Editor's Choice

Jesus' connection with India through the"Wise men from the east"


The Second Coming of Christ (The Resurrection of the Christ within You)
"During the unaccounted-for years of Jesus' life—the Scripture remains silent about him from approximately ages fourteen to thirty—he journeyed to India, probably traveling the well-established trade route that linked the Mediterranean with China and India. His own God-realization, reawakened and reinforced in the company of the masters and the spiritual environs of India, provided a background of the universality of truth from which he could preach a simple, open message comprehensible to the masses of his native country, yet with underlying meanings that would be appreciated in generations to come as the infancy of man's mind would mature in understanding."

"The adoration of the Wise Men is far more significant than merely another scene of pageantry recognizing the holy birth. It was the defining stamp of God placed on the life of Jesus that would in future characterize his mission and message—a reminder that Jesus was born in the Orient, an Oriental Christ; and that his teachings bore the influence of the Eastern culture and customs. There is a very strong tradition in India, authoritatively known amongst high metaphysicians in tales well told and written in ancient manuscripts, that the wise men of the East who made their way to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem were, in fact, great sages of India. Not only did the Indian masters come to Jesus, but he reciprocated their visit. During the unaccounted-for years of Jesus' life—the Scripture remains silent about him from approximately ages fourteen to thirty—he journeyed to India, probably traveling the well-established trade route that linked the Mediterranean with China and India. His own God-realization, reawakened and reinforced in the company of the masters and the spiritual environs of India, provided a background of the universality of truth from which he could preach a simple, open message comprehensible to the masses of his native country, yet with underlying meanings that would be appreciated in generations to come as the infancy of man's mind would mature in understanding.

As civilization takes giant strides in the proliferation of material knowledge, man will find that the underpinnings of many of his old familiar religious dogmas may well begin to crack and crumble. What is needed is a reunion of the science of religion with the spirit, or inspiration, of religion—the esoteric with the exoteric. The yoga science taught by Lord Krishna, which provides practical methods for actual inner experience of God to supplant the feeble life-expectancy of beliefs, and the spirit of Christ-love and brotherhood preached by Jesus—the only sure panacea to prevent the world from tearing itself apart by its unyielding differences—are in tandem one and the same universal truth, taught by these two Christs of East and West, only with a variant outward emphasis according to the times and conditions of their respective incarnations...

It amuses me when my Western brothers ask: "Do you believe in Christ? "I always say: "Jesus the Christ"—Jesus the divine son of man in whom was manifested the Christ Consciousness, the Son of God. Much more than merely believing in him is to 'know' him.

Christ has been much misinterpreted by the world. Even the most elementary principles of his teachings have been desecrated, and their esoteric depths have been forgotten. (p.90) They have been crucified at the hands of dogma, prejudice, and cramped understanding. Genocidal wars have been fought, people have been burned as witches and heretics, on the presumed authority of man-made doctrines of Christianity. How to salvage the immortal teachings from the hands of ignorance? We must know Jesus as an Oriental Christ, a supreme yogi who manifested full mastery of the universal science of God-union, and thus could speak and act as a savior with the voice and authority of God. He has been Westernized too much. [1]

The Second Coming of Christ (The Resurrection of the Christ within You)
Paramahansa Yogananda, Self-Realization Fellowship (2008) pp. 56/90

Notes:

[1] Through the remarkable discovery of early Christian gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, one may glimpse something of what was lost to conventional Christianity during this process of"Westernization." Elaine Pagels, Ph.D., writes in 'The Gnostic Gospels' (New York: Vintage Books, 1981): "The Nag Hammadi texts, and others like them, which circulated at the beginning of the Christian era, were denounced as heresy by orthodox Christians in the middle of the second century....But those who wrote and circulated these texts did not regard 'themselves' as 'heretics'. Most of the writings use Christian terminology, unmistakably related to a Jewish heritage. Many claim to offer traditions about Jesus that are secret, hidden from 'the many' who constitute what, in the second century, came to be called the 'catholic church'. These Christians are now called gnostics, from the Greek word 'gnosis', usually translated as 'knowledge'. For as those who claim to know nothing about ultimate reality are called agnostic (literally, 'not-knowing'), the person who does claim to know such things is called gnostic ('knowing'). But 'gnosis' is not primarily rational knowledge....As the gnostics use the term, we could translate it as 'insight', for 'gnosis' involves an intuitive process of knowing oneself....[According to gnostic teachers], to know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God; this is the secret of 'gnosis'....

"The"living Jesus' of these texts speaks of illusion and enlightenment, not of sin and repentance, like the Jesus of the New Testament. Instead of coming to save us from sin, he comes as a guide who opens access to spiritual understanding....

"Orthodox Christians believe that Jesus is Lord and Son of God in a unique way: he remains forever distinct from the rest of humanity whom he came to save. Yet the gnostic 'Gospel of Thomas' relates that as soon as Thomas recognizes him, Jesus says to Thomas that they have both received their being from the same source: 'I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become drunk from the bubbling stream which I have measured out....He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him.'

"Does not such teaching—the identity of the divine and human, the concern with illusion and enlightenment, the founder who is presented not as Lord, but as spiritual guide—sound more Eastern than Western?....Could Hindu or Buddhist Tradition have influenced gnosticism?....Ideas that we associate with Eastern religions emerged in the first century through the gnostic movement in the West, but they were suppressed and condemned by polemicists like Irenaeus." ('Publisher's Note')




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