The Life of Buddha Issa (Jesus) or Saint Issa
N.B. Read with great caution and do your own research. (BAFS)
Mountain Man arrested for trying to feed himself, owns judge and walks out
NICOLAS NOTOVITCH (BORN JEWISH)
Extracts from Nicolas Notovitch'c book "The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ"
The Original Text of Nicolas Notovitch's 1887 Discovery
by Nicolas Notovitch (BORN JEWISH)
Printed in the United States of America
Translated by J. H. Connelly and L. Landsberg
New York: R.F. Fenno. 1890.
Table of Contents
A Journey in Thibet
A Festival in a Gonpa
The Life of Saint Issa
A Journey in Thibet
A Festival in a Gonpa
The Life of Saint Issa
One day, while visiting a Buddhist convent on my route, I learned from a chief lama, that there existed in the archives of Lhassa, very ancient memoirs relating to the life of Jesus Christ and the occidental nations, and that certain great monasteries possessed old copies and translations of those chronicles.
As it was little probable that I should make another journey into this country, I resolved to put off my return to Europe until a later date, and, cost what it might, either find those copies in the great convents or go to Lhassa—a journey which is far from being so dangerous and difficult as is generally supposed, involving only such perils as I was already accustomed to, and which would not make me hesitate at attempting it.
During my sojourn at Leh, capital of Ladak, I visited the great convent Himis, situated near the city, the chief lama of which informed me that their monastic library contained copies of the manuscripts in question. In order that I might not awaken the suspicions of the authorities concerning the object of my visit to the cloister, and to evade obstacles which might be opposed to me as a Russian, prosecuting further my journey in Thibet, I gave out upon my return to Leh that I would depart for India, and so left the capital of Ladak. An unfortunate fall, causing the breaking of a leg, furnished me with an absolutely unexpected pretext for returning to the monastery, where I received surgical attention. I took advantage of my short sojourn among the lamas to obtain the consent of their chief that they should bring to me, from their library, the manuscripts relating to Jesus Christ, and, assisted by my interpreter, who translated for me the Thibetan language, transferred carefully to my notebook what the lama read to me.
Not doubting at all the authenticity of this chronicle, edited with great exactitude by the Brahminic, and more especially the Buddhistic historians of India and Nepaul, I desired, upon my return to Europe, to publish a translation of it.
To this end, I addressed myself to several universally known ecclesiastics, asking them to revise my notes and tell me what they thought of them.
Mgr. Platon, the celebrated metropolitan of Kiew, thought that my discovery was of great importance. Nevertheless, he sought to dissuade me from publishing the memoirs, believing that their publication could only hurt me. "Why?" This the venerable prelate refused to tell me more explicitly. Nevertheless, since our conversation took place in Russia, where the censor would have put his veto upon such a work, I made up my mind to wait.
A year later, I found myself in Rome. I showed my manuscript to a cardinal very near to the Holy Father, who answered me literally in these words:—"What good will it do to print this? Nobody will attach to it any great importance and you will create a number of enemies. But, you are still very young! If it is a question of money which concerns you, I can ask for you a reward for your notes, a sum which will repay your expenditures and recompense you for your loss of time." Of course, I refused.
In Paris I spoke of my project to Cardinal Rotelli, whose acquaintance I had made in Constantinople. He, too, was opposed to having my work printed, under the pretext that it would be premature. "The church," he added, "suffers already too much from the new current of atheistic ideas, and you will but give a new food to the calumniators and detractors of the evangelical doctrine. I tell you this in the interest of all the Christian churches."
Then I went to see M. Jules Simon. He found my matter very interesting and advised me to ask the opinion of M. Renan, as to the best way of publishing these memoirs. The next day I was seated in the cabinet of the great philosopher. At the close of our conversation, M. Renan proposed that I should confide to him the memoirs in question, so that he might make to the Academy a report upon the discovery.
This proposition, as may be easily understood, was very alluring and flattering to my amour propre. I, however, took away with me the manuscript, under the pretext of further revising it. I foresaw that if I accepted the proposed combination, I would only have the honor of having found the chronicles, while the illustrious author of the "Life of Jesus" would have the glory of the publication and the commenting upon it. I thought myself sufficiently prepared to publish the translation of the chronicles, accompanying them with my notes, and, therefore, did not accept the very gracious offer he made to me. But, that I might not wound the susceptibility of the great master, for whom I felt a profound respect, I made up my mind to delay publication until after his death, a fatality which could not be far off, if I might judge from the apparent general weakness of M. Renan. A short time after M. Renan's death, I wrote to M. Jules Simon again for his advice. He answered me, that it was my affair to judge of the opportunity for making the memoirs public.
I therefore put my notes in order and now publish them, reserving the right to substantiate the authenticity of these chronicles. In my commentaries I proffer the arguments which must convince us of the sincerity and good faith of the Buddhist compilers. I wish to add that before criticising my communication, the societies of savans can, without much expense, equip a scientific expedition having for its mission the study of those manuscripts in the place where I discovered them, and so may easily verify their historic value.
"Best of the Sons of Men."
1. The earth trembled and the heavens wept, because of the great crime committed in the land of Israel.
2. For there was tortured and murdered the great and just Issa, in whom was manifest the soul of the Universe;
3. Which had incarnated in a simple mortal, to benefit men and destroy the evil spirit in them;
4. To lead back to peace, love and happiness, man, degraded by his sins, and recall him to the one and indivisible Creator whose mercy is infinite.
5. The merchants coming from Israel have given the following account of what has occurred:
1. The people of Israel—who inhabit a fertile country producing two harvests a year and affording pasture for large herds of cattle—by their sins brought down upon themselves the anger of the Lord;
2. Who inflicted upon them terrible chastisements, taking from them their land, their cattle and their wealth. They were carried away into slavery by the rich and mighty Pharaohs who then ruled the land of Egypt.
3. The Israelites were, by the Pharaohs, treated worse than beasts, condemned to hard labor and put in irons; their bodies were covered with wounds and sores; they were not permitted to live under a roof, and were starved to death;
4. That they might be maintained in a state of continual terror and deprived of all human resemblance;
5. And in this great calamity, the Israelites, remembering their Celestial Protector, implored his forgiveness and mercy.
6. At that period reigned in Egypt an illustrious Pharaoh, who was renowned for his many victories, immense riches, and the gigantic palaces he had erected by the labor of his slaves.
7. This Pharaoh had two sons, the younger of whom, named Mossa, had acquired much knowledge from the sages of Israel.
8. And Mossa was beloved by all in Egypt for his kindness of heart and the pity he showed to all sufferers.
9. When Mossa saw that the Israelites, in spite of their many sufferings, had not forsaken their God, and refused to worship the gods of Egypt, created by the hands of man.
10. He also put his faith in their invisible God, who did not suffer them to betray Him, despite their ever growing weakness.
11. And the teachers among Israel animated Mossa in his zeal, and prayed of him that he would intercede with his father, Pharaoh, in favor of their co-religionists.
12. Prince Mossa went before his father, begging him to lighten the burden of the unhappy people; Pharaoh, however, became incensed with rage, and ordered that they should be tormented more than before.
13. And it came to pass that Egypt was visited by a great calamity. The plague decimated young and old, the healthy and the sick; and Pharaoh beheld in this the resentment of his own gods against him.
14. But Prince Mossa said to his father that it was the God of his slaves who thus interposed on behalf of his wretched people, and avenged them upon the Egyptians.
15. Thereupon, Pharaoh commanded Mossa, his son, to gather all the Israelite slaves, and lead them away, and found, at a great distance from the capital, another city where he should rule over them.
16. Then Mossa made known to the Hebrew slaves that he had obtained their freedom in the name of his and their God, the God of Israel; and with them he left the city and departed from the land of Egypt.
17. He led them back to the land which, because of their many sins, had been taken from them. There he gave them laws and admonished them to pray always to God, the indivisible Creator, whose kindness is infinite.
18. After Prince Mossa's death, the Israelites observed rigorously his laws; and God rewarded them for the ills to which they had been subjected in Egypt.
19. Their kingdom became one of the most powerful on earth; their kings made themselves renowned for their treasures, and peace reigned in Israel.
1. The glory of Israel's wealth spread over the whole earth, and the surrounding nations became envious.
2. But the Most High himself led the victorious arms of the Hebrews, and the Pagans did not dare to attack them.
3. Unfortunately, man is prone to err, and the fidelity of the Israelites to their God was not of long duration.
4. Little by little they forgot the favors he had bestowed upon them; rarely invoked his name, and sought rather protection by the magicians and sorcerers.
5. The kings and the chiefs among the people substituted their own laws for those given by Mossa; the temple of God and the observances of their ancient faith were neglected; the people addicted themselves to sensual gratifications and lost their original purity.
6. Many centuries had elapsed since their exodus from Egypt, when God bethought himself of again inflicting chastisement upon them.
7. Strangers invaded Israel, devastated the land, destroyed the villages, and carried their inhabitants away into captivity.
8. At last came the Pagans from over the sea, from the land of Romeles. These made themselves masters of the Hebrews, and placed over them their army chiefs, who governed in the name of Cæsar.
9. They defiled the temples, forced the inhabitants to cease the worship of the indivisible God, and compelled them to sacrifice to the heathen gods.
10. They made common soldiers of those who had been men of rank; the women became their prey, and the common people, reduced to slavery, were carried away by thousands over the sea.
11. The children were slain, and soon, in the whole land, there was naught heard but weeping and lamentation.
12. In this extreme distress, the Israelites once more remembered their great God, implored his mercy and prayed for his forgiveness. Our Father, in his inexhaustible clemency, heard their prayer.
1. At that time the moment had come for the compassionate Judge to reincarnate in a human form;
2. And the eternal Spirit, resting in a state of complete inaction and supreme bliss, awakened and separated from the eternal Being, for an undetermined period,
3. So that, in human form, He might teach man to identify himself with the Divinity and attain to eternal felicity;
4. And to show, by His example, how man can attain moral purity and free his soul from the domination of the physical senses, so that it may achieve the perfection necessary for it to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is immutable and where bliss eternal reigns.
5. Soon after, a marvellous child was born in the land of Israel. God himself spoke, through the mouth of this child, of the miseries of the body and the grandeur of the soul.
6. The parents of the infant were poor people, who belonged to a family noted for great piety; who forgot the greatness of their ancestors in celebrating the name of the Creator and giving thanks to Him for the trials which He had sent upon them.
7. To reward them for adhering to the path of truth, God blessed the firstborn of this family; chose him for His elect, and sent him to sustain the fallen and comfort the afflicted.
8. The divine child, to whom the name Issa was given, commenced in his tender years to talk of the only and indivisible God, exhorting the strayed souls to repent and purify themselves from the sins of which they had become guilty.
9. People came from all parts to hear him, and marvelled at the discourses which came from his infantile mouth; and all Israel agreed that the Spirit of the Eternal dwelt in this child.
10. When Issa was thirteen years old, the age at which an Israelite is expected to marry,
11. The modest house of his industrious parents became a meeting place of the rich and illustrious, who were anxious to have as a son-in-law the young Issa, who was already celebrated for the edifying discourses he made in the name of the All-Powerful.
12. Then Issa secretly absented himself from his father's house; left Jerusalem, and, in a train of merchants, journeyed toward the Sindh,
13. With the object of perfecting himself in the knowledge of the word of God and the study of the laws of the great Buddhas.
1. In his fourteenth year, young Issa, the Blessed One, came this side of the Sindh and settled among the Aryas, in the country beloved by God.
2. Fame spread the name of the marvellous youth along the northern Sindh, and when he came through the country of the five streams and Radjipoutan, the devotees of the god Djaïne asked him to stay among them.
3. But he left the deluded worshippers of Djaïne and went to Djagguernat, in the country of Orsis, where repose the mortal remains of Vyassa-Krishna, and where the white priests of Brahma welcomed him joyfully.
4. They taught him to read and to understand the Vedas, to cure physical ills by means of prayers, to teach and to expound the sacred Scriptures, to drive out evil desires from man and make him again in the likeness of God.
5. He spent six years in Djagguernat, in Radjagriha, in Benares, and in other holy cities. The common people loved Issa, for he lived in peace with the Vaisyas and the Sudras, to whom he taught the Holy Scriptures.
6. But the Brahmins and the Kshatnyas told him that they were forbidden by the great Para-Brahma to come near to those who were created from his belly and his feet;1
7. That the Vaisyas might only hear the recital of the Vedas, and this only on the festal days, and
8. That the Sudras were not only forbidden to attend the reading of the Vedas, but even to look on them; for they were condemned to perpetual servitude, as slaves of the Brahmins, the Kshatriyas and even the Vaisyas.
9. "Death alone can enfranchise them from their servitude," has said Para-Brahma. "Leave them, therefore, and come to adore with us the gods, whom you will make angry if you disobey them."
10. But Issa, disregarding their words, remained with the Sudras, preaching against the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas.
11. He declaimed strongly against man's arrogating to himself the authority to deprive his fellow-beings of their human and spiritual rights. "Verily," he said, "God has made no difference between his children, who are all alike dear to Him."
12. Issa denied the divine inspiration of the Vedas and the Puranas, for, as he taught his followers,—"One law has been given to man to guide him in his actions:
13. "Fear the Lord, thy God; bend thy knees only before Him and bring to Him only the offerings which come from thy earnings."
14. Issa denied the Trimurti and the incarnation of Para-Brahma in Vishnu, Siva, and other gods; "for," said he:
15. "The eternal Judge, the eternal Spirit, constitutes the only and indivisible soul of the universe, and it is this soul alone which creates, contains and vivifies all.
16. "He alone has willed and created. He alone has existed from eternity, and His existence will be without end; there is no one like unto Him either in the heavens or on the earth.
17. "The great Creator has divided His power with no other being; far less with inanimate objects, as you have been taught to believe, for He alone is omnipotent and all-sufficient.
18. "He willed, and the world was. By one divine thought, He reunited the waters and separated them from the dry land of the globe. He is the cause of the mysterious life of man, into whom He has breathed part of His divine Being.
19. "And He has put under subjection to man, the lands, the waters, the beasts and everything which He created, and which He himself preserves in immutable order, allotting to each its proper duration.
20. "The anger of God will soon break forth upon man; for he has forgotten his Creator; he has filled His temples with abominations; and he adores a multitude of creatures which God has subordinated to him;
21. "And to gain favor with images of stone and metal, he sacrifices human beings in whom dwells part of the Spirit of the Most High;
22. "And he humiliates those who work in the sweat of their brows, to gain favor in the eyes of the idler who sitteth at a sumptuous table.
23. "Those who deprive their brothers of divine happiness will themselves be deprived of it; and the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas shall become the Sudras of the Sudras, with whom the Eternal will stay forever.
24. "In the day of judgment the Sudras and the Vaisyas will be forgiven for that they knew not the light, while God will let loose his wrath upon those who arrogated his authority."
25. The Vaisyas and the Sudras were filled with great admiration, and asked Issa how they should pray, in order not to lose their hold upon eternal life.
26. "Pray not to idols, for they cannot hear you; hearken not to the Vedas where the truth is altered; be humble and humiliate not your fellow man.
27. "Help the poor, support the weak, do evil to none; covet not that which ye have not and which belongs to others."
1. The white priests and the warriors, 2 who had learned of Issa's discourse to the Sudras, resolved upon his death, and sent their servants to find the young teacher and slay him.
2. But Issa, warned by the Sudras of his danger, left by night Djagguernat, gained the mountain, and settled in the country of the Gautamides, where the great Buddha Sakya-Muni came to the world, among a people who worshipped the only and sublime Brahma.
3. When the just Issa had acquired the Pali language, he applied himself to the study of the sacred scrolls of the Sutras.
4. After six years of study, Issa, whom the Buddha had elected to spread his holy word, could perfectly expound the sacred scrolls.
5. He then left Nepaul and the Himalaya mountains, descended into the valley of Radjipoutan and directed his steps toward the West, everywhere preaching to the people the supreme perfection attainable by man;
6. And the good he must do to his fellow men, which is the sure means of speedy union with the eternal Spirit. "He who has recovered his primitive purity," said Issa, "shall die with his transgressions forgiven and have the right to contemplate the majesty of God."
7. When the divine Issa traversed the territories of the Pagans, he taught that the adoration of visible gods was contrary to natural law.
8. "For to man," said he, "it has not been given to see the image of God, and it behooves him not to make for himself a multitude of divinities in the imagined likeness of the Eternal.
9. "Moreover, it is against human conscience to have less regard for the greatness of divine purity, than for animals or works of stone or metal made by the hands of man.
10. "The eternal Lawgiver is One; there are no other Gods than He; He has parted the world with none, nor had He any counsellor.
11. "Even as a father shows kindness toward his children, so will God judge men after death, in conformity with His merciful laws. He will never humiliate his child by casting his soul for chastisement into the body of a beast.
12. "The heavenly laws," said the Creator, through the mouth of Issa, "are opposed to the immolation of human sacrifices to a statue or an animal; for I, the God, have sacrificed to man all the animals and all that the world contains.
13. "Everything has been sacrificed to man, who is directly and intimately united to me, his Father; therefore, shall the man be severely judged and punished, by my law, who causes the sacrifice of my children.
14. "Man is naught before the eternal Judge; as the animal is before man.
15. "Therefore, I say unto you, leave your idols and perform not ceremonies which separate you from your Father and bind you to the priests, from whom heaven has turned away.
16. "For it is they who have led you away from the true God, and by superstitions and cruelty perverted the spirit and made you blind to the knowledge of the truth."
1. The words of Issa spread among the Pagans, through whose country he passed, and the inhabitants abandoned their idols.
2. Seeing which, the priests demanded of him who thus glorified the name of the true God, that he should, in the presence of the people, prove the charges he made against them, and demonstrate the vanity of their idols.
3. And Issa answered them: "If your idols, or the animals you worship, really possess the supernatural powers you claim, let them strike me with a thunderbolt before you!"
4. "Why dost not thou perform a miracle," replied the priests, "and let thy God confound ours, if He is greater than they?"
5. But Issa said: "The miracles of our God have been wrought from the first day when the universe was created; and are performed every day and every moment; whoso sees them not is deprived of one of the most beautiful gifts of life.
6. "And it is not on inanimate objects of stone, metal or wood that He will let His anger fall, but on the men who worship them, and who, therefore, for their salvation, must destroy the idols they have made.
7. "Even as a stone and a grain of sand, which are naught before man, await patiently their use by Him.
8. "In like manner, man, who is naught before God, must await in resignation His pleasure for a manifestation of His favor.
9. "But woe to you! ye adversaries of men, if it is not the favor you await, but rather the wrath of the Most High; woe to you, if you demand that He attest His power by a miracle!
10. "For it is not the idols which He will destroy in His wrath, but those by whom they were created; their hearts will be the prey of an eternal fire and their flesh shall be given to the beasts of prey.
11. "God will drive away the contaminated animals from His flocks; but will take to Himself those who strayed because they knew not the heavenly part within them."
12. When the Pagans saw that the power of their priests was naught, they put faith in the words of Issa. Fearing the anger of the true God, they broke their idols to pieces and caused their priests to flee from among them.
13. Issa furthermore taught the Pagans that they should not endeavor to see the eternal Spirit with their eyes; but to perceive Him with their hearts, and make themselves worthy of His favors by the purity of their souls.
14. "Not only," he said to them, "must ye refrain from offering human sacrifices, but ye may not lay on the altar any creature to which life has been given, for all things created are for man.
15. "Withhold not from your neighbor his just due, for this would be like stealing from him what he had earned in the sweat of his brow.
16. "Deceive none, that ye may not yourselves be deceived; seek to justify yourselves before the last judgment, for then it will be too late.
17. "Be not given to debauchery, for it is a violation of the law of God.
18. "That you may attain to supreme bliss ye must not only purify yourselves, but must also guide others into the path that will enable them to regain their primitive innocence."
1. The countries round about were filled with the renown of Issa's preachings, and when he came unto Persia, the priests grew afraid and forbade the people hearing him;
2. Nevertheless, the villages received him with joy, and the people hearkened intently to his words, which, being seen by the priests, caused them to order that he should be arrested and brought before their High Priest, who asked him:
3. "Of what new God dost thou speak? Knowest thou not, unfortunate man that thou art! that Saint Zoroaster is the only Just One, to whom alone was vouchsafed the honor of receiving revelations from the Most High;
4. "By whose command the angels compiled His Word in laws for the governance of His people, which were given to Zoroaster in Paradise?
5. "Who, then, art thou, who darest to utter blasphemies against our God and sow doubt in the hearts of believers?"
6. And Issa said to them: "I preach no new God, but our celestial Father, who has existed before the beginning and will exist until after the end.
7. "Of Him I have spoken to the people, who—even as innocent children—are incapable of comprehending God by their own intelligence, or fathoming the sublimity of the divine Spirit;
8. "But, as the newborn child in the night recognizes the mother's breast, so your people, held in the darkness of error by your pernicious doctrines and religious ceremonies, have recognized instinctively their Father, in the Father whose prophet I am.
9. "The eternal Being says to your people, by my mouth, 'Ye shall not adore the sun, for it is but a part of the universe which I have created for man;
10. "It rises to warm you during your work; it sets to accord to you the rest that I have ordained.
11. "To me only ye owe all that ye possess, all that surrounds you and that is above and below you.'"
12. "But," said the priests, "how could the people live according to your rules if they had no teachers?"
13. Whereupon Issa answered: "So long as they had no priests, they were governed by the natural law and conserved the simplicity of their souls;
14. "Their souls were in God and to commune with the Father they had not to have recourse to the intermediation of idols, or animals, or fire, as taught by you.
15. "Ye pretend that man must adore the sun, and the Genii of Good and Evil. But I say unto you that your doctrine is pernicious. The sun does not act spontaneously, but by the will of the invisible Creator, who has given to it being."
16. "Who, then, has caused that this star lights the day, warms man at his work and vivifies the seeds sown in the ground?"
17. "The eternal Spirit is the soul of everything animate, and you commit a great sin in dividing Him into the Spirit of Evil and the Spirit of Good, for there is no God other than the God of Good.
18. "And He, like to the father of a family, does only good to His children, to whom He forgives their transgressions if they repent of them.
19. "And the Spirit of Evil dwells upon earth, in the hearts of those who turn the children of God away from the right path.
20. "Therefore, I say unto you; Fear the day of judgment, for God will inflict a terrible chastisement upon all those who have led His children astray and beguiled them with superstitions and errors;
21. "Upon those who have blinded them who saw; who have brought contagion to the well; who have taught the worship of those things which God made to be subject to man, or to aid him in his works.
22. "Your doctrine is the fruit of your error in seeking to bring near to you the God of Truth, by creating for yourselves false gods."
23. When the Magi heard these words, they feared to themselves do him harm, but at night, when the whole city slept, they brought him outside the walls and left him on the highway, in the hope that he would not fail to become the prey of wild beasts.
24. But, protected by the Lord our God, Saint Issa continued on his way, without accident.
1. Issa—whom the Creator had selected to recall to the worship of the true God, men sunk in sin—was twenty-nine years old when he arrived in the land of Israel.
2. Since the departure therefrom of Issa, the Pagans had caused the Israelites to endure more atrocious sufferings than before, and they were filled with despair.
3. Many among them had begun to neglect the laws of their God and those of Mossa, in the hope of winning the favor of their brutal conquerors.
4. But Issa, notwithstanding their unhappy condition, exhorted his countrymen not to despair, because the day of their redemption from the yoke of sin was near, and he himself, by his example, confirmed their faith in the God of their fathers.
5. "Children, yield not yourselves to despair," said the celestial Father to them, through the mouth of Issa, "for I have heard your lamentations, and your cries have reached my ears.
6. "Weep not, oh, my beloved sons! for your griefs have touched the heart of your Father and He has forgiven you, as He forgave your ancestors.
7. "Forsake not your families to plunge into debauchery; stain not the nobility of your souls; adore not idols which cannot but remain deaf to your supplications.
8. "Fill my temple with your hope and your patience, and do not adjure the religion of your forefathers, for I have guided them and bestowed upon them of my beneficence.
9. "Lift up those who are fallen; feed the hungry and help the sick, that ye may be altogether pure and just in the day of the last judgment which I prepare for you."
10. The Israelites came in multitudes to listen to Issa's words; and they asked him where they should thank their Heavenly Father, since their enemies had demolished their temples and robbed them of their sacred vessels.
11. Issa told them that God cared not for temples erected by human hands, but that human hearts were the true temples of God.
12. "Enter into your temple, into your heart; illuminate it with good thoughts, with patience and the unshakeable faith which you owe to your Father.
13. "And your sacred vessels! they are your hands and your eyes. Look to do that which is agreeable to God, for in doing good to your fellow men, you perform a ceremony that embellishes the temple wherein abideth Him who has created you.
14. "For God has created you in His own image, innocent, with pure souls, and hearts filled with kindness and not made for the planning of evil, but to be the sanctuaries of love and justice.
15. "Therefore, I say unto you, soil not your hearts with evil, for in them the eternal Being abides.
16. "When ye do works of devotion and love, let them be with full hearts, and see that the motives of your actions be not hopes of gain or self-interest;
17. "For actions, so impelled, will not bring you nearer to salvation, but lead to a state of moral degradation wherein theft, lying and murder pass for generous deeds."
1. Issa went from one city to another, strengthening by the word of God the courage of the Israelites, who were near to succumbing under their weight of woe, and thousands of the people followed him to hear his teachings.
2. But the chiefs of the cities were afraid of him and they informed the principal governor, residing in Jerusalem, that a man called Issa had arrived in the country, who by his sermons had arrayed the people against the authorities, and that multitudes, listening assiduously to him, neglected their labor; and, they added, he said that in a short time they would be free of their invader rulers.
3. Then Pilate, the Governor of Jerusalem, gave orders that they should lay hold of the preacher Issa and bring him before the judges. In order, however, not to excite the anger of the populace, Pilate directed that he should be judged by the priests and scribes, the Hebrew elders, in their temple.
4. Meanwhile, Issa, continuing his preaching, arrived at Jerusalem, and the people, who already knew his fame, having learned of his coming, went out to meet him.
5. They greeted him respectfully and opened to him the doors of their temple, to hear from his mouth what he had said in other cities of Israel.
6. And Issa said to them: "The human race perishes, because of the lack of faith; for the darkness and the tempest have caused the flock to go astray and they have lost their shepherds.
7. "But the tempests do not rage forever and the darkness will not hide the light eternally; soon the sky will become serene, the celestial light will again overspread the earth, and the strayed flock will reunite around their shepherd.
8. "Wander not in the darkness, seeking the way, lest ye fall into the ditch; but gather together, sustain one another, put your faith in your God and wait for the first glimmer of light to reappear.
9. "He who sustains his neighbor, sustains himself; and he who protects his family, protects all his people and his country.
10. "For, be assured that the day is near when you will be delivered from the darkness; you will be reunited into one family and your enemy will tremble with fear, he who is ignorant of the favor of the great God."
11. The priests and the elders who heard him, filled with admiration for his language, asked him if it was true that he had sought to raise the people against the authorities of the country, as had been reported to the governor Pilate.
12. "Can one raise against estrayed men, to whom darkness has hidden their road and their door?" answered Issa. "I have but forewarned the unhappy, as I do here in this temple, that they should no longer advance on the dark road, for an abyss opens before their feet.
13. "The power of this earth is not of long duration and is subject to numberless changes. It would be of no avail for a man to rise in revolution against it, for one phase of it always succeeds another, and it is thus that it will go on until the extinction of human life.
14. "But do you not see that the powerful, and the rich, sow among the children of Israel a spirit of rebellion against the eternal power of Heaven?"
15. Then the elders asked him: "Who art thou, and from what country hast thou come to us? We have not formerly heard thee spoken of and do not even know thy name!"
16. "I am an Israelite," answered Issa; "and on the day of my birth have seen the walls of Jerusalem, and have heard the sobs of my brothers reduced to slavery, and the lamentations of my sisters carried away by the Pagans;
17. "And my soul was afflicted when I saw that my brethren had forgotten the true God. When a child I left my father's house to go and settle among other people.
18. "But, having heard it said that my brethren suffered even greater miseries now, I have come back to the land of my fathers, to recall my brethren to the faith of their ancestors, which teaches us patience upon earth in order to attain the perfect and supreme bliss above."
19. Then the wise old men put to him again this question: "We are told that thou disownest the laws of Mossa, and that thou teachest the people to forsake the temple of God?"
20. Whereupon Issa: "One does not demolish that which has been given by our Heavenly Father, and which has been destroyed by sinners. I have but enjoined the people to purify the heart of all stains, for it is the veritable temple of God.
21. "As regards the laws of Mossa, I have endeavored to reestablish them in the hearts of men; and I say unto you that ye ignore their true meaning, for it is not vengeance but pardon which they teach. Their sense has been perverted."
1. When the priests and the elders heard Issa, they decided among themselves not to give judgment against him, for he had done no harm to any one, and, presenting themselves before Pilate—who was made Governor of Jerusalem by the Pagan king of the country of Romeles—they spake to him thus:
2. "We have seen the man whom thou chargest with inciting our people to revolt; we have heard his discourses and know that he is our countryman;
3. "But the chiefs of the cities have made to you false reports, for he is a just man, who teaches the people the word of God. After interrogating him, we have allowed him to go in peace."
4. The governor thereupon became very angry, and sent his disguised spies to keep watch upon Issa and report to the authorities the least word he addressed to the people.
5. In the meantime, the holy Issa continued to visit the neighboring cities and preach the true way of the Lord, enjoining the Hebrews' patience and promising them speedy deliverance.
6. And all the time great numbers of the people followed him wherever he went, and many did not leave him at all, but attached themselves to him and served him.
7. And Issa said: "Put not your faith in miracles performed by the hands of men, for He who rules nature is alone capable of doing supernatural things, while man is impotent to arrest the wrath of the winds or cause the rain to fall.
8. "One miracle, however, is within the power of man to accomplish. It is, when his heart is filled with sincere faith, he resolves to root out from his mind all evil promptings and desires, and when, in order to attain this end, he ceases to walk the path of iniquity.
9. "All the things done without God are only gross errors, illusions and seductions, serving but to show how much the heart of the doer is full of presumption, falsehood and impurity.
10. "Put not your faith in oracles. God alone knows the future. He who has recourse to the diviners soils the temple of his heart and shows his lack of faith in his Creator.
11. "Belief in the diviners and their miracles destroys the innate simplicity of man and his childlike purity. An infernal power takes hold of him who so errs, and forces him to commit various sins and give himself to the worship of idols.
12. "But the Lord our God, to whom none can be equalled, is one omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent; He alone possesses all wisdom and all light.
13. "To Him ye must address yourselves, to be comforted in your afflictions, aided in your works, healed in your sickness and whoso asks of Him, shall not ask in vain.
14. "The secrets of nature are in the hands of God, for the whole world, before it was made manifest, existed in the bosom of the divine thought, and has become material and visible by the will of the Most High.
15. "When ye pray to him, become again like little children, for ye know neither the past, nor the present, nor the future, and God is the Lord of Time."
1. "Just man," said to him the disguised spies of the Governor of Jerusalem, "tell us if we must continue to do the will of Cæsar, or expect our near deliverance?"
2. And Issa, who recognized the questioners as the apostate spies sent to follow him, replied to them: "I have not told you that you would be delivered from Cæsar; it is the soul sunk in error which will gain its deliverance.
3. "There cannot be a family without a head, and there cannot be order in a people without a Cæsar, whom ye should implicitly obey, as he will be held to answer for his acts before the Supreme Tribunal."
4. "Does Cæsar possess a divine right?" the spies asked him again; "and is he the best of mortals?"
5. "There is no one 'the best' among human beings; but there are many bad, who—even as the sick need physicians—require the care of those chosen for that mission, in which must be used the means given by the sacred law of our Heavenly Father;
6. "Mercy and justice are the high prerogatives of Cæsar, and his name will be illustrious if he exercises them.
7. "But he who acts otherwise, who transcends the limits of power he has over those under his rule, and even goes so far as to put their lives in danger, offends the great Judge and derogates from his own dignity in the eyes of men."
8. Upon this, an old woman who had approached the group, to better hear Issa, was pushed aside by one of the disguised men, who placed himself before her.
9. Then said Issa: "It is not good for a son to push away his mother, that he may occupy the place which belongs to her. Whoso doth not respect his mother—the most sacred being after his God—is unworthy of the name of son.
10. "Hearken to what I say to you: Respect woman; for in her we see the mother of the universe, and all the truth of divine creation is to come through her.
11. "She is the fount of everything good and beautiful, as she is also the germ of life and death. Upon her man depends in all his existence, for she is his moral and natural support in his labors.
12. "In pain and suffering she brings you forth; in the sweat of her brow she watches over your growth, and until her death you cause her greatest anxieties. Bless her and adore her, for she is your only friend and support on earth.
13. "Respect her; defend her. In so doing you will gain for yourself her love; you will find favor before God, and for her sake many sins will be remitted to you.
14. "Love your wives and respect them, for they will be the mothers of tomorrow and later the grandmothers of a whole nation.
15. "Be submissive to the wife; her love ennobles man, softens his hardened heart, tames the wild beast in him and changes it to a lamb.
16. "Wife and mother are the priceless treasures which God has given to you. They are the most beautiful ornaments of the universe, and from them will be born all who will inhabit the world.
17. "Even as the Lord of Hosts separated the light from the darkness, and the dry land from the waters, so does woman possess the divine gift of calling forth out of man's evil nature all the good that is in him.
18. "Therefore I say unto you, after God, to woman must belong your best thoughts, for she is the divine temple where you will most easily obtain perfect happiness.
19. "Draw from this temple your moral force. There you will forget your sorrows and your failures, and recover the love necessary to aid your fellow men.
20. "Suffer her not to be humiliated, for by humiliating her you humiliate yourselves, and lose the sentiment of love, without which nothing can exist here on earth.
21. "Protect your wife, that she may protect you—you and all your household. All that you do for your mothers, your wives, for a widow, or for any other woman in distress, you will do for your God."
1. Thus Saint Issa taught the people of Israel for three years, in every city and every village, on the highways and in the fields, and all he said came to pass.
2. All this time the disguised spies of the governor Pilate observed him closely, but heard nothing to sustain the accusations formerly made against Issa by the chiefs of the cities.
3. But Saint Issa's growing popularity did not allow Pilate to rest. He feared that Issa would be instrumental in bringing about a revolution culminating in his elevation to the sovereignty, and, therefore, ordered the spies to make charges against him.
4. Then soldiers were sent to arrest him, and they cast him into a subterranean dungeon, where he was subjected to all kinds of tortures, to compel him to accuse himself, so that he might be put to death.
5. The Saint, thinking only of the perfect bliss of his brethren, endured all those torments with resignation to the will of the Creator.
6. The servants of Pilate continued to torture him, and he was reduced to a state of extreme weakness; but God was with him and did not permit him to die at their hands.
7. When the principal priests and wise elders learned of the sufferings which their Saint endured, they went to Pilate, begging him to liberate Issa, so that he might attend the great festival which was near at hand.
8. But this the governor refused. Then they asked him that Issa should be brought before the elders' council, so that he might be condemned, or acquitted, before the festival, and to this Pilate agreed.
9. On the following day the governor assembled the principal chiefs, priests, elders and judges, for the purpose of judging Issa.
10. The Saint was brought from his prison. They made him sit before the governor, between two robbers, who were to be judged at the same time with Issa, so as to show the people he was not the only one to be condemned.
11. And Pilate, addressing himself to Issa, said, "Is it true, Oh! Man; that thou incitest the populace against the authorities, with the purpose of thyself becoming King of Israel?"
12. Issa replied, "One does not become king by one's own purpose thereto. They have told you an untruth when you were informed that I was inciting the people to revolution. I have only preached of the King of Heaven, and it was Him whom I told the people to worship.
13. "For the sons of Israel have lost their original innocence and unless they return to worship the true God they will be sacrificed and their temple will fall in ruins.
14. "The worldly power upholds order in the land; I told them not to forget this. I said to them, 'Live in conformity with your situation and refrain from disturbing public order;' and, at the same time, I exhorted them to remember that disorder reigned in their own hearts and spirits.
15. "Therefore, the King of Heaven has punished them, and has destroyed their nationality and taken from them their national kings, 'but,' I added, 'if you will be resigned to your fate, as a reward the Kingdom of Heaven will be yours.'"
16. At this moment the witnesses were introduced; one of whom deposed thus: "Thou hast said to the people that in comparison with the power of the king who would soon liberate the Israelites from the yoke of the heathen, the worldly authorities amounted to nothing."
17. "Blessings upon thee!" said Issa. "For thou hast spoken the truth! The King of Heaven is greater and more powerful than the laws of man and His kingdom surpasses the kingdoms of this earth.
18. "And the time is not far off, when Israel, obedient to the will of God, will throw off its yoke of sin; for it has been written that a forerunner would appear to announce the deliverance of the people, and that he would reunite them in one family."
19. Thereupon the governor said to the judges: "Have you heard this? The Israelite Issa acknowledges the crime of which he is accused. Judge him, then, according to your laws and pass upon him condemnation to death."
20. "We cannot condemn him," replied the priests and the ancients. "As thou hast heard, he spoke of the King of Heaven, and he has preached nothing which constitutes insubordination against the law."
21. Thereupon the governor called a witness who had been bribed by his master, Pilate, to betray Issa, and this man said to Issa: "Is it not true that thou hast represented thyself as a King of Israel, when thou didst say that He who reigns in Heaven sent thee to prepare His people?"
22. But Issa blessed the man and answered: "Thou wilt find mercy, for what thou hast said did not come out from thine own heart." Then, turning to the governor he said: "Why dost thou lower thy dignity and teach thy inferiors to tell falsehood, when, without doing so, it is in thy power to condemn an innocent man?"
23. When Pilate heard his words, he became greatly enraged and ordered that Issa be condemned to death, and that the two robbers should be declared guiltless.
24. The judges, after consulting among themselves, said to Pilate: "We cannot consent to take this great sin upon us,—to condemn an innocent man and liberate malefactors. It would be against our laws.
25. "Act thyself, then, as thou seest fit." Thereupon the priests and elders walked out, and washed their hands in a sacred vessel, and said: "We are innocent of the blood of this righteous man."
1. By order of the governor, the soldiers seized Issa and the two robbers, and led them to the place of execution, where they were nailed upon the crosses erected for them.
2. All day long the bodies of Issa and the two robbers hung upon the crosses, bleeding, guarded by the soldiers. The people stood all around and the relatives of the executed prayed and wept.
3. When the sun went down, Issa's tortures ended. He lost consciousness and his soul disengaged itself from the body, to reunite with God.
4. Thus ended the terrestrial existence of the reflection of the eternal Spirit under the form of a man who had saved hardened sinners and comforted the afflicted.
5. Meanwhile, Pilate was afraid for what he had done, and ordered the body of the Saint to be given to his relatives, who put it in a tomb near to the place of execution. Great numbers of persons came to visit the tomb, and the air was filled with their wailings and lamentations.
6. Three days later, the governor sent his soldiers to remove Issa's body and bury it in some other place, for he feared a rebellion among the people.
7. The next day, when the people came to the tomb, they found it open and empty, the body of Issa being gone. Thereupon, the rumor spread that the Supreme Judge had sent His angels from Heaven, to remove the mortal remains of the saint in whom part of the divine Spirit had lived on earth.
8. When Pilate learned of this rumor, he grew angry and prohibited, under penalty of death, the naming of Issa, or praying for him to the Lord.
9. But the people, nevertheless, continued to weep over Issa's death and to glorify their master; wherefore, many were carried into captivity, subjected to torture and put to death.
10. And the disciples of Saint Issa departed from the land of Israel and went in all directions, to the heathen, preaching that they should abandon their gross errors, think of the salvation of their souls and earn the perfect bliss which awaits human beings in the immaterial world, full of glory, where the great Creator abides in all his immaculate and perfect majesty.
11. The heathen, their kings, and their warriors, listened to the preachers, abandoned their erroneous beliefs and forsook their priests and their idols, to celebrate the praises of the most wise Creator of the Universe, the King of Kings, whose heart is filled with infinite mercy.
Extract from the concluding " Résumé"
"Arrived in India, this land of marvels, Jesus began to frequent the temples of the Djainites.
There exists until today, on the peninsula of Hindustan, a sectarian cult under the name of Djainism. It forms a kind of connecting link between Buddhism and Brahminism, and preaches the destruction of all other beliefs, which, it declares, are corroded by falsehood. It dates from the seventh century before Jesus Christ and its name is derived from the word "djain" (conqueror), which was assumed by its founders as expressive of its destined triumph over its rivals.
In sympathetic admiration for the spirit of the young man, the Djainites asked him to stay with them; but Jesus left them to settle in Djagguernat, where he devoted himself to the study of treatises on religion, philosophy, etc. Djagguernat is one of the chief sacred cities of Brahmins, and, at the time of Christ, was of great religious importance. According to tradition, the ashes of the illustrious Brahmin, Krishna, who lived in 1580 B.C., are preserved there, in the hollow of a tree, near a magnificent temple, to which thousands make pilgrimage every year. Krishna collected and put in order the Vedas, which he divided into four books—Richt, Jagour, Saman and Artafan;—in commemoration of which great work he received the name of Vyasa (he who collected and divided the Vedas), and he also compiled the Vedanta and eighteen Puranas, which contain 400,000 stanzas.
In Djagguernat is also found a very precious library of Sanscrit books and religious manuscripts.
Jesus spent there six years in studying the language of the country and the Sanscrit, which enabled him to absorb the religious doctrines, philosophy, medicine and mathematics. He found much to blame in Brahminical laws and usages, and publicly joined issue with the Brahmins, who in vain endeavored to convince him of the sacred character of their established customs. Jesus, among other things, deemed it extremely unjust that the laborer should be oppressed and despised, and that he should not only be robbed of hope of future happiness, but also be denied the right to hear the religious services. He, therefore, began preaching to the Sudras, the lowest caste of slaves, telling them that, according to their own laws, God is the Father of all men; that all which exists, exists only through Him; that, before Him, all men are equal, and that the Brahmins had obscured the great principle of monotheism by misinterpreting Brahma's own words, and laying excessive stress upon observance of the exterior ceremonials of the cult.
Here are the words in which, according to the doctrine of the Brahmins, God Himself speaks to the angels: "I have been from eternity, and shall continue to be eternally. I am the first cause of everything that exists in the East and in the West, in the North and in the South, above and below, in heaven and in hell. I am older than all things. I am the Spirit and the Creation of the universe and also its Creator. I am all-powerful; I am the God of the Gods, the King of the Kings; I am Para-Brahma, the great soul of the universe."
After the world appeared by the will of Para-Brahma, God created human beings, whom he divided into four classes, according to their colors: white (Brahmins), red (Kshatriyas), yellow (Vaisyas), and black (Sudras). Brahma drew the first from his own mouth, and gave them for their appanage the government of the world, the care of teaching men the laws, of curing and judging them. Therefore do the Brahmins occupy only the offices of priests and preachers, are expounders of the Vedas, and must practice celibacy.
The second caste of Kshatriyas issued from the hand of Brahma. He made of them warriors, entrusting them with the care of defending society. All the kings, princes, captains, governors and military men belong to this caste, which lives on the best terms with the Brahmins, since they cannot subsist without each other, and the peace of the country depends on the alliance of the lights and the sword, of Brahma's temple and the royal throne.
The Vaisyas, who constitute the third caste, issued from Brahma's belly. They are destined to cultivate the ground, raise cattle, carry on commerce and practice all kinds of trades in order to feed the Brahmins and the Kshatriyas. Only on holidays are they authorized to enter the temple and listen to the recital of the Vedas; at all other times they must attend to their business.
The lowest caste, that of the black ones, or Sudras, issued from the feet of Brahma to be the humble servants and slaves of the three preceding castes. They are interdicted from attending the reading of the Vedas at any time; their touch contaminates a Brahmin, Kshatriya, or even a Vaisya who comes in contact with them. They are wretched creatures, deprived of all human rights; they cannot even look at the members of the other castes, nor defend themselves, nor, when sick, receive the attendance of a physician. Death alone can deliver the Sudra from a life of servitude; and even then, freedom can only be attained under the condition that, during his whole life, he shall have served diligently and without complaint some member of the privileged classes. Then only it is promised that the soul of the Sudra shall, after death, be raised to a superior caste.
If a Sudra has been lacking in obedience to a member of the privileged classes, or has in any way brought their disfavor upon himself, he sinks to the rank of a pariah, who is banished from all cities and villages and is the object of general contempt, as an abject being who can only perform the lowest kind of work.
The same punishment may also fall upon members of another caste; these, however, may, through repentance, fasting and other trials, rehabilitate themselves in their former caste; while the unfortunate Sudra, once expelled from his, has lost it forever.
From what has been said above, it is easy to explain why the Vaisyas and Sudras were animated with adoration for Jesus, who, in spite of the threats of the Brahmins and Kshatriyas, never forsook those poor people.
In his sermons Jesus not only censured the system by which man was robbed of his right to be considered as a human being, while an ape or a piece of marble or metal was paid divine worship, but he attacked the very life of Brahminism, its system of gods, its doctrine and its "trimurti" (trinity), the angular stone of this religion.
Para-Brahma is represented with three faces on a single head. This is the "trimurti" (trinity), composed of Brahma (creator), Vishnu (conservator), and Siva (destroyer).
Here is the origin of the trimurti:—
In the beginning, Para-Brahma created the waters and threw into them the seed of procreation, which transformed itself into a brilliant egg, wherein Brahma's image was reflected. Millions of years had passed when Brahma split the egg in two halves, of which the upper one became the heaven, the lower one, the earth. Then Brahma descended to the earth under the shape of a child, established himself upon a lotus flower, absorbed himself in his own contemplation and put to himself the question: "Who will attend to the conservation of what I have created?" "I," came the answer from his mouth under the appearance of a flame. And Brahma gave to this word the name, "Vishnu," that is to say, "he who preserves." Then Brahma divided his being into two halves, the one male, the other female, the active and the passive principles, the union of which produced Siva, "the destroyer."
These are the attributes of the trimurti; Brahma, creative principle; Vishnu, preservative wisdom; Siva, destructive wrath of justice. Brahma is the substance from which everything was made; Vishnu, space wherein everything lives; and Siva, time that annihilates all things.
Brahma is the face which vivifies all; Vishnu, the water which sustains the forces of the creatures; Siva, the fire which breaks the bond that unites all objects. Brahma is the past; Vishnu, the present; Siva, the future. Each part of the trimurti possesses, moreover, a wife. The wife of Brahma is Sarasvati, goddess of wisdom; that of Vishnu, Lakshmi, goddess of virtue, and Siva's spouse is Kali, goddess of death, the universal destroyer.
Of this last union were born, Ganesa, the elephant-headed god of wisdom, and Indra, the god of the firmament, both chiefs of inferior divinities, the number of which, if all the objects of adoration of the Hindus be included, amounts to three hundred millions.
Vishnu has descended eight times upon the earth, incarnating in a fish in order to save the Vedas from the deluge, in a tortoise, a dwarf, a wild boar, a lion, in Rama, a king's son, in Krishna and in Buddha. He will come a ninth time under the form of a rider mounted on a white horse in order to destroy death and sin.
Jesus denied the existence of all these hierarchic absurdities of gods, which darken the great principle of monotheism.
When the Brahmins saw that Jesus, who, instead of becoming one of their party, as they had hoped, turned out to be their adversary, and that the people began to embrace his doctrine, they resolved to kill him; but his servants, who were greatly attached to him, forewarned him of the threatening danger, and he took refuge in the mountains of Nepaul. At this epoch, Buddhism had taken deep root in this country. It was a kind of schism, remarkable by its moral principles and ideas on the nature of the divinity—ideas which brought men closer to nature and to one another.
Sakya-Muni, the founder of this sect, was born fifteen hundred years before Jesus Christ, at Kapila, the capital of his father's kingdom, near Nepaul, in the Himalayas. He belonged to the race of the Gotamides, and to the ancient family of the Sakyas. From his infancy he evinced a lively interest in religion, and, contrary to his father's wishes, leaving his palace with all its luxury, began at once to preach against the Brahmins, for the purification of their doctrines. He died at Kouçinagara, surrounded by many faithful disciples. His body was burned, and his ashes, divided into several parts, were distributed between the cities, which, on account of his new doctrine, had renounced Brahminism.
According to the Buddhistic doctrine, the Creator reposes normally in a state of perfect inaction, which is disturbed by nothing and which he only leaves at certain destiny-determined epochs, in order to create terrestrial buddhas. To this end the Spirit disengages itself from the sovereign Creator, incarnates in a buddha and stays for some time on the earth, where he creates Bodhisattvas (masters), 3 whose mission it is to preach the divine word and to found new churches of believers to whom they will give laws, and for whom they will institute a new religious order according to the traditions of Buddhism. A terrestrial buddha is, in a certain way, a reflection of the sovereign creative Buddha, with whom he unites after the termination of his terrestrial existence. In like manner do the Bodhisattvas, as a reward for their labors and the privations they undergo, receive eternal bliss and enjoy a rest which nothing can disturb.
Jesus sojourned six years among the Buddhists, where he found the principle of monotheism still pure. Arrived at the age of twenty-six years, he remembered his fatherland, which was then oppressed by a foreign yoke. On his way homeward, he preached against idol worship, human sacrifice, and other errors of faith, admonishing the people to recognize and adore God, the Father of all beings, to whom all are alike dear, the master as well as the slave; for they all are his children, to whom he has given this beautiful universe for a common heritage. The sermons of Jesus often made a profound impression upon the peoples among whom he came, and he was exposed to all sorts of dangers provoked by the clergy, but was saved by the very idolators who, only the preceding day, had offered their children as sacrifices to their idols.
While passing through Persia, Jesus almost caused a revolution among the adorers of Zoroaster's doctrine. Nevertheless, the priests refrained from killing him, out of fear of the people's vengeance. They resorted to artifice, and led him out of town at night, with the hope that he might be devoured by wild beasts. Jesus escaped this peril and arrived safe and sound in the country of Israel.
It must be remarked here that the Orientals, amidst their sometimes so picturesque misery, and in the ocean of depravation in which they slumber, always have, under the influence of their priests and teachers, a pronounced inclination for learning and understand easily good common sense explications. It happened to me more than once that, by using simple words of truth, I appealed to the conscience of a thief or some otherwise intractable person. These people, moved by a sentiment of innate honesty,—which the clergy for personal reasons of their own, tried by all means to stifle—soon became again very honest and had only contempt for those who had abused their confidence.
By the virtue of a mere word of truth, the whole of India, with its 300,000,000 of idols, could be made a vast Christian country; but ... this beautiful project would, no doubt, be antagonized by certain Christians who, similar to those priests of whom I have spoken before, speculate upon the ignorance of the people to make themselves rich.
According to St. Luke, Jesus was about thirty years of age when he began preaching to the Israelites. According to the Buddhistic chroniclers, Jesus's teachings in Judea began in his twenty-ninth year. All his sermons which are not mentioned by the Evangelists, but have been preserved by the Buddhists, are remarkable for their character of divine grandeur. The fame of the new prophet spread rapidly in the country, and Jerusalem awaited with impatience his arrival. When he came near the holy city, its inhabitants went out to meet him, and led him in triumph to the temple; all of which is in agreement with Christian tradition. The chiefs and elders who heard him were filled with admiration for his sermons, and were happy to see the beneficent impression which his words exercised upon the populace. All these remarkable sermons of Jesus are full of sublime sentiments.
Pilate, the governor of the country, however, did not look upon the matter in the same light. Eager agents notified him that Jesus announced the near coming of a new kingdom, the reestablishment of the throne of Israel, and that he suffered himself to be called the Son of God, sent to bring back courage in Israel, for he, the King of Judea, would soon ascend the throne of his ancestors.
I do not propose attributing to Jesus the rôle of a revolutionary, but it seems to me very probable that Jesus wrought up the people with a view to reestablish the throne to which he had a just claim. Divinely inspired, and, at the same time, convinced of the legitimacy of his pretentions, Jesus preached the spiritual union of the people in order that a political union might result.
Pilate, who felt alarmed over these rumors, called together the priests and the elders of the people and ordered them to interdict Jesus from preaching in public, and even to condemn him in the temple under the charge of apostasy. This was the best means for Pilate to rid himself of a dangerous man, whose royal origin he knew and whose popularity was constantly increasing.
It must be said in this connection that the Israelites, far from persecuting Jesus, recognized in him the descendant of the illustrious dynasty of David, and made him the object of their secret hopes, a fact which is evident from the very Gospels which tell that Jesus preached freely in the temple, in the presence of the elders, who could have interdicted him not only the entrance to the temple, but also his preachings.
Upon the order of Pilate the Sanhedrim met and cited Jesus to appear before its tribunal. As the result of the inquiry, the members of the Sanhedrim informed Pilate that his suspicions were without any foundation whatever; that Jesus preached a religious, and not a political, propaganda; that he was expounding the Divine word, and that he claimed to have come not to overthrow, but to reestablish the laws of Moses. The Buddhistic record does but confirm this sympathy, which unquestionably existed between the young preacher, Jesus, and the elders of the people of Israel; hence their answer: "We do not judge a just one."
Pilate felt not at all assured, and continued seeking an occasion to hale Jesus before a new tribunal, as regular as the former. To this end he caused him to be followed by spies, and finally ordered his arrest.
If we may believe the Evangelists, it was the Pharisees who sought the life of Jesus, while the Buddhistic record most positively declares that Pilate alone can be held responsible for his execution. This version is evidently much more probable than the account of the Evangelists. The conquerors of Judea could not long tolerate the presence of a man who announced to the people a speedy deliverance from their yoke. The popularity of Jesus having commenced to disturb Pilate's mind, it is to be supposed that he sent after the young preacher spies, with the order to take note of all his words and acts. Moreover, the servants of the Roman governor, as true "agents provocateurs," endeavored by means of artful questions put to Jesus, to draw from him some imprudent words under color of which Pilate might proceed against him. If the preachings of Jesus had been offensive to the Hebrew priests and scribes, all they needed to do was simply to command the people not to hear and follow him, and to forbid him entrance into the temple. But the Evangelists tell us that Jesus enjoyed great popularity among the Israelites and full liberty in the temples, where Pharisees and scribes discussed with him.
In order to find a valid excuse for condemning him, Pilate had him tortured so as to extort from him a confession of high treason.
But, contrary to the rule that the innocent, overcome by their pain, will confess anything to escape the unendurable agonies inflicted upon them, Jesus made no admission of guilt. Pilate, seeing that the usual tortures were powerless to accomplish the desired result, commanded the executioners to proceed to the last extreme of their diabolic cruelties, meaning to compass the death of Jesus by the complete exhaustion of his forces. Jesus, however, fortifying his endurance by the power of his will and zeal for his righteous cause—which was also that of his people and of God—was unconquerable by all the refinements of cruelty inflicted upon him by his executioners.
The infliction of "the question" upon Jesus evoked much feeling among the elders, and they resolved to interfere in his behalf; formally demanding of Pilate that he should be liberated before the Passover.
When their request was denied by Pilate they resolved to petition that Jesus should be brought to trial before the Sanhedrim, by whom they did not doubt his acquittal—which was ardently desired by the people—would be ordained.
In the eyes of the priests, Jesus was a saint, belonging to the family of David; and his unjust detention, or—what was still more to be dreaded—his condemnation, would have saddened the celebration of the great national festival of the Israelites.
They therefore prayed Pilate that the trial of Jesus should take place before the Passover, and to this he acceded. But he ordered that two thieves should be tried at the same time with Jesus, thinking to, in this way, minimize in the eyes of the people, the importance of the fact that the life of an innocent man was being put in jeopardy before the tribunal; and, by not allowing Jesus to be condemned alone, blind the populace to the unjust prearrangement of his condemnation.
The accusation against Jesus was founded upon the depositions of the bribed witnesses.
During the trial, Pilate availed himself of perversions of Jesus' words concerning the heavenly kingdom, to sustain the charges made against him. He counted, it seems, upon the effect produced by the answers of Jesus, as well as upon his own authority, to influence the members of the tribunal against examining too minutely the details of the case, and to procure from them the sentence of death for which he intimated his desire.
Upon hearing the perfectly natural answer of the judges, that the meaning of the words of Jesus was diametrically opposed to the accusation, and that there was nothing in them to warrant his condemnation, Pilate employed his final resource for prejudicing the trial, viz., the deposition of a purchased traitorous informer. This miserable wretch—who was, no doubt, Judas—accused Jesus formally, of having incited the people to rebellion.
Then followed a scene of unsurpassed sublimity. When Judas gave his testimony, Jesus, turning toward him, and giving him his blessing, says: "Thou wilt find mercy, for what thou has said did not come out from thine own heart!" Then, addressing himself to the governor: "Why dost thou lower thy dignity, and teach thy inferiors to tell falsehood, when without doing so it is in thy power to condemn an innocent man?"
Words touching as sublime! Jesus Christ here manifests all the grandeur of his soul by pardoning his betrayer, and he reproaches Pilate with having resorted to such means, unworthy of his dignity, to attain his end.
This keen reproach enraged the governor, and caused him to completely forget his position, and the prudent policy with which he had meant to evade personal responsibility for the crime he contemplated. He now imperiously demanded the conviction of Jesus, and, as though he intended to make a display of his power, to overawe the judges, ordered the acquittal of the two thieves.
The judges, seeing the injustice of Pilate's demand, that they should acquit the malefactors and condemn the innocent Jesus, refused to commit this double crime against their consciences and their laws. But as they could not cope with one who possessed the authority of final judgment, and saw that he was firmly decided to rid himself, by whatever means, of a man who had fallen under the suspicions of the Roman authorities, they left him to himself pronounce the verdict for which he was so anxious. In order, however, that the people might not suspect them of sharing the responsibility for such unjust judgment, which would not readily have been forgiven, they, in leaving the court, performed the ceremony of washing their hands, symbolizing the affirmation that they were clean of the blood of the innocent Jesus, the beloved of the people.
About ten years ago, I read in a German journal, the Fremdenblatt, an article on Judas, wherein the author endeavored to demonstrate that the informer had been the best friend of Jesus. According to him, it was out of love for his master that Judas betrayed him, for he put blind faith in the words of the Saviour, who said that his kingdom would arrive after his execution. But after seeing him on the cross, and having waited in vain for the resurrection of Jesus, which he expected to immediately take place, Judas, not able to bear the pain by which his heart was torn, committed suicide by hanging himself. It would be profitless to dwell upon this ingenious product of a fertile imagination.
To take up again the accounts of the Gospels and the Buddhistic chronicle, it is very possible that the bribed informer was really Judas, although the Buddhistic version is silent on this point. As to the pangs of conscience which are said to have impelled the informer to suicide, I must say that I give no credence to them. A man capable of committing so vile and cowardly an action as that of making an infamously false accusation against his friend, and this, not out of a spirit of jealousy, or for revenge, but to gain a handful of shekels! such a man is, from the psychic point of view, of very little worth. He ignores honesty and conscience, and pangs of remorse are unknown to him.
It is presumable that the governor treated him as is sometimes done in our days, when it is deemed desirable to effectually conceal state secrets known to men of his kind and presumably unsafe in their keeping. Judas probably was simply hanged, by Pilate's order, to prevent the possibility of his some day revealing that the plot of which Jesus was a victim had been inspired by the authorities.
On the day of the execution, a numerous detachment of Roman soldiers was placed around the cross to guard against any attempt by the populace for the delivery of him who was the object of their veneration. In this occurrence Pilate gave proof of his extraordinary firmness and resolution.
But though, owing to the precautions taken by the governor, the anticipated revolt did not occur, he could not prevent the people, after the execution, mourning the ruin of their hopes, which were destroyed, together with the last scion of the race of David. All the people went to worship at Jesus' grave. Although we have no precise information concerning the occurrences of the first few days following the Passion, we could, by some probable conjectures, reconstruct the scenes which must have taken place.
It stands to reason that the Roman Cæsar's clever lieutenant, when he saw that Christ's grave became the centre of universal lamentations and the subject of national grief, and feared that the memory of the righteous victim might excite the discontent of the people and raise the whole country against the foreigners' rule, should have employed any effective means for the removal of this rallying-point, the mortal remains of Jesus. Pilate began by having the body buried. For three days the soldiers who were stationed on guard at the grave, were exposed to all kinds of insults and injuries on the part of the people who, defying the danger, came in multitudes to mourn the great martyr. Then Pilate ordered his soldiers to remove the body at night, and to bury it clandestinely in some other place, leaving the first grave open and the guard withdrawn from it, so that the people could see that Jesus had disappeared. But Pilate missed his end; for when, on the following morning, the Hebrews did not find the corpse of their master in the sepulchre, the superstitious and miracle-accepting among them thought that he had been resurrected.
How did this legend take root? We cannot say. Possibly it existed for a long time in a latent state and, at the beginning, spread only among the common people; perhaps the ecclesiastic authorities of the Hebrews looked with indulgence upon this innocent belief, which gave to the oppressed a shadow of revenge on their oppressors. However it be, the day when the legend of the resurrection finally became known to all, there was no one to be found strong enough to demonstrate the impossibility of such an occurrence.
Concerning this resurrection, it must be remarked that, according to the Buddhists, the soul of the just Issa was united with the eternal Being, while the Evangelists insist upon the ascension of the body. It seems to me, however, that the Evangelists and the Apostles have done very well to give the description of the resurrection which they have agreed upon, for if they had not done so, i.e., if the miracle had been given a less material character,their preaching would not have had, in the eyes of the nations to whom it was presented, that divine authority, that avowedly supernatural character, which has clothed Christianity, until our time, as the only religion capable of elevating the human race to a state of sublime enthusiasm, suppressing its savage instincts, and bringing it nearer to the grand and simple nature which God has bestowed, they say, upon that feeble dwarf called man.
A 31-year-old nun has given birth to a baby boy in Rieti, Italy, after experiencing abdominal pains she thought were stomach cramps.
The sister belongs to a convent which is located near the city of Rieti, which has a population of 47,700.
The nun belongs to the "Little Disciples of Jesus'' convent in Campomoro near Rieti, which manages an old people's home.
As news of the nun's pregnancy has spread, the mayor of Rieti, Simone Petrangi, asked local residents and media to give the woman privacy.
Clothes and donations have been collected and sent to the hospital where she gave birth.
"I did not know I was pregnant. I only felt a stomach pain,"
she told the Ansa news agency.
Other nuns at the convent also expressed shock at the mysterious pregnancy of a holy sister at their order, saying they were "very surprised", according to Italian media reports.
Don Fabrizio Borrelio, a local pastor, says he believes that the nun is telling the truth about being unaware of her pregnancy. He said the nun plans to take care of the baby herself.
The results of a study on reproductive health, published in the British Medical Journal, revealed that one in 200 US women claim to have given birth without ever having had sexual intercourse.
The BMJ reports that of the women who took part in the study, 45 (0.5%) reported at least one virgin pregnancy, "unrelated to the use of assisted reproductive technology".
They claim to have conceived without vaginal intercourse or in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
The BMJ article notes that virgin births, or parthenogenesis (from the Greek parthenos for virgin and genesis for birth), can occur in non-humans as a consequence of "asexual reproduction, where growth and development of the embryo occurs without fertilisation".
However, the authors of the study, entitled "Like a virgin (mother)", warn that researchers need to take into account the possibility of fallible memory on the part of respondents.