Jesus Lived In India

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Jesus Lived In India

Post  jgrow2 on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:58 pm

There was a book put out in the 1980s by Holger Kersten called Jesus Lived In India. The version on Amazon was published in 1994 but it is older than that.

The idea was that Jesus did somehow fake the death on the cross, or otherwise lived past the events of the Passion and made his way east to minister to the Jews who stayed in the east during the Babylonian Captivity and lived in what is now the Kashmir region in western India.

Anyone heard of this? Kersten explores the connection to someone named Yuz Asaf who is buried in Srinagar, Kashmir. He supposedly arrived there around 30 AD with his mother who is also buried in the area. He lived to an old age ministering to the people there.

It was an interesting theory, if outlandish and too easily linked to Jesus' supernatural aspects.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Aught3 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:31 am

Interesting...what does the Bible say actually happened to Jesus after he came back to life?
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Neon Genesis on Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:31 am

I thought Jesus made a trip to America after he came back to life to help Moroni in the battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites?

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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  jgrow2 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:35 am

Aught3 wrote:Interesting...what does the Bible say actually happened to Jesus after he came back to life?

Ummm, he said snake handling was not silly and stupid, he got prodded by Thomas, had a bite to eat and p*ssed off skyward. Something like that.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  jgrow2 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:36 am

Neon Genesis wrote:I thought Jesus made a trip to America after he came back to life to help Moroni in the battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites?

He did. Brutha gets around.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Stanley on Sat Sep 26, 2009 4:57 am

I'm not entirely convinced that 'jesus' lived anywhere so recent theories that he faked his death and moved to another country are not likely to impress me.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  jgrow2 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 6:42 am

Stanley wrote:I'm not entirely convinced that 'jesus' lived anywhere so recent theories that he faked his death and moved to another country are not likely to impress me.

The theories I speak of are not recent at all. They go back hundreds of years in that part of the world. We only started hearing about it in the last forty years in popular press because of the increased interest in Eastern religion at the time and the perceived similarities between Buddhism and Christianity.

At the time I read Kersten's book (around 1992), I was in a different place, so was very receptive to the notion that Jesus would have made such a journey, especially considering the other aspects of the hypothesis Kersten put out there about the residents of the Kashmir region and how they were different in traditions and beliefs from other Indians but closer to Jews.

Now, whenever I think about the book and the idea, I think of it in the same way I think of the notion of Buddha's birthplace. The literal signs found in Nepal were ones placed at the site hundreds of years after Buddha's existence, somewhat like the "George Washington Slept Here" signs that used to abound a century back. Not necessariy true (at all!), but good for tourism. Many of the things Kersten brings up in his book are signs and monuments of that same variety, many devoted to Yuz Asaf and celebrating stories of his passing through a particular area. Kersten is eager in this book to link Yuz Asaf to Jesus, but he wasn't the only one.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Jim on Sat Sep 26, 2009 10:19 am

jgrow2 wrote:
Neon Genesis wrote:I thought Jesus made a trip to America after he came back to life to help Moroni in the battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites?

He did. Brutha gets around.
that's what i was thinking.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  jgrow2 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:48 pm

Jim wrote:
jgrow2 wrote:
Neon Genesis wrote:I thought Jesus made a trip to America after he came back to life to help Moroni in the battle between the Nephites and the Lamanites?

He did. Brutha gets around.
that's what i was thinking.

Which, that the brutha gets around, or the trip to America? He made the trip to America because he could pretty much fly like Superman, so says Joseph Smith.

The tales of Yuz Asaf go back pretty much to pre-Islamic times, right around when that came barreling out of the Arabian desert. Yuz Asaf was a healer and a prophet (also how Islam sees Jesus or Isa as he's known) who, depending on the monuments you find in that region of the Silk Road, may have had scars on his arms and feet like someone who had those parts pierced. His tomb apparently still exists in Kashmir, and is well regarded today. The tomb of his mother however is right next to a military outpost nearby.

When Yuz Asaf got connected up with the Jesus story I am not certain. In modern times the connection was re-made in the late 19th century when a fellow named Nicolai Notovitch ran into a Buddhist monk in the Kashmir region who told of a bodhisattva called "Issa" who had lived in the area. This led him to Yuz Asaf and here we are.

If you're interested, this is a synopsis of the Kersten book with a few spelling errors...

http://www.sol.com.au/kor/7_01.htm

The intermingling of ideas that happened due to the Silk Road is something that has fascinated me, and about which I've been able to find little.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Jim on Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:38 pm

that he gets around. haha.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Stanley on Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:53 am

jgrow2 wrote:

The theories I speak of are not recent at all. They go back hundreds of years in that part of the world. We only started hearing about it in the last forty years in popular press because of the increased interest in Eastern religion at the time and the perceived similarities between Buddhism and Christianity.

I'm afraid hundreds of years is still recent. It'd need to be from the time of 'jesus' to prick my interest. Otherwise, it's just another country pub's ghost story.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Neon Genesis on Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:40 pm

Aren't there also some Japanese who claim Jesus was buried in Japan? It must be his omnipresent powers as to why he can get around so much.

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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  DavidTSD on Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:52 am

Echoing Stanley, there is no primary source evidence that Jesus lived in India. One of the more famous sources for the India myth 1890 publication of "The Unknown Life of Jesus" by Nicolas Notovitch based on his travels in India and Afghanistan, and his contact with Buddhist monks in Ladakh.

Anecdotally, my best friend grew up in Punjab, India. My friend and his father said that Jesus is well respected in India, that legends of a Jesus in India myth are popular, and that Jesus studied in India and achieved enlightenment. Some Indians even consider Jesus another avatar, or at least an enlightened person. I do not know if this sentiment predates 1890, but certainly there is a nationalistic motive towards the Jesus in India myth.

I consider the Jesus in India myth quite spurious, but equally fascinating. I do not think as atheists we should be presenting Christians this alternative history because it can be easily refuted and give the appearance of bolstering Christian claims about the reliability of the Bible.

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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:08 am

DavidTSD wrote:Echoing Stanley, there is no primary source evidence that Jesus lived in India. One of the more famous sources for the India myth 1890 publication of "The Unknown Life of Jesus" by Nicolas Notovitch based on his travels in India and Afghanistan, and his contact with Buddhist monks in Ladakh.

Anecdotally, my best friend grew up in Punjab, India. My friend and his father said that Jesus is well respected in India, that legends of a Jesus in India myth are popular, and that Jesus studied in India and achieved enlightenment. Some Indians even consider Jesus another avatar, or at least an enlightened person. I do not know if this sentiment predates 1890, but certainly there is a nationalistic motive towards the Jesus in India myth.

I consider the Jesus in India myth quite spurious, but equally fascinating. I do not think as atheists we should be presenting Christians this alternative history because it can be easily refuted and give the appearance of bolstering Christian claims about the reliability of the Bible.

You are correct. I was reading "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man" when Price basically used the "country pub tale" line of reasoning. Admittedly it is, I think. A lot of the references to Yuz Asaf on ruins in the area are a lot like "George Washington slept here." That end of things fascinates me on a separate plane, the notion of ancient tourist traps.
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Nicholas on Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:20 am

jgrow2 wrote:You are correct. I was reading "The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man" when Price basically used the "country pub tale" line of reasoning. Admittedly it is, I think. A lot of the references to Yuz Asaf on ruins in the area are a lot like "George Washington slept here." That end of things fascinates me on a separate plane, the notion of ancient tourist traps.

I can see it now. Carved on a rock face in India, like ancient graffiti, "JC + MM 4 ever" is etched in Aramaic. =P
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Re: Jesus Lived In India

Post  Groundhog on Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:21 am

On a similar note, there is a theory that the apostle Thomas went to India and preached there. Elaine Pagels talks about this in her book "Beyond Belief," about the gospel of Thomas. She believes that Thomas was a Gnostic, and that his preaching of gospel caught on well in India since it was more similar to eastern mysticism than orthodox Christianity. She says there were Christians there for centuries who actually referred to themselves as "Thomas Christians."

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Jesus In an Age of Controversy

Post  j on Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:57 am

Interesting. I had heard reports of Jesus traveling to India during the so-called "lost years". And someone a little further up mentioned Nicolas Notovitch's name. For a good critique of that old theory, see Douglas Groothuis's "Jesus In an Age of Controversy". Dr. Groothuis writes extremely clearly and concisely and discusses this old theory in-depth. (And, if we're sincerely interested in knowing the strength of a theory, we'll look at all sides and see if it can sustain deep inquiry [even if we disagree with this one or that one], right?)

And it should be mentioned that the Journal Of the American Medical Association concluded in their 1986 report that the New Testament accounts of Jesus' crucifixion and death were, at the very least, medically solid. Whatever you want to believe after that or before that, given the details listed therein, Jesus died. No swooning. No faking.

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