This belief is on a par with Jesus having visited Britain with Joseph of Arimathea, popularized in Blake’s hymn, the first stanza of which is “And did those feet in ancient time, walk upon England’s mountains green? And was the holy Lamb of God on England’s pleasant pastures seen?” Likewise, the speculations on Jesus’ bloodline first mentioned and his marriage to Mary Magdalene in Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln’s ‘Holy Blood and the Holy Grail’, so scandalously plagiarized by Brown in his ‘Da Vinci Code’.
The belief that Jesus came to India stems in part from19th Century attempts to explain the strong similarities between Christianity and Buddhism and to fill in the exploits of Jesus during the missing years of Jesus, between the ages of 12 and 30.
But essentially this notion of Jesus-in-India comes from a work by Nicolas Notovitch, a Russian aristocrat, Cossak officer, spy and doctor who traveled extensively throughout Afghanistan, India, and Tibet, published in 1894, called The Unknown Life of Christ. In it, Notovitch asserted:
During one of his travels Notovitch was visiting Leh, the capital of Ladak, near where the Buddhist convent Himis is. He had an accident and broke his leg and was taken in and cared for in Himis convent, where he was told that there existed ancient records of the life of Jesus Christ and his supposed biography entitled “The Life of St. Issa. Best of the Sons of Men “, originally written in Pali and then translated into Tibetan. Notovitch, in turn, had one of his party translate the Tibetan, writing down approximately 240 verses in his travel journal.
‘The Unknown Life of Christ’ was written in French then translated into English, German, Spanish, and Italian. It purported to tell initially the account of Israel from the Jews’ sojourn in Egypt, the Exodus and eventual conquest by the Romans. The book starts the life of Jesus at age 13, when he leaves home to go, via the Silk Road, with a caravan of merchants to India (Sindh), to study the laws of the great Buddhas. Issa, as he now becomes known, studies consecutively with the Jains, Brahmins, and Buddhists. From there he journeys to its Persia, preaching to the Zoroastrians, until at 29 he returns home to Palestine and the rest of the story is the same as the biblical version, except he is put to death for blasphemy, for claiming to be the son of God.
The publishing of Notovitch’s book created a fierce controversy and the inevitable repudiation of the Russian, who, in truth, it seems had obtained the idea from H.P. Blavatsky’s ‘Isis Unveiled’. The German orientalist, Max Mueller, in attempting to verify Notovitch’s claims, discovering through correspondence, along with an actual visit to Hemis Monastery by J.Archibald Douglas, that neither Notovich nor Jesus had in reality visited there.
Another Jesus-in-India adherent was an individual by the name of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who himself suffered from a messianic complex, proclaiming himself the awaited Messiah. Apart from suffering from delusions, Ahmad claimed in a much more comprehensive version that Jesus had traveled towards India post-crucifixion looking for the lost tribes of Israel and there he had died naturally. Elizabeth Clare Prophet was yet another, perhaps having read Ahmad’s accounts, she also wrote “The Lost Years of Jesus: Documentary Evidence of Jesus’ 17-Year Journey to the East”, which in turn maintains asserts that Buddhist manuscripts provide evidence that Jesus traveled to India, Nepal, Ladakh and Tibet.
The original quest to find Jesus-in-India, to recap, was to explain the extraordinary parallels between the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha. These, when examined in depth, are very damning, implying either that those who wrote the various scriptures of the two personages accessed the Akashic Records/Collective Unconscious, or much more like one is the plagiarisation. of the other, the Indian version being the true one. Not only are there striking parallels between Jesus and the Buddha, but also Krishna, who incidentally is known by the name, Ish.
Starting with the Indian version of the 10 commandments, which, of course, predate Christianity, we find in the Pratimokska Sutra and other religious tracts of the Buddhists:
1. Thou shalt not kill any living creature.
2. Thou shalt not steal.
3. Thou shalt not break thy vow of chastity.
4. Thou shalt not lie.
5. Thou shalt not betray the secrets of others.
6. Thou shalt not wish for the death of thy enemies.
7. Thou shalt not desire the wealth of others.
8. Thou shalt not pronounce injurious and foul words.
9. Thou shalt not indulge in luxury (sleep on soft beds or be lazy).
10. Thou shalt not accept gold or silver. *
“Good master, what shall I do that I may have eternal life?” asks a man of Jesus. “Keep the commandments.” “Which?” “Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,” is the answer.
“What shall I do to obtain possession of Bhodi? (knowledge of eternal truth)” asks a disciple of his Buddhist master. “What way is there to become an Upasaka?” “Keep the commandments.” “What are they?” “Thou shalt abstain all thy life from murder, theft, adultery, and lying,” answers the master.
When the three lives are examined in parallel, what do we find?
Krishna or Christna descends from a royal family, but is brought up by shepherds; and is called the Shepherd God. His birth and divine descent are kept secret from Kansa. An incarnation of Vishnu, the second person of the Trimurti (Trinity). Christna is persecuted by Kansa, Tyrant of Madura, but miraculously escapes. In the hope of destroying the child, the king has thousands of male innocents slaughtered. Christna’s mother was Devaki, or Devanagui, an immaculate virgin, but had given birth to eight sons before Christna).
Chistna is endowed with beauty, omniscience, and omnipotence from birth. Produces miracles, cures the lame and blind, and casts out demons. Washes the feet of the Brahmans, and descending to the lowest regions (hell), liberates the dead, and returns to Vaicontha–the paradise of Vishnu. Christna was the God Vishnu himself in human form. He persecutes the clergy, charges them with ambition and hypocrisy to their faces, and divulges the great secrets of the Sanctuary–the Unity of God and immortality of spirit. He died on the cross (a tree), nailed to it by an arrow.
Gautama is the son of a king. His first disciples are shepherds and mendicants. According to some, he was an incarnation of Vishnu; according to others, an incarnation of one of the Buddhas, and even of Ad’Buddha, the Highest Wisdom. Buddha’s mother was Maya, or Mayadeva; married to her husband, but still yet an immaculate virgin.
Buddha is endowed with the same powers and qualities as Chistna, and performs similar wonders. He passes his life with mendicants. It is claimed for Gautama that he was distinct from all other Avatars, having the entire spirit of Buddha in him, while all others had but a part of the divinity in them. Buddha abolishes idolatry; divulges the Mysteries of the Unity of God and the Nirvana, the true meaning of which was previously known only to the priests. Persecuted and driven out of the country, he escapes death by gathering about him some hundreds of thousands of believers in his Buddhaship. Finally, dies, surrounded by a host of disciples, with Ananda, his beloved disciple and cousin, chief among them all.
3. Jesus Of Nazareth.
His birth and royal descent are concealed from Herod the tyrant. He descends from the Royal family of David. He is worshipped by shepherds at his birth, and is called the “Good Shepherd”. He is a supposed incarnation of the Holy Ghost, then the second person of the Trinity, now the third, although the Trinity was not invented until 325 years after his birth. He went to Mathura or Matarea, Egypt, and produced his first miracles there. Jesus is persecuted by Herod, King of Judaea, but escapes into Egypt under conduct of an angel. To assure his slaughter, Herod orders a massacre of innocents, and 40,000 were slain. Jesus’ mother was Mariam, or Miriam; married to her husband, yet an immaculate virgin, but had several children besides Jesus.
Jesus is similarly endowed to both previous personages. He passes his life with sinners and publicans. He casts out demons, likewise. The only notable difference between the three is that Jesus is charged with casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub, which the others were not. Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, dies, descends to hell, and ascends to heaven, after liberating the dead. Jesus rebels against the old Jewish law; denounces the Scribes, and Pharisees, and the synagogue for hypocrisy and dogmatic intolerance. Breaks the Sabbath, and defies the Law. He is accused by the Jews of divulging the secrets of the Sanctuary. He is put to death on a cross.
Jesus, Christna, and Buddha, all three Saviours, die either on or under trees, and are connected with crosses. Finally, Christna ascends to Swarga and becomes Nirguna. Buddha ascends to Nirvana. Jesus ascends to Paradise. These parallels are too good to be true, don’t you think?
Despite the inordinate similarity of the direct teachings of Gautama and Jesus, we yet find their respective followers starting from two diametrically opposite points. The Buddhist divine, following literally the ethical doctrine of his master, remains thus true to the legacy of Gautama; while the Christian priest, distorting the precepts recorded by the four Gospels beyond recognition, teaches, not that which Jesus taught, but the absurd, too often pernicious, interpretations of fallible men–Popes, Luthers, and Calvins included.
So what does the forgoing imply for Christianity and the claim that Jesus went to India and is buried in Kashmir? The biggest problem, that we shall address in a follow up article, is that there is absolutely no contemporary historical evidence that Jesus ever existed, so the foregoing question is completely redundant!