Jesus in India: The Lost Years, Part 4

BY: SUN STAFF - 4.1 2022

Issa with Tibetan Monks in front of a Gompa (Monastery)

Excerpts from 'The Lost Years of Jesus', by E.C. Prophet.

Nicholas Roerich, third among the famous explorers on the trail of the Issa legend, reported back with fragments of thought and evidence of the miraculous. Near Lhasa was a temple of teaching with a wealth of manuscripts, which Issa wished to acquaint himself with them. Meng-ste, a great sage of the East, resided at this temple.

Issa eventually reached a mountain pass at the chief city of Ladak, Leh, where he was joyously accepted by monks and people of the lower class. He taught in the monasteries and market places, not unlike his earlier years in the temples and bazaars of Jerusalem. And like his Middle East pastimes, a Himalayan woman whose son had died brought him to Jesus, who returned him to life in front of the onlookers.

Nicholas Roerich's own Central Asiatic Expedition lasted four and a half years. In that time he traveled from Sikkim through the Punjab and into Kashmir, Ladak, Karakorum, Khotan, and Irtysh, then over the Altai Mountains and through the Oyrot region into Mongolia, Central Gobi, Kansu, and Tibet. "We learned how widespread are the legends about Issa," he writes. "The sermons related in them, of unity, of the significance of woman and all the indications about Buddhism, are so remarkably timely for us."

Issa on the Silk Road

Although Roerich was familiar with "The Life of St. Issa" recorded by Nicolas Notovitch thirty-five years before, "the local people know nothing of any published book," he says. Yet "they know the legend and with deep reverence they speak of Issa....

It is significant to hear a local inhabitant, a Hindu, relate how Issa preached beside a small pool near the bazaar under a great tree, which now no longer exists. In such purely physical indications you may see how seriously this subject is regarded."

One Hindu said to Roerich that "It is difficult to understand why the wandering of Issa by caravan path into India and into the region now occupied by Tibet should be so vehemently denied."

The legend of St. Issa persists to this day among street people and scholars in holy cities and remote villages throughout India and Tibet. But few have ever seen the Himis manuscript. Perhaps in future, no one ever will.

Chinese Communists invaded Tibet in 1947, and what remains of the Buddhist gompas and their ancient archives is unknown. But even before the Communist occupation, the written "Life of St. Issa" seems to have disappeared.

Richard Bock describes a visit to a monastery in Calcutta where a man named Prajnananda testifies that he had heard from Abhedananda -- "from his own lips" -- that the manuscripts did exist at Himis in 1922. A few years later, however, those scrolls were no longer there.

"They have been removed," Prajnananda told Bock, "by whom we do not know."
"Dick," I said, "are they in the Vatican?"
"Notovitch thought so."
"Then why doesn't the Church..."

"You have to go back to the early days of Christianity," Bock interrupted. "They wanted a strong church. They thought they had to control the people. So they treated them like children who don't have the capacity to understand a deeper significance. They created a religion for 'commonplace minds', as Notovitch put it."


Excerpts from 'The Lost Years of Jesus' by E.C. Prophet, text republished in the Wolf Lodge Journal (1995).