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Upendra Bharti | HENB | Raipur | Nov 1, 2022:: A remark by Puri Shankaracharya Swami Nischalananda Saraswati of Govardhan Peeth that Jesus Christ was not only a Hindu but lived in India over 10 years has stirred a controversy that has upset the Christians. During his interaction in a programme in Chhattisgarh capital on Monday, the Shankaracharya of Puri said that out of the 10 years, Christ stayed for three years in Puri where he was in touch with then Shankaracharya and obtained spiritual training as per Sanatan Dharma.
“Jesus was the disciple of the Vaishnava sect (one of the major sects in Hinduism),” he said, adding there was an attempt to make Hindus a minority through reservations. “Isa Masih das varsho tak agyatvas me Bharat me rahe (Jesus Christ stayed in seclusion in India for 10 years). But something else is now happening in the name of Christ,” said the seer.
His remarks did not go down well with the Christian community who questioned his knowledge and intentions since he is revered as a religious Hindu sage. “We are appalled to hear such remarks from someone of his stature. Something that has remained a fact for centuries in history can’t be changed. Swami Saraswati as a religious leader needs to be careful while giving such statements,” said Victor Henry, the Archbishop, Chhattisgarh.
Another Christian movement activist and an agent of proselytizers, Arun Pannalal, the president of Chhattisgarh Christian Forum also opposed the statement of Swami Nischalananda as it posed as a barrier for the conspiracy of Christian conversion in many counts.
Actually such half educated Archbishop Victor Henry or Arun Pannalal with a Hindu name have little knowledge of Jesus Christ who came to India for his spiritual quest and stayed here for a long.
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 earlier. 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 Tibbote“, 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 in an quest of spiritual liberation.
Hence, the Christianity ready to humiliate Hinduism for its conversion ploy just ignores that Jesus Christ himself embraced Sanatan Hindu Dharma for atatting the ultimate liberation.
Read here: Jesus lived in India by Holger Kersten
__Inputs from TNIE // Courtesy to the links used above.