Jesus In India
I very much enjoyed watching this fascinating documentary by Edward T. Martin about Jesus's visit to India. In this 97 minute documentary, the narrator visit many places in India including the state of Kashmir, and speaks to scholars familiar with the history Jesus's visit to India, before and after Jesus's crucifixion. He interviews, Princeton University Professor Elaine Pages, Brother Chidananda of Self Realization Fellowship (disciple of Paramahamsa Yogananda), Sri Shankaracarya of Puri, the spiritual leader of Hindus, Suzanne Olsson, the author of "Jesus in Kashmir - the Lost Tomb," and other scholars from the State of Kashmir who are knowledgeable about the Rauzabal Shrine of Srinagar, which is widely believed to be the burial place of Jesus and his mother Mary is buried not far from here, according many scholars, including German scholar Holger Kersten.
The key witness to the theory is from Russian historian Nicolas Notovitch and his discovery of manuscripts at Himis monastery in Ladakh. Buddhist monks of Tibet recorded the history of Issa (Jesus); the original was in Pali, the language of Buddhists which was then translated into Tibetan. The history was documented 2000 years ago and copies of these documents were found in Himis monastery in Ladakh and it was summarized by Nicolas Notovitch. Later in 1929, Swami Abhedananda of the Ramakrishna Order reviewed and verified the authenticity of the Apocrypha by personally studying them at Himis monastery. Later Russian scholar Nicholas Roerich and Elisabeth Caspari confirmed the existence of these documents during their visits to the Buddhist monastery at Himis. A cardinal of Roman Catholic Church apparently tells Edward Martin that there are about 60 manuscripts with the church and one of them is the copy of the Himis manuscripts.
Canonical Gospels record the history of Jesus until he was 12 and then resume at the age of 30, but the intervening 18 years of his youth is unaccounted for. There is only one reference to Jesus' whereabouts; Luke 2.52 says; "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." This doesn't really say where he increased his wisdom and knowledge to preach the glory of God. According to Himis manuscripts, Saint Issa (Jesus) joined a merchant caravan and arrived in Juggernaut (Puri), India where the Hindu scholars received him with open arms and taught him Sanskrit, the Vedas and the Vedic practices, including healing the sick and performing exorcisms (taught in Hindu scripture Atharva-Veda.) Issa spent considerable amount of time studying the metaphysical thoughts of Buddhism, and later teaching at Juggernaut, Rajagriha, Benares and other holy cities of India. His teachings stressed for equality among all men and worked for the emancipation of the poor and downtrodden. In his later years, he went to preach in the Himalayan country of Nepal, and finally returned to Palestine at the age of 29.
The influence of Hinduism and Buddhism may also be found in the following: Sermon on the Mount is one of the classic examples for preaching the word of God and Jesus having full knowledge of Buddhism and how Buddha gave his first sermon in the Park of Gazelles in Benares, after fasting and meditating for 42 days under a fig tree. Jesus like Buddha underwent mystical test and meditation in the wilderness for 40 days to seek the spiritual power. In Hinduism, especially during Vedic times, great rishis, sages, and saints went to the deep forest for meditation for self-purification of the body, mind and soul. When they emerged from this long and arduous journey into the inner consciousness, they would attain spiritual and healing powers. In one episode, Jesus goes to a high mountain with Peter and his followers. After meditation, he transfigured before their very eyes and his face shine like the Sun (Mark 9:2, 30; Luke 9:30 and Matthew 17; 3-6.). Timothy believed Jesus was God (Timothy 3:16). This is similar to the description of Vishwa-rupa in chapter 11 of Bhagavad-Gita where Lord Krishna appears to Arjuna in the Universal form and shines like Sun.
Many scholars have argue that Jesus survives crucifixion and goes back to Kashmir valley of India for the second time and spend the remaining years of life. Jesus first appears to his disciples at Jerusalem, Galilee and Bethany, and heads towards Damascus when he meets Paul who had been sent by Romans to capture Jesus again, But Jesus sends a message through a disciple to Paul to preach the holy name (Acts 4:6; 9:10-15.) According to the gospel of Phillip, Jesus was saved from crucifixion and nursed by his friends and disciples and remained in hiding for some time. He imparted spiritual knowledge to Peter and James. After spending about 18 months with them he appointed James as his successor and migrated to live in Kashmir, India with his mother Mary, disciple Mary Magdalene, and a close group of followers. The most important information about the arrival of Jesus Christ in the valley of Kashmir and his meeting with the King of Kashmir, Shali-Vahana has been recorded in Bhavisya Purana (Bhavisya Purana 17-32.) I highly recommend this DVD to anyone interested in the life of Jesus Christ.