medicine, that he was poisoned by his servants for having done this very act, or for being known to possess this knowledge.
It is thus possible that some of the individuals who related the virgin birth of Krishna were in possession of this mystery
out of India. It is further possible that this information was subsequently censored, as in the case of Sir William Jones, a judge of the Supreme Court in Calcutta and probable Mason, who removed the virgin-birth motif regarding Krishna from his original Asiatic Researches
, volume 1, possibly for the reason given by Godfrey Higgins above. As concerns the India-Masonic connection, after mentioning that the composer Beethoven had been reading India-related writings by Sir William Jones, the author of Beethoven Forum
This attention to Eastern ways of thought is strongly suggestive of Masonic preoccupations, for intellectuals of the period came to Eastern thought in all its manifestations through the Masonic literature and by way of the "oriental" rites that were practiced by the Freemasons in their exotic temples.... Eastern religion and literature was a special preserve of the Freemasons...
In 1784, Sir Jones published the first volume of his series called Asiatic Researches
, which would become very popular with the European elite. Four years later, in 1788, the first volume was reissued, this time gutted of pertinent information regarding Krishna, including his virgin birth. It appears that copies of the original edition of 1784 were destroyed where they were found; however, some must have survived, such that we can reproduce what was originally found there and then removed.
Most important were two quotes in the original first volume of Asiatic Researches
by Sir Jones stating that Krishna's mother was a "virgin," one of which claimed this contention could be found in "the Sanskrit Dictionary" purportedly compiled 2,000 years previously. Fortunately these quotes and others were preserved by the "heretic" Rev. Robert Taylor, who for his efforts at spreading the message about the patent unoriginality of the gospel story of Jesus Christ was imprisoned twice in Great Britain in the 1820s on charges of blasphemy. To my knowledge, Jones's commentary from 1784 regarding Krishna's virgin birth is the first in any English publication. It is possible, however, that the motif was written about elsewhere in the previous lingua franca, Latin, or in another language such as German. The virgin-birth motif discussed by Swami Bharati may, in fact, be found in some esoteric Indian text as well, as there are purportedly some 10,000 texts in a variety of Indian dialects that remain untranslated into any other language.
According to Rev. Robert Taylor
, the remarks by Sir William Jones originally found in Asiatic Researches
, vol. 1, p. 259, are as follows:
[Krishna] was born from the left intercostal rib of a Virgin, of the royal line of Devaci, and after his manifestation on earth, returned again to his heavenly seat in Vaicontha.
Further on in Asiatic Researches
, volume 1, on p. 273, according to Rev. Taylor in his Syntagma
, appeared the following quote from Sir Jones:
"In the Sanscrit Dictionary, compiled more than two thousand years ago, we have the whole story of the incarnate deity born of a virgin..."
Concerning Jones's statements, the much-maligned Kersey Graves
Sir William Jones says:
"The Indian incarnate God Chrishna, the Hindoos believe, had a virgin mother of the royal race, who was sought to be destroyed in his infancy about nine hundred years before Christ...."
Writing prior to Graves was Logan Mitchell, author of Christian Mythology Unveiled
, who likewise reproduced a quote purportedly from Sir Jones:
Sir William Jones...confesses that, "the name of Chrishna, and the general outline of his story, was long anterior to the birth of our Saviour... In the Sanskrit Dictionary, compiled more than two thousand years ago, we have the whole story of the incarnate Deity, BORN OF A VIRGIN, and miraculously escaping in his infancy from the reigning tyrant of his country."
In my book Suns of God
, I go into a long investigation of what allegedly appeared in the original volume 1 of Asiatic Researches
and what happened to it afterwards. It is quite clear that the reissued text had been expurgated, with the pertinent part and others removed. It is also evident from the quotes I provide there and my analysis thereof that these individuals, Taylor, Graves and Logan, provided three independent sources verifying that the contentions about Krishna's virgin mother were in fact in the original volume 1 of Asiatic Researches
, apparently on pp. 259 and 273. When we go to edition reissued in 1788, of course, they are no longer there.
The question is was this highly germane virgin-birth mention removed because it was in error--a hoax played by Jones or upon him?--or because it constituted a mystery that was not to be known by the "vulgar masses?" The remarks from Swami Bharati would indicate the latter to be true: To wit, the virgin-birth motif is
) found in the mysteries of India but is not widely known outside of the esoteric circle of fraternities and mystery schools.
It should be reminded that the point of providing these quotes is not to hold up their authors or originators as ultimate authorities on the virginal status of Krishna's mother but to demonstrate: a) that this contention did not originate with me or anyone else in the past century; b) that various shenanigans have taken place surrounding this issue that pique one's curiosity; and c) that these quotes and mystery provide a jumping off point worthy of further inquiry.
Another person who refers to Devaki as the "virgin mother of Krishna" is Dr. Meg McGavran Murray, a professor at Missippi State University, in Face to Face: Fathers, Mothers, Masters, Monsters--Essays for a Nonsexist Future
Lending further credence to this idea, in Mother goddess in Indian art, archaeology & literature
, Mahesh Chandra Prasad Srivastava raises Devaki and then relates, "In her character of Great Mother, the Feminine is a virgin..." (p. 98 ) He also states that the "virgin mother was worshipped in [the] Indus valley." (p. 26)
Others who have followed suit with commenting upon the virginal status of Devaki include the ex-priest Joseph McCabe
and those whose remarks may be found here
. All of these texts, it should be noted, long predate the publications of my works, which therefore had no influence on them. Again, they are provided here not as authorities proving that the mythical Devaki was at any point considered not only chaste but also virginal but in order to demonstrate that the concept was in people's minds long before I myself wrote anything on the subject.
For more information on this mystery of the mysteries, please see my book Suns of God
Disclaimer: We understand that there are many fervent believers in the religion of Krishna. This exploration of the meaning behind various aspects of Indian mythology should not be construed as an attack on believers. However, we have come to these conclusions based on sound evidence and facts. Therefore, we do not deserve to be abused, insulted, disparaged and disrespected for coming to this logical, reasonable and rational conclusion. The reader, of course, is free to believe whatever he or she wishes.