Was Jesus in India?By: hawkgrrrl
Previously I noted similarities between Jesus’s teachings and Buddhism. I recently travelled in India and toured the Vishnawara temple in Varanasi. On the upper floor, there are Hindu sayings and scriptures carved with illustrations that give worshippers thoughts to ponder as they meditate and pray at the shrines of the gods. Many of these sayings sounded like some of the Psalms and Proverbs from the Old Testament, and many others sounded like a twist on the sayings of Jesus in the New Testament.
Some theories claim that Jesus lived in India either before or after his crucifixion (or both). The Hindu book the Bhagavad Gita is a collection of sayings that predate Christianity by 200-500 years, and there are many similarities between these sayings and familiar verses from the New Testament that are ascribed to Jesus. Some have even remarked on the similarities between Jesus and Krishna (one of Lord Vishnu’s incarnations). You be the judge:
- Jesus: If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself (Mark 8:34)
- Krishna: Selfless action is the path to perfection (III: 19)
- Jesus: I am … the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). I, the Lord, do not change (Malachi 3:6)
- Krishna: I am birthless and changeless. I am the lord. (IV: 6)
- Jesus: The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45)
- Krishna: Be humble, serve others (IV: 34)
- Jesus: All this has taken place to fulfill the scriptures (Matthew 26:56)
- Krishna: Your actions should conform to the truths of the scriptures (XVI: 24)
- Jesus: The one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out (John 6:37)
- Krishna: No worshipper of mine is ever rejected (IX: 31)
- Jesus: Lend, expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:35)
- Krishna: Giving that expects no return (XVII: 20)
- Jesus: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29)
- Krishna: Throw away your dharmas (duties & rules) – have faith in me, take refuge in me (XVIII:66)
Some of the fundamental philosophical differences between Hinduism and Christianity that I noted change the flavor of what is meant in similar-sounding verses:
- Reincarnation. Because Hinduism is based on the belief that our nature is a lengthy series of births and rebirths, many of the sayings have a very different meaning if you consider them to be about reincarnation rather than spiritual renewal and repentance in this lifetime.
- Detachment from outcomes. While Jesus’s sayings do often refer to the need to detach from wealth and control, most Christians do not see detachment as central to our faith. In fact, many (for example those who follow the ideas of the Prosperity Gospel or the Book of Mormon pride cycle) would say that riches will follow righteousness, that temporal blessings can and should be sought through righteous actions.
So, why do you think these are so similar? Was Jesus exposed to Eastern thought (Wise Men from the East) that he infused with Judaism to create Christianity? Was Jesus in the East? There are graves of Jesus in both Kashmir (the story says that he went there after the crucifixion – he avoided death using Eastern meditative techniques – and lived out the remainder of his days) and in Japan (the story says that a double, his brother, was killed in his place while he continued to live and teach among the Buddhists in Japan, eventually dying there). Of course, since the very existence of Jesus can’t be proven through archaeological means, these are merely claims made in remote regions of the far East, unproven and unprovable.
What do you think?