Recently I happened to watch a conspiracy theory genre’s documentary titled “Jesus was a Buddhist Monk.” The documentary proposes “evidences” to prove the namesake.
Here’s the youtube link in case you wanna watch.
King Akbar, a great theologian himself, often called the council of all & various religions. Also often he came across a common sentiment amongst all the religions; that of a kind of race amongst them to prove that their god was supreme and thereby obviously should be followed.
I, like Akbar, find that juvenile too.
Personally I believe that religion is like language, every region has its own and finds a different and definite sound to express human emotions. Surprisingly the same set of human emotions like love, hate, jealousy, charity etc. Two seemingly unconnected areas and sometimes even untouched civilizations have found ways to express the same things albeit in their own way. To say that they got inspired by each other would probably be to undermine one to another.
Going back to the documentary, Jesus and Buddha were both phenomenal individuals, and that is the easiest and most obvious common thread between them. To say that one was inspired by another is an easy assumption. Birds of the same feather flock together – it’s a law of nature. World was connected for longer than we in modern civilization can fathom and since Buddha precedes Jesus, it would be quite probable that Jesus in search of knowledge, divinity, truth or whatever that one would like to call it, travelled to India and got inspired by Buddha & his teachings.
Now here are my personal views on the presumptions & presentation of Jesus in the documentary. As is often said, all 5 fingers are not alike. It is not correct to weigh Jesus against the normal / prevalent yardsticks. He was, in no sense, either. Jesus, not even once had mentioned India, Buddha or anything even remotely around. Highly improbable in case he had actually done so. The popular version is that he was in Egypt, tending to goats in wilderness where he got the time & peace to introspect. Historically that sounds more accurate than voyage to India.
The fact that he travelled and got back was probably first discovered by that Russian guy sometime in 19th or 20th century and I can simply presume that was for sensation only. The only time I’d believe in the existence of such a Buddhist manuscript is when it’ll be revealed publicly. And if it did actually exist, it would probably be in a museum next to say Mona Lisa and not incognito. Besides even if the manuscript does exist it’s a very weak link between Jesus the messiah and just some guy named Jesus. Jesus was a Jew and though Judaism, Hinduism & Buddhism represent different locations, they are also eerily similar. Case in point there’s a Noah there and a very similar version in Hinduism as well which is said to have preceded Judaism by at least a few thousand years.
Now the yardstick. Jesus could not have possibly been born and raised in more hostile circumstances than he did and thus to say that he escaped crucification, travelled to India and made such a minimal impact on people and culture here is laughable. Jesus, figuratively and religiously was born under a star, he could be anywhere and people would’ve found a way to find God in him. So dying in obscurity because he was afraid of being captured by Romans is too mortal a thought to be Jesus. You don’t get to be Jesus that easy and on those yardsticks.
Every religion is complete and incomplete in its own ways, to compare one to another, I think, is to undermine both.
Having said that to answer whether Jesus was a monk, in my views he truly was. If someone has lived the definition of a monk then indeed Jesus probably was one.
PS: Under no circumstance and in no manner my intention is to hurt anyone’s religious feelings. I respect faith greatly and deeply, irrespective of what one chooses to call it. My apologies in case it came across such. Having said that if close minded religious people are not open to debate & dialogue than I do not quite care either.
I’ve had the privilege and blessing of sharing space with many wise men and by now I’ve come distinguish between a monk and a man in a robe. My definition of religion is knowledge & karma is god. Rest, as I’d like to call, is all faff.
Rejoicing that someone chose to convert themselves from their religion to some other is a simple reminder that the road other way is also open and also happens. In Physics its called “What goes around, comes around”.