Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha


Question: My question is as follows: there is a book, recently appeared, that documents the youth of Jesus Christ and there it is described that the years between his childhood and last years when he was preaching he spent in India, especially in Kashmir, and he learned there the science which is described here. What is your opinion about this version, is this true?

Tirtha Maharaj: Well, personally I can accept that theory. Because it is very unusual that such a great personality like Lord Jesus some almost twenty years are missing from his life. Very unusual! He disappeared or what? He was introduced to the temple, he was preaching to the high priests and all of a sudden disappeared for twenty years. Right, and then he acts like a simple carpenter. Very unusual – that missing part of the story. And actually this is a period for any man to collect more knowledge, to learn, to study. And if we examine the later activities of Jesus and if we know something about the secrets and mystic powers of yogis, it is very similar. For example Lord Jesus was able to pacify the natural forces, the storm on the sea. And according to some yoga practices, you can gain such a power, that you can influence nature. Or the other thing: he was walking on the water, which is another famous achievement of yoga. Or: he was healing by the hand. Which is again practiced in the East. Or the most glorious and the most famous activity of his – that he practically dies and then came back to life – which is practiced by some yogis. They slow down the bodily functions, bury themselves under the earth, like twenty meters down in a coffin for two weeks, then somebody takes them back and they come back to life. Very unusual! The whole Christian faith is based on the resurrection of Lord Jesus – yogis can do that. Although they do not establish a religion on it.

So, these activities were very unusual in the western part of the Middle East, but some people were very well acquainted with these in the East, India. Or, if you try to compare the teachings of Lord Jesus and the eastern way of thinking, you will find many parallels. Although they say that even from the New Testament only like 6-8 % of the sentences can be traced back to him, original sayings. But anyway, this is a different question. So you can find many parallels, many similarities between the life style and this missing time, the activities and the teachings also. We can say: coincidence. But if you go to Kashmir and if you ask the local people of a certain village – I forgot the name of the village – where they preserve the tomb of Isa: the name is Isa, they have an Upanishad, revealed scripture, called Isa Upanishad. And usually the Upanishads, the secret teachings, sometimes are named after the teacher. And these local priests that take care of the tomb will tell you that yes, somebody returned, came to India from West as a preacher. Son of God, he is called son of God. And actually there was a Russian traveller, Alexander Notovich, who I think in the end of the 19th century has travelled to Kashmir and to Tibet to different places and he met such monks, who had knowledge about Jesus. There were some scriptures in the eastern monasteries, describing some activities of Jesus. It is said that he travelled even to Jagannath Puri, even to Bengal, this part – so practically the whole India Isa has travelled through.

But it is up to the person – if somebody accepts these versions or doubts. And of course we should not question the faith and the basic tenets of Christianity. But some people say that after reading of “Bhagavad Gita”, for example, they understand the Bible much better. Because the language or the topic is the same – love of Godhead and divine topics – but certain points are maybe more elaborate or more divert, directly given.

We respect the faith of all pure-hearted practitioners and we are sure that by following any authorized, bona fide path you can reach back home, back to Godhead. So, the parallels are striking. We should think. And what more – we should also think, if Lord Jesus would return, because half of the world waits for the second advent of Lord Jesus, if he would come in orange robes, with shaved head, dancing and singing, but telling the same message, would you recognize him? Or you say: “Ah, this is something strange for me, where is his beard?” So, we should come to some essential points. And if you examine the teachings, hardly you can find any big, major controversies.

This shows that we are all brothers and sisters. Not only in our small temple or in a pravoslav church – but the Roman Catholics they are not so much our brothers, what to speak of the Buddhists, or the Jews, or this or that… Religion separates humans. Faith unites. Because religion is relative. Faith is absolute, transcendental. Nevertheless, stick to religious practices also. In the name of unifying all the “I don’t know what” we should not give up our practice. And our teachers had this vision. When they asked Shrila Prabhupada whether it is good to convert people or not, he said: “It is not necessary to convert them.” He said: “If you are a Christian, be a good Christian. If you are a Muslim, be a good Muslim.” Do your practice sincerely, deeply. If you are a devotee, be a devotee. Because divine love is beyond the religious formalities. And God is not a member of any religious organization on the planet Earth.

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