Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

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Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby bodhabill » Fri Dec 25, 2009 8:17 am

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/did-christ-come-to-india-to-study-buddhism-vedas_100294428.html

Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?
December 25th, 2009 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS Tell a Friend -

By Madhusree Chatterjee
New Delhi, Dec 25 (IANS) The spotlight is back on Jesus Christ and his India connection as the world celebrates Christmas Friday. Some historians believe he spent 17 years of early life - from the age of 13 to 30 - in India learning Buddhism and the Vedas.

“There are references that Christ’s family (parents) settled in Nazareth, but the next time he appeared in Nazareth, Jesus was 30. He was said to have been growing in wisdom and stature in the missing years,” British film producer Kent Walwin told IANS.

Here to receive the Dayawati Modi Award for arts, culture and education in 2009, Walwin’s latest project, “Young Jesus: The Missing Years”, will explore early years of the messiah, which are not described in the Gospels.

According to Walwin, his movie is “on the Apostolic Gospels, which says Jesus was last seen in West Asia when he was 13-14 years old”.

The first part of the movie will be based on Gospels and the second part of the movie will be “pure conjecture based on archival material”, the filmmaker said.

There are several references to the India connection.

In 1894, a Russian doctor, Nicolas Notovitch, published a book called the “The Unknown Life of Christ” based on his extensive journeys in Afghanistan, India and Tibet.

During one of his journeys, he visited Leh, the capital of Ladakh and spent some time at the Buddhist monastery of Hemis when he broke his leg.

At the monastery, he was shown two large yellowed volumes of a document in Tibetan language, “The Life of Saint Issa”. Jesus was referred to as Issa - or the son of god - by the Vedic scholars who tutored him in the sacred texts.

Notovitch noted down 200 verses from the document at the back of his journal which he kept during his travels. The document later created a storm in the West.

Monks at the monastery of Hemis, located 40 km outside Leh atop a hill, corroborate to the legend of Christ in India.

“Jesus is said to have visited our land and Kashmir to study Buddhism. He was inspired by the laws and wisdom of Buddha,” a senior lama of the Hemis monastery told IANS. The head of the Drukpa Buddhist sect, Gwalyang Drukpa, who heads the Hemis monastery, also believes in the legend.

Swami Abhedananda, a Bengali spiritual scholar and seer, had journeyed to the Himalayas to investigate the “legend of Christ visiting India”. His travelogue, a book titled “Kashmir O Tibetti”, tells of a visit to the Hemis monastery in Ladakh. It includes a Bengali translation of 224 verses of the “Issa legend” which Notovitch copied.

In 1952, another Russian, Nicholas Roerich, a philosopher and a scientist, visited Hemis and recorded the legend. According to Roerich, “Jesus passed his time in several ancient cities of India such as Benares or Varanasi”.

“Everyone loved him because Issa dwelt in peace with the Vaishyas and Shudras whom he instructed and helped,” Roerich said in his account.

Christ’s teachings in the ancient holy cities of Jagannath (Puri), Benares (in Uttar Pradesh) and Rajagriha (in Bihar) earned him the wrath of the Brahmins, forcing him to flee to the Himalayas after six years, historians and authors say. Christ, say archival documents, spent another six years studying Buddhism in the Himalayas.

German scholar Holger Kersten’s book, “Jesus Lived in India”, also tells the story of the early years of Jesus Christ in India.

“The lad arrives in a region of the Sindh (along the river Indus) in the company of merchants. He settled among the Aryans with the intention of perfecting himself and learning from the laws of the great Buddha. He travelled extensively through the land of the five rivers (Punjab), stayed briefly with the Jains before proceeding to Jagannath,” Kersten says in his book.

An English version of an Urdu treatise written by the founder of the Islamic Ahmaddiya movement, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), also tells of a “second visit by Christ to the subcontinent” after his “reported escape from the Cross”.

Christ visited Afghanistan, “where he met the Jews” who had settled there to escape the tyranny of the Jewish emperor Nebuchadnezzar and then came to the Kashmir Valley, where he lived for many years.

Read more: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/unc ... z0agYrDC4m


I must admit that I have conjectured about this before to my Christian friends .... anyway its an interesting thought

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Bill
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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Dec 25, 2009 9:22 am

it is doubtful but not impossible!
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby PeterB » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:09 am

I'll stick my neck out here.....NO.

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Dec 25, 2009 10:58 am

“There are references that Christ’s family (parents) settled in Nazareth, but the next time he appeared in Nazareth, Jesus was 30. He was said to have been growing in wisdom and stature in the missing years,” British film producer Kent Walwin told IANS.

Here to receive the Dayawati Modi Award for arts, culture and education in 2009, Walwin’s latest project, “Young Jesus: The Missing Years”, will explore early years of the messiah, which are not described in the Gospels.

My memories of the Gospels and other (mostly Roman) historical sources are vague but I don't recall any comment anywhere that JC had done anything unusual in that time. Rather, he was known by everyone as the village carpenter. If he started teaching and doing miracles just after getting back from a long period in parts unknown, it surely would have been mentioned.
I'm voting 'NO', too.
:smile:

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Kare » Fri Dec 25, 2009 2:36 pm

The question is rather: Did this person Jesus ever exist? If you read Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle", you will see that there are strong reasons for doubting the existence of an historical Jesus. And if this person never existed, we can drop all questions about his travels ...

Anyway, a Merry Yule to all fellow Buddhists!

:anjali:
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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby notself » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:31 pm

Evidently Yeshua was a common name at the time.

http://www.slate.com/id/2239359/
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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby PeterB » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:04 pm

This question and variations on it used to crop up regularly on E Sangha. It always puzzled me. Apart from the most generalised expressions of good will to ones fellow humans I have never seen any resemblence at all between the teachings of the Buddha and those of Jesus, and any resemblance apparantly seen by Thich Naht Hahn or the Dalai Lama it seems to me are largely the result of ignoring the vast differences at the expense of a few points of commonality. I think that it is often an issue for those who have not resolved their feelings about Christianity.

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby alan » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:23 pm

How the heck long would have taken to travel that distance anyway?
How would the family sustain itself?
Why would they even have done it in the first place?
Gotta give a big fat NO to this theory.

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Monkey Mind » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:40 pm

For those who have not permanently sworn off entertainments, I recommend Christoper Moore's book "Lamb". 
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Dec 25, 2009 7:45 pm

The "Jesus" described in Christian mythology was allegorical - a re-visioning of an ancient conceptual devise that was used as a contextual container to put forth a social/moral code based on the idea of "as above, so below" - a devise far removed from the corruptions of religion and religiosity that grew out of it.
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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:53 pm

Judas wrote:Can a human being experience 'heaven' due to love & forgiveness?

Obviously, they can.


Prove it.
I want an independently verifiable report from heaven, or a retraction.

(Why isn't there an 'I am not amused' smiley when I need one?)

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Kare » Fri Dec 25, 2009 11:58 pm

Judas wrote:
Kare wrote: Did this person Jesus ever exist?

Personally, I think it is not wise to propose such questions. Did the Buddha ever exist?



These are two totally independent questions. Each has to be studied by itself, the available sources have to be considered, etc. A "yes" or a "no" to one of these two questions does not automatically influence the examination of the other question.
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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby pink_trike » Sat Dec 26, 2009 1:28 am

Judas wrote:
Kare wrote: Did this person Jesus ever exist?


Can a human being experience 'heaven' due to love & forgiveness? Obviously, they can.

...and it would be a delusional obscuration. :tongue:
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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Fede » Sat Dec 26, 2009 4:53 pm

There is some evidence to corroborate the high possibility that Shakyamuni Buddha did in fact, exist. (The Historical Buddha, H.W Schumann)
http://www.amazon.com/Historical-Buddha-Teachings-Founder-Buddhism/dp/0140192034

However, there is little or no evidence that Christ did.

at best, he might well be a composite of several personalities existent at the time. At worst, he is a personification or duplicate of various gods and deities, chiefly Mithras.

so I would say - No.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby pink_trike » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:08 pm

Fede wrote:There is some evidence to corroborate the high possibility that Shakyamuni Buddha did in fact, exist. (The Historical Buddha, H.W Schumann)
http://www.amazon.com/Historical-Buddha-Teachings-Founder-Buddhism/dp/0140192034

However, there is little or no evidence that Christ did.

at best, he might well be a composite of several personalities existent at the time. At worst, he is a personification or duplicate of various gods and deities, chiefly Mithras.

so I would say - No.

Both may have existed as local personages..."Jesus" (probably not his real name) as an itinerate mystic and social activist, and Siddhārtha Gautama as a local elder/philosopher/teacher...both insignificant in their own time - and much later merged with a mono-mythology of the time to become greatly elaborated fictional characters. Much of what is attributed to both of them can be found in significantly older traditions dating back thousands of years, often word for word in the case of "Jesus" and Christian mythology - and much of Sid's philosophy (4 noble truths, cessation, liberation, etc...) is found in various forms in mythologies around the globe - mythologies that also include a son of royalty born of unusual circumstances, grounded by the Great Tree, heroic battle as he is tested under this tree, emerging triumphant and wise with omniscient awareness, other manifestations - past, present, future - of this triumphant hero, etc...).
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Fede » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:30 pm

edit note:
Responding to Pink Trike, here.....

In whichever case, most of what we're discussing is therefore hypothesis, speculation and total guess-work (coupled with, I dare say, the odd fragment of wishful thinking....) :juggling:
Suffice to say we should gaze at the moon, and not the finger.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:32 pm

Judas,
When I look at your last two replies to me, one of them is objective/historical and the other is subjective/metaphorical. You can't have it both ways.
And the objective/historical one fails to respond to the point I made. It just repeats something you said before.
If I tell you three times that today is Wednesday, does that make my statement any more truthful?

Kim

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:47 pm

Hi Kim there is a record (cant remember the name) of jesus being taken out of the country to a foregn land some say Egypt but the record gives another place but cant remember where? generally this is because of Herods census, but the bible passage you mention does indicate he was known well enough in the area for people to recognise him, so he would of at least had to of been there for some time prior, not just turn up 18years later. although the absence of information in the bible of these years and what is mentioned (40 days and night in the desert, and your passage) would indicate that he may of actually spent some time away practising 'spiritual life' at some point, or at least know enough about certain practices for him to have a basis for having a mystical experience which led him to teach.
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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:51 am

Hi, Manapa,
Probability is one thing, likelihood another - but I compute them in pretty much the same way.

If the historicity of Jesus is dubious, I might give it a likelihood of 0.2
I might give the story that Jesus travelled to India a likelihood of 0.1, just on its own merits (and I think I'm being generous there).
That gives them a combined likelihood of 0.2 x 0.1 or 0.02

The likelihood that no-one said anything about this extended absence is independently about 0.05, I think.
Given the very poor correlation between his teachings and Indian thought, the likelihood that Indian teachings influenced Christianity is, independently again, about 0.05.
The combined likelihood of all these statements is 0.2 x 0.1 x 0.05 x 0.05, or 1 in 20 000

I didn't do the sums until just now, as a demonstration. My real thought processes were more like, 'that's unlikely and that's very unlikely so, taken together, they are so improbable that I can dismiss them.'

Okay, folks, can we get back to the dharma?

:namaste:
Kim

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Re: Did Christ come to India to study Buddhism, Vedas?

Postby catmoon » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:29 am

Not without mentioning the Jewish historian Josephus, who mentioned the following:

3. (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. (64) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross [2], those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day [3], as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.

This is not from the Bible. It is independent history, paid for by Rome. Josephus lived from AD 37 to AD 100 and so is writing at about the same historical distance from the events as a modern writer would be, if his subject was WWII. Maybe less.


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