Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bodhisattva Jesus (Issa)


In Mahayana Buddhist terms, Jesus (Issa) may be regarded as a bodhisattva. The designation explains why some people regard Mahayana Buddhism as a form of messianic Asian Christianity. The term reveals striking doctrinal similarities, while covering the fact that Mahayana Buddhism came first. Christianity and Catholic doctrine followed. Jesus Christ was trained in India during his "lost years," something that was no secret to Vatican elders or Greek Orthodox scholars who inherited redactions of the tradition that very deliberately omitted Biblical references to this at the Council of Nicaea.


Jesus as traditional Yogi
Jesus was clearly influenced by Indian spiritual custom. Hinduism is the bedrock of "the Wisdom of the East." Jesus' strange practices are not at all strange in a Hindu context. Walking on water (siddhis), "praying" (japa and mantra meditation), being viewed or viewing himself as "god incarnate" (avatar), and so on. Hinduism had its most radical transformation and revivification due to the Buddha's teaching, so much so that he is regarded as part of their tradition even as he utterly rejected some of its central doctrines. The Buddha was, after all, not a temple Brahmin declaring the sanctity of the Vedas and the primacy of the god Brahma. Rather, he was a samana ("wandering ascetic," a shaman, shramana) rejecting the authority of the Vedas (the religious convention of his day) and declaring a level, casteless, egalitarian path to liberation that can be directly experienced without the mediation of priests (or absolution).


Is Jesus a Buddhist?
The similarities to Jesus' doctrine are strikingly clear, and much has been made of them in the scholarship of comparative religions (e.g., see a comparison of sayings). If one looks more deeply into the core teachings, one recognizes Jesus as behaving like a yogi and bodhisattva. He perhaps was under the sway of a messianic complex, being seen or seeing himself as Maitreya Buddha come again. Even today it would not be difficult to idealize him as a manifestation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

Mahayana Shakyamuni Buddha with Jesus of Nazareth (

8. The divine child, to whom was given the name of Issa, began from his earliest years to speak of the one and indivisible God, exhorting the souls of those gone astray to repentance and the purification of the sins of which they were culpable.

9. People came from all parts to hear him, and they marveled at the discourses proceeding from his childish mouth. All the Israelites were of one accord in saying that the Eternal Spirit dwelt in this child.

10. When Issa had attained the age of thirteen years, the epoch when an Israelite should take a wife,

11. The house where his parents earned their living by carrying on a modest trade began to be a place of meeting for rich and noble people, desirous of having for a son-in-law the young Issa, already famous for his edifying discourses in the name of the Almighty.

12. Then it was that Issa left the parental house in secret, departed from Jerusalem, and with the merchants set out towards Sind,

13. With the object of perfecting himself in the Divine Word and of studying the laws of the great Buddhas.

        • CHAPTER V

        1. In the course of his fourteenth year, the young Issa, blessed of God, came on this side of Sind and established himself among the Aryas in the land beloved of God.

        2. Fame spread the reputation of this marvelous child throughout the length of northern Sind, and when he crossed the country of the five rivers and the Rajputana, the devotees of the god Jaine prayed him to dwell among them.

        3. But he left the erring worshippers of Jaine and went to Juggernaut in the country of Orissa, where repose the mortal remains of Vyasa-Krishna and where the white priests of Brahma made him a Joyous welcome.

        4. They taught him to read and understand the Vedas, to cure by aid of prayer, to teach, to explain the holy scriptures to the people, and to drive out evil spirits from the bodies of men, restoring unto them their sanity.

        5. He passed six years at Juggernaut, at Rajagriha, at Benares, and in the other holy cities. Everyone loved him, for Issa lived in peace with the Vaisyas and the Sudras ["outcastes"], whom he instructed in the holy scriptures.

        6. But the Brahmans and the Kshatriyas told him that they were forbidden by the great Para-Brahma to come near to those whom he had created from his side and his feet;

        7. That the Vaisyas ["laborers"] were only authorized to hear the reading of the Vedas, and this on festival days only;

        8. That the Sudras were forbidden not only to assist at the reading of the Vedas, but also from contemplating them, for their condition was to serve in perpetuity as slaves to the Brahmans [Brahmin priestly caste], the Kshatriyas [administrators, warriors, nobles], and even the Vaisyas.

        9. "'Death only can set them free from their servitude' has said Para-Brahma. Leave them then and come and worship with us the gods, who will become incensed against thee if thou cost disobey them."

        10. But Issa listened not to their discourses and betook him to the Sudras, preaching against the Brahmans and the Kshatriyas.

        11. He inveighed against the act of a man arrogating to himself the power to deprive his fellow beings of their rights of humanity; "for," said he, "God the Father makes no difference between his children; all to him are equally dear."

        12. Issa denied the divine origin of the Vedas* and the Puranas*. "For," taught he to his followers, "a law has already been given to man to guide him in his actions; *[The Abhedananda version of the Himis transcript does not include this denunciation.]

        13. "Fear thy God, bend the knee before him only, and bring to him alone the offerings which proceed from thy gains."

        14. Issa denied the Trimurti and the incarnation of Para-Brahma in Vishnu, Siva*, and other gods, for said he: *[The Abhedananda version of the Himis' transcript does not include this denunciation.]

        15. "The Judge Eternal, the Eternal Spirit, comprehends the one and indivisible soul of the universe, which alone creates, contains, and vivifies all. *Inasmuch as Jesus' closest disciple, John, begins his Gospel with a quote from the Vedas, "In the beginning was the Word . . . " the authenticity of this passage may be questioned. (Notation added by Notovitch)... Read more

        Detail of mudra and dillo (


        Pedro said...

        Awesome! I loved it! I also like Paramahansa Yogananda's "The Second Coming of Christ." This and his teaching is superb. Jesus would have had no big quarrel with Buddha or with Krishna.

        Anonymous said...

        Truth manifests itself in countless ways....thank you for restoring my ability to rejoice in the precious gift of life eternal. Christ-hood is attainable for us all.....and is indeed the "Good News".