Home' Nova West : December 2009 Contents CEREMONY FEATURE
continued page 30
that the essence of the Buddhist teachings
were in those of Christianity because the
prophet Issa, their name for Jesus, had
visited Tibet 2,000 years earlier.
The lama told him to go to the
monastery of Hemis, near Leh, in Ladakh,
and there the abbot read him the verses
of an ancient manuscript which related
to Issa's visit to Tibet. With the help of an
interpreter, he recorded them.
These verses are known as the Tibetan
Gospel of Issa. They give a history of the
people of Israel and an account of Jesus'
birth, as well as of his death. Like The
Aquarian Gospel, the Tibetan text also
says that Jesus travelled to India, where
for six years, he was taught about the
Vedas by the Brahmins. It also supports the
claim in The Aquarian Gospel that Jesus
spoke out about the Brahmins' treatment
of the Untouchables, and spent time with
and taught these downtrodden people.
When, it's claimed, the Brahmins
decided to kill Jesus, he quickly left the
Juggernaut area where he had been based
and went to Gautamides, the birthplace
of Buddha, and here studied the sacred
sutras. In the Tibetan Gospel of Issa it
is said that after six years, Issa, whom
Buddha had chosen to spread his holy
word, had become a perfect example and
teacher of the sacred writings. It also says
that Jesus visited the Hemis Monastery in
Ladakh and describes his return to Judea
and his subsequent preaching, arrest and
When Notavitch's sensational book
was published, an Oxford professor called
Dr Max Muller was asked to investigate its
veracity. He sent an English schoolmaster
based in Agra to Ladakh where he was
allegedly told by the Hemis Monastery
abbot that he had not met Notavitch,
and that he knew nothing about the
Yet 40 years before Notavitch visited
the monastery, according to Dr Holger
Kersten, author of Jesus in India, a Mrs
Harvey went there and described viewing
the manuscripts. Also, after Notavitch, a
man called Kaliprasad Chandra went to
Hemis and was told by the monks that
Notavitch's account was truthful and was
shown the manuscript. Further, in 1939, a
Swiss nun and the President of the World
Association of Faith were also shown the
Dr Holger Kersten went to visit
the Hemis monastery in 1979, but the
'However, what does fascinate Jacobs is the folk
legend which has existed for 2,000 years that Jesus was
seen in Tibet, Nepal, northern India and Kashmir.'
manuscripts in question could not be
found. But he did see evidence that
Notavitch had actually been to Hemis.
Kersten also discovered Hindu texts
written between the 3rd and 4th centuries
describing how Jesus had come to India.
Another interesting piece
information comes from the Koran,
which does not mention Jesus' missing
years, but says that he escaped the
crucifixion and travelled to India, settled in
Kashmir and later died there. It is a view
supported by highly respected Islamic
scholars. There is actually a temple at the
place in Kashmir where he is believed to
have lived and died.
There is no definite evidence as to
whether Jesus did or did not visit India
As Alan Jacobs says, "You are really in
the field of possibilities and probabilities.
"What I have discovered is this.
Christians don't like it, so it is not credible.
Hindus like it, because the idea that Jesus
visited India is as attractive as if he visited
Great Britain or anywhere else. Islam likes
the idea that he was in Kashmir and the
Buddhists like the idea that he was in Tibet,
so really it is where you stand on this.
"You could say that your own attitude
is conditioned by your own religious
belief, or what you would like to believe.
But what actually happened we will
never know, unless more evidence comes
up."However, what does fascinate Jacobs
is the folk legend which has existed for
2,000 years that Jesus was seen in Tibet,
Nepal, northern India and Kashmir.
In his book, Alan Jacobs also
considers other possibilities to account
for Jesus' missing years, one of which is
that he lived with the Essenes, a Jewish
ascetic community. It was a religious
community that had a lot of rules that
Jesus later preached, Jacobs explains,
including communal meals, baptism and
the monastic life. Some of his friends
including John the Baptist were known
to have been Essenes. If this is the case,
the likely reason it is not mentioned in
the four Gospels in the Bible is due to
the Essenes' link with Orthodox Judaism,
and the Christian Church's desire to
disassociate itself from Judaism.
© NOVA DECEMBER 2009
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