Monday, November 28, 2011

swami devananda writes to a sadhu: Your Jesus-in-India story on Sulekha

nov 28th, 2011 CE

jesus is a fabrication by paul. very convenient for the church in its mission of world conquest.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Swami Devananda Saraswati

Sadhu Rangarajanji,

Some months ago you sent me an essay containing the Jesus-in-India tale. I ignored it and stopped publishing your articles. I had lost confidence in your discriminating powers and motives too (having remembered that you had once taught Gita to trainee priests in a Christian seminary in Poonamallee). I could not fathom why, after the excellent articles you had already submitted, you had decided to submit the Jesus-in-India tale too, especially as you knew I denounced it.

However as the tale is doing the rounds again by email, and seeing that you have published the story on Sulekha as Was Jesus a Hindu yogi?, I am going to repeat the facts behind the tale again, as I believe I once told them to you years ago at your house in Triplicane.

Swami Abhedananda, the Indian 'authority' for the Jesus story, was no historian and we know today that many of the early Ramakrishna-ites invented stories to serve their own purposes (such as the untrue story that Ramakrishna saw Jesus and Muhammad in a vision). Abhedananda went to Hemis monastery and saw some documents. What he really saw we will never know. But he also resorts to the unworthy etymological argument that is so favoured by Hindus: If the words sound the same, then they must be the same or mean the same thing. It is a false argument and no credible scholar accepts it. 

An example is: "According to Swami Abhedananda, the illustrious gurubhai of Swami Vivekananda, Essenes emerged from the Nath Yogis of India. "Essene" or "Ishana" is Shiva. "Ishani" or Isha Nath" is the follower of Shiva. Ernest Renan says, that Bondasp (Bodhisattva) is the founder of Subeism or Baptism, the origin of the Mendiates, the Christians of St. John, the Baptist." and so on. All of it is possible, none of it is probable and none of it has supporting third-party historical documentation. It is all romantic theory.

You give a whole list of authorities in your essay. But in fact the 'authorities' are only quoting the author before them and each other. It all leads back to Notovitch the Russian forger.

This was the period of Theosophy and any fantastic romantic notion of Jesus and religion became grist for the theosophical mill and its Indian Neo-Vedantic equivalents.

The reason Jesus is the object of these tales is because Jesus himself is a fictional character. There is no authoritative historical evidence for his existence. As the hero of the New Testament gospels, he may be modelled on the Essene Teacher of Righteousness. But nobody knows. It is all theory and speculation. Because of 2000 years of aggressive Christian propaganda, Jesus has become a real historical person in the minds of most people. In fact the Christian claim to religious superiority is that Jesus was a real historical person while Rama and Krishna are only mythological persons. But the truth may be the reverse. As Koenraad Elst says, there is more literary evidence for Sri Rama than there is for St. Thomas. I say the same is true for Jesus and Sri Rama. 

Years ago I looked into the sources for the Jesus-in-India story as it is related to the Thomas-in-India story. I also discussed it at some length with Sita Ram Goel. When it came to historical facts, Goel was brutally honest. If the story was even partially true, he would have said so. But he didn't. He consigned it to the dust bin along with the Thomas-in-India legend. What I remember of the discussion is this:
  1. The story was invented by the Russian journalist Nicolas Notovitch. It was written in a very convincing style and attracted a lot of readers at the time including Hindus who swallowed everything and anything the Europeans gave them (the way Tagore, Bengal's great intellectual and Nobel Prize winner, swallowed the Aryan Invasion Theory!).
  2. Max Muller asked Notovitch for proofs about his claim for Jesus in Kashmir. Notovitch was not able to produce any proofs. 
  3. The abbot of Hemis monastery denounced Notovitch as a liar. 
  4. The British official concerned stated that Notovitch had never visited Ladakh.
  5. The present Hemis monastery, the one Notovitch allegedly visited, did not exist till the 17th century. The earlier monastery, which was built in the 10th century, was burned down shortly after it opened. What it contained in its library is any body's guess. But we can be sure Jesus never visited the place as it didn't exist in the 1st century!
  6. The whole tale hinges on the term 'Isa', Issa', or 'Isha' as the name of Jesus in the documents. But 'Isa' is Sanskrit for "lord'. By what rational has this term got associated with Jesus? It could refer to anybody. In a Buddhist monastery it can refer to Buddha or a Tibetan saint. Why does it refer to Jesus specifically? The name 'Jesus' must appear in the documents before it can be said he is in the documents!
  7. The term 'Issa' for Jesus in the Koran has no meaning according to my Arabic translator. There are a number of words like this in Arabic that cannot be explained, including the term 'Allah'. They are non-existent words in Arabic!
  8. The so-called Jesus cave is the Vashitha Guha above Rishikesh. Take a close look at the photo on the Atma Jyoti website and see for yourself. The Atma Jyoti people are Christian priests who present themselves as Hindu sannyasis. They are frauds and their photo is fraudulent. I have visited the cave. Have you?
  9. The Roza Bal tomb in Srinagar contains a Sufi saint and a Mogul ambassador to Egypt. The Mogul ambassador's tomb is the 'Jesus' in the shrine. The ambassador had converted to Christianism in Egypt and so Christian symbols have been added to his grave.
  10. Christians did not adopt the cross as a symbol until after the 3rd century AD--some scholars say as late as the 6th century. The cross and crucifix were originally Greek Orphic symbols and abhorrent to early Christians who were practising Jews. Certainly Jesus (or Thomas) would not have used a cross as an identifying sign. 
  11. The crosses found in Kashmir and Kerala--'Thomas crosses'--were made by Nestorian Christian missionaries who passed from Kerala up the west coast to Kashmir and on to China in the 8th and 9th centuries. The cross was introduced into India in the 4th century by Syrian Christian immigrants from Mesopotamia.
  12. All the Jesus-in-India stories present Hindus as bigoted and violent idolaters who would not accept Jesus as a great teacher with superior teachings. The Jesus-in-India stories were invented to malign Hindus and show the inferiority of the Hindu religion.
  13. The so-called Hindu-Buddhist influences in the New Testament are in fact Neo-Platonic influences though it is recognised that there were Hindu and Buddhist scholars in Alexandria or the nearby desert from as early as the 3rd century BC. Hindu sadhus are like leaves and get blown around the world. Our glob-trotting godmen are not a new phenomenon and sadhus have always been great travellers. 
  14. The famous Sermon on the Mount so beloved by Gandhi is a Pagan, probably Neo-Platonic, interpolation into the New Testament. Certainly it does not represent the attitude of Jesus whose 'great love of mankind' did not include his own people the Jews. Jesus is the first anti-Semite and the New Testament the origin of anti-Semitism. Jesus' love for mankind is a theological invention and not what he really was about. He cursed pigs and fig trees and denied his mother at the marriage of Cana. He had a pronounced misogynistic attitude. According the the Carpocratians, and early Christian sect, Jesus and Lazarus were lovers. But his act of denying his mother at Cana would put him beyond the human pale for the Hindu and make him completely unacceptable as a religious teacher.
  15. Lastly, this story cannot be accepted by believing Christians and is considered blasphemy. If Jesus did not die on the cross and shed his blood for his followers, Christians are not saved. That is the doctrine of all Christian sects and denominations. For the Christian there is no alternative except a crucified and dead Jesus.
But the real question is why do you promote this silly anti-Hindu fable in the first place? What is your objective? What is the lacunae in Hindu religion that you need to add Jesus to the pantheon of Himilayan rishis and saints? 

Isn't this just another manifestation of the Hindu 'spiritual ego' at work. Hindus nationalists want to own for themselves everything spiritual in the world--everything! So Jesus has to be made Hindu too--by hook or by crook!

But Jesus wasn't a very nice man. Read your New Testament, Rangarajanji! Jesus contributed absolutely nothing original to the world's vast body of spiritual knowledge except a curse. The curse is that all those who didn't accept his claims would burn in hell-fire for eternity. 

No Hindu mahatma would or could ever make such a curse as this! Even against his enemies!

And while Hindu nationalists are busy collecting the gods of other religions as their own, why not add Muhammad too? Muhammad, who had a Jewish rabbi as a teacher, was only copying the teaching of Moses and Jesus. So if Jesus is 'Hindu', why can't Muhammad be Hindu too? 

But Hindus in their great wisdom will not add Muhammad to their pantheon of Hindu saints!

Poor Jesus! He is everything to to everybody because he never really existed. He is a fictional literary character in the New Testament. No historian believes Jesus was a historical person any more! Christianity is a dead cult except in India and California and the White House. In India everything lives on forever in the Hindu imagination. So Jesus will live on too. Future anthropologists and archaeologists will come to India to study the Jesus cult as there will be no other place for them to find it!

Your argument that Jesus and Church are different is a very fanciful Hindu argument. The Church is built on the personality and teachings of Jesus and is the institutionalised form of Jesus and his teachings. Hindus deceive themselves when they say they accept Jesus but not Churchianity. If Hindus accept Jesus it is inevitable that they will take a soft attitude to the Church too. 

So what do you have to say about all of this, Rangarajanji? You are an international, globe-trotting guru with devotees in South Africa. You have built a temple to Bharat Mata in Bangalore which is highly commendable. You have served Hindus all of your life. You have met and been blessed by innumerable saints in your lifetime including our dear Yogiji. But still you hunger after Jesus!  Why? 

Perhaps you should reflect on this Jesus-in-India story before repeating it to others. Many Hindus take your word as Veda vakyas. Are you willing to assume the authority of Rishi Vyasa vis-a-vis the Jesus-in-India tale?

Think about it, Sadhuji!

Swami Devananda


«Check out Swami Devananda's Wikipedia page» 

1 comment:

Rafael Jr said...

Just regarding the statement that no historian believes on the historical Jesus, I would like to suggest reading the "Christ FIles" by John Dickson. It seems that he presents a convincing evidence of the historical Jesus.

Thank you.