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Did Jesus live in India?
By Iqbal Malhotra
The Indian Express

The New Testament of the Bible is completely silent on where Jesus spent 18 years of his life between the ages of 12 and 30. There is also a question mark on whether Jesus died on the cross or whether he survived the crucifixion and escaped from Jerusalem with the help of friends, to finally settle in India as an itinerant

Both history and the Gospels are silent about the life of Jesus before his 30th year when he was baptised by John. A German theologian, Holger Kersten, has published a book called Jesus Lived in India, which contains seminal evidence on the fact that Jesus spent the 18 lost years of his life in India imbibing yoga, Vedic traditions and Buddhism. Thereafter, he returned to Jerusalem and after the crucifixion escaped back to India via Damascus and Persia.

Jesus is believed to have been buried in Srinagar, Kashmir. His graves are intact and points east-west in
the Jewish tradition rather than north-south in the Islamic tradition.

Kersten has provided a wealth of theological, archaeological and historical evidence in defence of his
hypothesis. According to Kersten, the Tibetans believe that Jesus was the 21st incarnation of Padmasambhava, the Buddha; the latter himself being the ninth incarnation of Vishnu. He develops an argument that the three wise men, or the Magi, were really Tibetan monks hunting for the
reincarnated Buddha.

If Kersten's evidence is to be tested, it will shake the foundations of contemporary Christianity as it will set
aside Jesus's sacrifice on the cross to wash the sins of mankind and therefore initiate a process of introspection to assess whether Christianity is indeed based on the teachings of Jesus Christ or whether it is based on the interpretation of the teachings of Jesus Christ by Paul. Paul taught that the whole function of Jesus centres on his sacrificial death, that through the shedding of his blood he absolved the faithful of their sins and released them from chaos and the domination of Satan. According to Paul, a person may be saved merely by the single act of baptism, becoming a child of God and a completely new being. Most Christians are of the opinion that the greatness, the uniqueness of Christianity, stands and falls with this teaching. Yet it may prove to be a fiction far removed from the ideas of Jesus.

Not even a hint of this so-called Christian doctrine of salvation is to be found in the Sermon on the Mount --the quintessence of Jesus's message -- or in the Lord's Prayer, or in Christ's traditional parables.

Kersten first turns to Russian journalist Nicolai Notovitch who visited Ladakh in the 1880s and wrote a
book called f40The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ. Notovitch discovered the existence of certain ancient
scriptures in the monastery of Hemis in Ladakh about the mysterious prophet Issa, whose life appeared to be similar to the stories of Jesus the Nazarene. According to these scriptures, at the age of 14, Issa, who was born in Israel, came to Sindh in India and from there he travelled through the Punjab to Jagannath Puri, where he learnt the Vedas for six years. Later he travelled via Nepal to Ladakh, where he studied Buddhist scriptures.

Then there is the Natha Namavali, an old Hindu Sutra of the mystical order of the Nath Yogis, which tells of the great Saint Isha Nath, who is said to have come to India at the age of 14. After he returned to his home country and started to spread his teachings there, he fell victim to a conspiracy and was crucified. By means of the yogic powers he had attained in India he was able to survive execution, and finally -- with the help of the supernatural powers of his teacher Chetan Nath, a Nath Guru -- he came once more to India, where he is said to have founded an ashram in the Himalayan foothills.



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