Nicolas Notovitch (1858-1916), a Russian, popularized the notion that Jesus had travelled to India in his The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ. I am linking to the audiobook version and to the PDF copy of his book. This Russian doctor, while traveling through the Himalayas, over the Vale of Kashmir, stayed in a Tibetan convent. There he learned about a Tibetan legend, called The Life of St. Issa, about Jesus’s sojourn in India and Tibet.
Was The Life of St. Issa, and the general proposal of Jesus’s sojourn in India, a deliberate hoax? Here’s a 19th century article arguing that it was just such a fiction: Hoax article
One Swami Abhedananda, however, purported to confirm Notovitch’s evidence. During his travels in the region, he found a Bengali translation of Notovitch’s text (two hundred twenty-four verses). A Russian philosopher Nicholas Roerich (1925) followed suit and corroborated Notovitch’s discovery. (See: Notovitch: Corroborating Evidence )
Here’s the PDF of Notovitch’s work: The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ
In this post, I address the mixed legacy of missionary Christianity. On the one hand, dramatic conversions — and a willingness to give all to God — are quite moving and exemplary. On the other hand, missionary tactics which claim Christian superiority to other religions seem short-sighted.
So, in my fascination with multi-cultural expressions of Christian spirituality, I offer you today some articles, revealing these two dimensions of this Indian holy man. An article — from the 1930’s — recounts Lam Jeevaratnam’s conversion.
The picture (at the side) shows Lam Jeevaratnam, while he was a young man and performer, before (as the Pentecostals say) he got “saved”. His conversion account reveals him to be a man of courage, passion, principle, and inspiration.
Here’s the PDF:
As inspiring as is Lam Jeevaratnam’s conversion — a story of total transformation – his exorcisms sometimes sound as if they are disrespectful of gods outside of the Christian God. He exorcises people possessed of demons in India, after he converts totally to Jesus Christ. The demons who possess them are Hindu gods, in his opinion.
(OR: are they demons who pretend to be Hindu gods, causing troubles?). Even if we believe in demons and exorcisms, it is surely rash to denounce as demons gods of other religions.
Here is an excerpt about LJ’s exorcisms: PentecostalExorcismIndia1934
These articles come courtesy of the USC Pentecostal and Evangelical Research archives. You can also find information about Lam Jeevaratnam at this website: Biography Lam Jeevaratnam