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on 22 April 2012
Believers in the death and resurrection of Christ will have a hard time with this book. They will pick and poke at details just as some do over Darwin's theory of evolution or the new sciences of the universe and the brain. But Kersten's destruction of the orthodox position of traditional faith is clear and convincing, for me at least. His own research and his summary of the research of a vast number of other careful scholars has shown with some clarity that (1) Jesus was a teacher in the tradition of Buddhism and Hinduism who quite possibly learned his trade in advanced and extended Indian or Buddhist training, (2) Jesus survived the crucifixion, as he would have hoped, using Yogic skills developed during his training plus the cooperation of friends who may have seen his suffering Roman cruelty as a Jewish victory, and (3) Jesus probably headed back east after his recovery and became a wandering teacher called Yuz Asaf who finally settled in Kashmir and is buried in Srinagar.

Any attempt to reconstruct the events of so long ago with any clarity is doomed to be debatable, and any attempt to do so for a historic figure like no other in (Western) history is going to raise organized resistance from vested interests, but Kersten has given us a platform for doing so that is really good, in my humble opinion. I have read several books on this and related themes, and this is the best, for me. The balance of fine detail and judicious overview, the insistence on hard facts and the sober appraisal of probabilities, the sympathy extended to people of faith, whether Indian or Mediterranean, and the overall scholarly tone of the enterprise together make this for me the fiducial source on this topic. I have no hesitation in recommending it to seekers after the true story and giving it five stars.
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I have now read six different books on the subject of Jesus' life in India during the 2 periods he was there - the first between ages 13 and 29, then again for the many years when he left Palestine following recovery from the crucifixion. I think Kersten's book is the best of the bunch, and the one I would recommend to anyone new to the subject. It's fascinating and highly readable. The research is extremely thorough and can be checked out with other sources. If one day Jesus' tomb in Srinagar can be excavated, the truth might finally be accepted by all. A superb piece of work, Mr. Kersten. Anyone genuinely interested in the true origins of Christianity needs to know this story.
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on 19 June 2000
This book will probably explain what centuries of misinterpreted theological principles could do to an individual yearning for truth. While most orthodox minded Christians would find this book revolting; naturally so as we have been taught the sacred mysteries wrongly right through our lives. This lends a whole new dimension to the word RESUURECTION. The abstracts and the fallacy of Paulinism are highlighted. It is advised that fellow readers be receptive and be open to all the shocks they might be in for. After all it would be a real shocker to even think that we have been misled by the clergy all this while. A great deal of research has gone into the making of this book and God bless Holger Kirsten. I am today a proud Indian..for a fact that Jesus Christ trod this piece of earth and learnt from the Orient. A must read for all those who want to shove away the clouds of doubt that they had about Christianity right from day one..,,A must read!
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on 22 June 2015
Reading into the book it soon becomes evident that the author, Kersten is desperately trying to make a connection when often of the time it is none existent. We first learn about Nicolai Notovitch who apparently was the first person to bring the Jesus Lived In India theory to the forefront, we then read on that it was widely considered a hoax by notable European Orientalists such as Max Muller whom had an axe to grind.

Kersten provides some sources to prove his point including a rare journal entitled 'A lady in Tartary, Thibet & Kashmir' released in 1853 around forty years before Notovitch's claims and where according to Kersten the same texts are mentioned. The journal is available on an Archive Website and I went through the Second Volume carefully and even though a brief description is given of Leh, the capital of Ladakh - Hemis monastery is never mentioned let alone the central texts surrounding Jesus Christ.

This is either downright dishonesty on the part of Kersten (By providing a rare inaccessible book that before the Internet would have proven very difficult to find, according to the worlds largest bibliographic archive there are only 18 libraries that actually hold a copy of it) or perhaps he took something from the journal entirely out of context and interpreted in a different way, either way it isn't a credible source.

All the other sources Kersten gives reference to in regards to the discovery of the central texts were recorded after Notovitch's discovery, those like Muller at the time argued that Notovitch had never even travelled to Ladakh. Kersten claims that he has proven this to be false because there is a record of a Dr Karl Marx who was residing in Ladakh at that time whom in his journal noted that he treated Notovitch for tooth ache in the corresponding years - He gives reference in his book by photographing the page, but the writing is indistinguishable and difficult to read.

Even if Notovitch had travelled to Ladakh that doesn't by default make his claims true, on the contrary something that may lend credibility to Notovitch's argument is regarding a sutra entitled 'Isha Nath' that talks about a young boy who came from the land of Israel and resided in India for many years studying Buddhist philosophy that corresponds with the texts Notovitch had supposedly read at Hemis monastery. However it is difficult to find information on this particular Sutra and because Christian monks had been coming to India for centuries it could have easily been written at any time after then.

Don't get me wrong, it's a great theory - And whereas it is definitely more plausible to suggest that Jesus had survived the crucifixion through some technique he had acquired through the East rather than physically ascending into heaven, the evidence is incredibly weak. Those who say that Kersten has proven this as being beyond a shadow of a doubt, are looking for anything that validates their predetermined point of view, but for anyone looking at it from a neutral perspective this certainly isn't the case.
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on 11 May 2016
A well researched book including photos. I've always wondered why there were 'wise men from the East'. Enjoyable and interesting read.
Sadly the Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire and the message was lost.
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on 8 October 2008
I found the arguments of this book very interesting. A major point I would raise though is since this is a controversial book in terms of ideas one really ought to read the new testament also in order to know what the author is talking about, ie if you want to argue with the Bible you have to know what it says. What this book did to me indeed was to go back in my Bible, re-read it and analize it. My conclusion on Kersten's work is that although it is very methodological and analitical it seems to miss something of the bigger picture: he blames Paul for the christian concept of resurrection, yet by simply reading Matthew's gospel (one of the few gospel Kersten doesn't reject), one can see resurrection was part of the divine plans. Kersten says Jesus was a bodhisattva yet doesn't seem to agree that this bodhisattva had a sacrificial mission in mind, as he puts it "why Jesus went to Jerusalem [to a certain death] is a mystery", although it is clear through the gospel that Jesus had a divine mission to die and be raised.
I recommend the reading it'll make you think, revise and challenge what many just take for granted. Whether you agree or not with Kersten is then left to your own judgement.
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on 3 September 2009
This is a well-written and compellingly argued book that establishes beyond any reasonable doubt that the figure known as Jesus Christ spent the majority of his life in India, did not die on the cross, and then returned to India to live out the rest of his years. That will doubtless be an uncomfortable conclusion for most Christians, and even more so for the Catholic Church, which has significantly failed to respond in any way to the verifiable facts the author has produced.
My two major criticisms of the book are:
First, part of the author's argument is supported by his belief that the Shroud of Turin is the burial shroud of Jesus, which we now know not to be the case. The Shroud has now been proven to be, without any doubt whatsoever, a very accomplished Medieval forgery.
Second, he talks a lot about the 'Essene monastery' of Qumran. In fact, there's not a shred of empirical evidence to suggest that Qumran was a monastery, or any kind of religious building. Father Roland de Vaux, the archaeologist who first investigated the site, provided an absolutely classic circular argument. Because the Dead Sea Scrolls were found near Qumran, he decided they must have been written by the people of Qumran, and because the scrolls contained religious material, therefore the people of Qumran must have been religious. It makes as much sense as the old cod-fish analogy - 'the cod is a fish, therefore all fish are cod'.
The author also does exactly what all preachers and Christians do. He cherry-picks phrases and sayings from the Bible and from non-Biblical texts to 'prove' that Jesus said this or that one of the apostles said that. Bearing in mind that none of the books that form the Bible was written earlier than about 75 years after the events it is describing, this makes no sense. It's like a person in the year 2009 saying 'On September 4 1929 my grandfather said ....' and then quoting verbatim. It has to be nonsense, just as it is when a priest stands up on his hind legs and says 'And Jesus said ...'
However, this is no way diminishes the core of his argument, which rests almost entirely on texts and accounts written in India itself.
Overall, a fascinating book.
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on 5 August 2004
I do not claim that this book is right one. Now I claim that it is wrong. But it is seriously written book with scientific evidence. Moreover, its style is not sensational, but "judge it yourself" style. Highly recommend this book.
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on 26 July 2014
Is this book for real? I've given it 2 stars for comedy value. His hypothesis may be correct but his marshalling of scientific argument is specious and based entirely on ascertainment bias. His criteria for proof/absence of proof vary completely on whether the arguments are his or his opponents. And published by Penguin (india)? Nontheless a fascinating read
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on 22 March 2014
Excellent investigative analyses in the way Lord Jesus should be known. There are many other good books substantiating the facts.
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