Category:Jesus in India (subject)

From 4 Enoch: The Online Encyclopedia of Second Temple Judaism
(Redirected from Jesus in India)
Jump to: navigation, search

Jesus in India refers to a series of speculations about the presence of Jesus in India.


The "Indian connection" first emerged in discussions of the Jesus Myth Theory by authors who emphasized the alleged similarities between the message of Jesus and Eastern religions. In 1836 English writer Godfrey Higgins suggested in his book Anacalypsis that Jesus was a dark skinned Indian and Christianity a variant of the primeval Buddhist religion. In 1869 French author Louis Jacolliot claimed that the Gospels were a purely mythical construction based on the mythologies of ancient India. In Jacolliot's view, Jesus Christ (Iezeus Christna) was not an historical character; "Iezeus" meant pure essence in Sanskrit and Chrishna was only a way of spelling Krishna.

The Indian connection was exploited by Russian war correspondent and traveler Nicolas Notovitch, whose work is at the origin of the legend that the historical Jesus actually visited India. According to a manuscript he allegedly saw while visiting the Tibetan monastery of Himis in 1887 (Life of Saint Issa, the Best of the Sons of Men), Jesus spent six years among the Brahmins, then other six years among the Buddhists, before preaching to the pagans, the Zoroastrians and finally, the Jews. The presence of Jesus in India explained the connections between Eastern religions and Christianity. Notovitch’s work, published in French in 1894, was a hit, being translated in several languages and spurring large controversy.

In 1906, German writer Theodor J. Plange revised Jacolliot's thesis, claiming that Jesus was actually born in India and was ethnically Indian, not Jewish.

In 1908, American author Levi H. Dowling published the Acquarian Gospel of Jesus, a text he allegedly received through a spiritual revelation. The Gospel "confirmed" that Jesus visited India and spent 18 years there, prior to his preaching in the land of Israel.

In the meantime, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mirza Ghulam Ahmad offered in 1908 an alternative narrative. He claimed that Jesus went to India not before but after the crucifixion; Jesus preached there and died there an old man. Ahmad identified Jesus with the sage Yuz Asaf whose tomb was venerated in Srinagar, Kashmir. In his view, Yuz Asaf's shrine (known as the Roza Bal) was the actual burial place of Jesus of Nazareth. It was then Jesus who inspired Buddhism, not the other way around.

In 1928 Swedish physician Hugo Toll revived the Jesus Survival Theory, claiming that Jesus recovered from the wounds of the crucifixion and settled in the East. Ever since, in the shaping of the legend of Jesus in India, speculations about Jesus Hidden Years have often come together with speculations about Jesus Survival.

The hoax of the Jesus-in-India narrative was exposed by scholar Edgar J. Goodspeed in 1931 and again, in 1956, and seemed to vanish.

Since the 1970s, however, the legend has began flourishing again. On one hand, some authors have followed Nicolas Notovitch and limited themselves to speculate about the possibility that Jesus visited India in his youth. On the other hand, the theory that Jesus died in India generated the most fanciful theories about Jesus simulating his death with drugs or experiencing a coma or even being abducted by aliens, in order to explain how he was able to survive the crucifixion and reach India in his old age. Some authors finally have combined the two narratives, claiming that Jesus visited India before and after the crucifixion. The question has been debated not only in works of fiction, but also in books and documentaries which disguised themselves as works of scholarship.

The Jacolliot Theory also have been lately revived by Ravi Prakash Arya in 2006.

Jesus in India in literature & the arts

Jesus in India in scholarship

Scholarly treatments of the subject include:

External links

  • [ Wikipedia]

Pages in category "Jesus in India (subject)"

The following 35 pages are in this category, out of 35 total.