“Original Christianity” is the teaching of both Jesus of Nazareth and his Apostle Saint Thomas in India. Although it was new to the Mediterranean world, it was really the classical, traditional teachings of the ancient rishis of India that even today comprise Sanatana Dharma, the Eternal Dharma, that goes far beyond religion into realization.
In The Christ of India Abbot George Burke presents what those ancient teachings are, as well as the growing evidence that Jesus spent much of his “Lost Years” in India and Tibet. This is also the story of how the original teachings of Jesus and Saint Thomas thrived in India for centuries before the coming of the European colonialists.
The Christ of India: The Story of Original Christianity includes the following:
- The Christ of India, about the Essene roots of Jesus and the early Christians; the spiritual training of Jesus; The “lost years” of Jesus, with much information never before gathered together in one place; Jesus’ return to the West, and how his teachings were misunderstood; Jesus return to India after his resurrection; and much more.
- The Apostle of India, about how Jesus’ apostle Saint Thomas went to India, and how the Christianity which grew up in India had a totally unique character compared to elsewhere in the world; the history of Saint Thomas Christianity in India and how it was persecuted by the colonialists.
- The Beliefs of Original Christianity
- Special Appendix 1: Indian Masters Who Considered Jesus One of Them. Stories of masters who had visions of Jesus, and those who researched Jesus’ time in India, including Sri Ramakrishna, Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Sivananda and others
- Special Appendix 2: The Yoga of the Nath Yogis and Jesus
“Such an amazing book. Abbot George provides such a fresh yet timeless take on the teachings of Christ and how they directly relate to the Sanatana Dharma, the eternal truths that are found in all religions…Definitely a book for those looking into original Christianity.”
Excerpts from The Christ of India
Jesus lived for a while in Jagannath Puri, which at that time was a great center of the worship of Shiva, second only to Benares. In Puri Jesus lived some time in the famous Govardhan Math, today a major center of the monastic order of the foremost philosopher-saint of India known as Adi Shankaracharya.
In the nineteen-fifties, the former head of the Govardhan Math, and senior figure of the entire monastic Swami Order of Shankaracharya, Jagadguru Bharati Krishna Tirtha, claimed that he had discovered “incontrovertible historical evidence” that Jesus had lived in the Govardhan Math as well as in other places of India. He was writing a book on the subject, but died before it could be finished. Unfortunately the fate of his manuscript and research is presently unknown.
The guru of Paramhansa Yogananda, Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri, had an ashram in Puri and he, too, wrote a book proving that Jesus had lived in India and been a teacher of Sanatana Dharma. (Perhaps he had access to the same material the Shankaracharya later found.) A missionary asked to borrow it and never returned it. After the passing of Sri Yukteswar his disciples asked for the return of the book but the missionary denied ever having it.
Jesus did not claim to be God, only a son of God as are all sentient beings. As explained earlier, Jesus of Nazareth was not an orthodox Jew, but an Essene who had studied some of the wisdom of India in the Essene schools. He then spent most of his life in India and returned to Israel as a missionary of Sanatana Dharma. This book could not really be a presentation of original Christianity if it did not present the teachings of the Dharma which Jesus brought back from India.
Jesus Christ was God in the sense that as atmas we are all divine, but he was not the Creator God, nor was he a blood sacrifice to satisfy an angry God and draw his wrath away from humanity. Rather, he was a great siddha, a liberated being who for all practical purposes can be called an avatara, an incarnation of God, as have been many others throughout history, especially in India.
Where can we find the authentic teachings of Jesus? In the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutras. Although there are fragments and hints of Jesus’ teachings in the Bible, the four Gospels were written long after Jesus and his disciples had departed this world, and a great deal of his teaching is omitted or distorted and even fabricated. The book known as the Gospel of Thomas certainly presents his authentic teachings, and so do some of the texts of the Christian Gnostics found in Egypt.
What if someone feels an intense attraction and attachment to Jesus, even though they adopt Sanatana Dharma, practice yoga meditation and seek Self-realization? There is nothing wrong with that, for Jesus is a Master because of those very things. An attraction to Jesus naturally rises from his status as a perfected Son of God, a Siddha, and it also may be a result of past life involvement with Christianity.
I have known Indian Brahmins who had devotion to Jesus and kept his picture in their homes, though not becoming Christians. In his youth one of my Brahmin friends felt such an attraction to Jesus that he went to a Roman Catholic priest and asked how he could become a Christian. The priest asked if he had really studied Hinduism. When said he had not, the priest told him to make a serious and deep study of Hinduism and then decide if he wanted to become a Christian. After he followed the priest’s advice he was no longer interesting in changing religions, but he kept a picture of Jesus in his puja room and worshipped it daily.
There is no reason why a Westerner cannot do the same. And I would certainly advise such a person to study the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ to learn the truth about Jesus and his teachings, as well as The Second Coming of Christ, Autobiography of a Yogi, Man’s Eternal Quest, The Divine Romance and Journey to Self-realization by Paramhansa Yogananda.
Read The Christ of India.