Ermak Travel Guide


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Jesus and India


Some alternative versions of life of Jesus Christ claim that he lived in India for several years where he taught Buddhism or other Indian religions. This fairly recent myth about Christianity arose in the 19th century.












We will not discuss the differences between Buddhism and Christianity. It should a theme of another article. However let's look at this theory more closely. Its supporters claim that Bible does not tell much about childhood and adolescence of Jesus. He briefly appears in the Temple of Jerusalem in his early teen years, but then the Testaments fall silent on the other years of his life. It is a credible complaint for those who live in the twenty first century. We got used to uneventful biographies that describe the life of a person from the beginning to the end. However, for the time period then the Testaments were written a different style of writing biographies was common. We have very little information about childhood on any historical figure from the Ancient World. Children were not viewed as too important or too interesting to describe. Rome's greatest historians ignore hole chunks of lives of people. Plutarch for example starts description of life of Julius Caesar with the words that Sulla failed to force him divorce his wife. Childhood, adolescence and married life of this man is not important in the eyes of the historian as well as society at the time. And yet no one assumes that Caesar went to India for several years, learned something new from the Tibetan lamas and came back to Rome. This could be said about any historical figure from Rome, Greece, Persia or any other country. Perception of the a child and childhood as a distinctly positive period of human life appears only in a Christian World. Then Jesus said: "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, he is the greater in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4)" he ushered a new perception of childhood. Not merely a status of incomplete human, but a human with its own qualities that are good.


Another important aspect of the Bible that supporters of this theory seem to miss is ease at which Jesus Christ speaks in Aramaic. We don't see any phrases or words that could be traced to any Indian language. Someone who lived in a foreign country for a very long time, isolated from the population of his or her native tongue, you expect certain peculiarities in a language. It is unavoidable and they should have showed up in the Testaments. And yet we see a man who speaks his language with ease. His words carry wisdom and a poetic fluidity that you would not expect from someone who lived abroad for a extended period.


However none of reasons stated above matter if we can trace certain lessons to India. That is moral code or view of the World must have certain similarity with religions of India and not other religious or philosophical schools of the Mediterranean basin. And here we don't see a single lesson that could be picked up in India. In fact much of his teaching goes against basic concepts of India. There is no blindness of karma since there is one God that wills. Even if we could hypothetically send Jesus to India it is evident that he was a bad student and did not learn a single thing from the local religions.


So why do people like these kind of stories? They are obviously fake and lack any base to it. The answer probably lies in a fact that juggling these stories is more pleasant than actually living by the laws of the New Testament. Since it is hard to follow and even harder to admit the difficulty, people send Jesus to exile to India along with this teachings.










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