The ‘Jesus in India’ theory stirs up excitement
More than 100 years after the Russian explorer Nicolas Notovitch released his book The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ in which he translated some ancient Tibetan Buddhist scrolls that seemed to indicate that Jesus may have spent his lost years in India, there is a palpable sense of excitement in India once again.
The first reason is that William Sees Keenan has decided to produce a $20m movie entitled The Aquarian Gospel to be directed by Drew Heriot. According to the film’s makers the Bible devotes just seven words to the most formative years of Jesus Christ’s life simply saying “The boy grew in wisdom and stature”.
The Aquarian Gospel will attempt to fill that gap by following Christ’s journey to the east where he encounters other traditions, and discovers the principles that are the bedrock of all the world’s great religions.
The second reason for excitement in Mumbai and Delhi is that a new ‘Da Vinci Code‘ genre novel entitled The Rozabal Line by Shawn Haigins has taken the Jesus in India story and has supposed not only that Jesus spent his lost years in India but also that he survived the crucifixion and returned to India which was also home to one of the lost tribes of Israel.
The novel has a controversial theme because it assumes that a Jesus and Mary Magdalene bloodline may exist in troubled Kashmir, along the Indo-Pakistan border, and that this bloodline could possibly be a present-day Islamic holy warrior.
Keenan’s film will only be ready for release in 2009; Haigins’ novel is available in the U.S. but will only be available in Indian bookstores in early 2008; but both have already created a discernible buzz in India. It will be recalled that India was one of the few places where the screening of The Da Vinci Code had to be temporarily suspended because of public protests and demonstrations.
The ‘Jesus in India’ theory is not new.
The German scholar, Holger Kersten, published Jesus Lived in India in 1994. He claimed that the tomb of a local Kashmiri saint, Yuz Asaf, located in Rozabal (Srinagar, Kashmir) was actually the tomb of Jesus. The researcher Suzanne Olsson also attempted to establish DNA evidence to link the two tomb sites at Rozabal and Murree where Jesus and Mary are supposed to have been buried. Dr. Fida Hassnain, former director of archaeology at the University of Srinagar has also written several books indicating the Yuz Asaf, Yeshua, Issa and Jesus were one and the same. The BBC has reported that the Bnei Menashe from North-Eastern India may actually be one of the lost tribes that reached India via Persia and Afghanistan.
About the Book:
The Rozabal Line
Publisher: Lulu Press
ISBN : 1430327545
About the Author:
Shawn Haigins holds a Masters degree from Yale, is married, and has a four year old son. The Rozabal Line is his first novel.
Shawn is a voracious reader and loves to travel around the world. He is presently working on a second novel that deals with the concept of reincarnation. Besides this, he is also writing a non-fiction book on the common historical origins of world religions.
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