Jesus Chris did not die on the cross but survived and died at the age of 80 in India, according to a British author and peace campaigner.
The son of Mary and Joseph travelled to northern India as a teenager where he spent the next 16 years studying Buddhist philosophy, it is claimed.
There he became an enlightened monk and prophet who was “loved by all he met”, Karl de Leeuw, the author of ‘The Universe Code’ posits.
Issa, or Jesus as he was known in his native tongue, returned to Palestine in his 30s where he preached his findings among his people.
He later escaped crucifixion and travelled back to India where he lived happily in the Kashmir Valley until his death of natural causes at the age of 80.
In total, Jesus is believed to have lived in India, Afghanistan and Tibet for up to 60 years of his adult life, de Leeuw says.
De Leeuw has spent seven years studying the early life of Jesus and has visited many of the sites in India about which he writes.
He accepts that his narrative is controversial and that it conflicts with the Biblical story at a time when hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide are preparing to celebrate the Son of God’s birth at Christmas.
But he points to several works of previous research, including the book ‘Jesus Lived in India’ by the German scholar Holger Kersten, and a BBC documentary, to support his findings.
Speaking yesterday de Leeuw, the founder of the peace campaigning website OneSouls said: “My conclusions do not in any way discredit Jesus or his work, but in fact reinforce what Christians around the world already know – that he was an inspirational force for good that was loved by virtually everyone he met.”
According to de Leeuw and others, Jesus travelled to Kashmir with his parents at the age of 13 and remained there until the age of 29.
This, de Leeuw claims, is supported by the so-called ‘Lost Years’ – a gap in both Biblical and Middle Eastern records of Jesus’ whereabouts or activities in that period.
He studied ancient Buddhist texts – the religion was already 500 years old at this point – and spent time in several Indian cities including Varanasi, Puri, and Benares where he taught and helped people of different religions and castes.
“He won the hearts and minds of everyone he met because of how much he cared about humanity,” de Leeuw says.
Jesus was referred to as “the son of God” by the Vedic scholars who tutored him in the sacred Buddhist texts, it is argued.
After a further six years in Tibet, Jesus – or ‘Issa’ as he was known in India – returned home to Palestine where he propagated his Buddhist teachings as widely as he could.
Baptism and reworkings of older Buddhist stories – which later made their way into the Bible – are among his key exports, de Leeuw believes.
His messages of peace, forgiveness and reaping what you sew draw on the Buddhist philosophy of karma, de Leeuw adds.
Jesus’ sermons led to his arrest but, contrary to the biblical narrative, he escaped crucifixion and fled to his second home in India.
There he visited Jewish settlers in nearby Afghanistan who had escaped a similar fate at the hands of the Jewish king Nebuchadnezzar.
Jesus lived out his days in the remote Kashmiri city of Srinagar, where, in point of fact, his tomb is venerated to this day.
If de Leeuw’s narrative is to be believed, Jesus spent 16 years of his youth and his last 45 years in India and Tibet.
Whilst his narrative is indeed remarkable, it is supported by other historians past and present.
In the 19th-Century a Russian doctor called Nicolas Notovitch travelled extensively throughout India, Tibet, and Afghanistan and chronicled his time there in his 1894 book, ‘The Unknown Life of Christ’.
After breaking his leg, Notovitch is said to have spent time in a Buddhist monastery where monks showed him ancient texts entitled ‘The Life of Saint Issa’.
The texts are said to tell the true story of a child named Jesus – or ‘Issa’, meaning the ‘son of God’ – who was born in the first century to a poor family in Israel and who studied Buddhism in India between the ages of 13 and 29.
This timeframe lines up with Jesus’ ‘lost years’ in the Bible – a period of time when his whereabouts and activities were unknown and unrecorded.
The narrative does, de Leeuw claims, also explain the Three Wise Men nativity story.
When a Buddhist Holy Man or ‘Lama’ dies, local wise men consult the stars and set off – often on long journeys – to find the infant who is the reincarnation of the Lama.
De Leeuw added: “Whether the Biblical or alternative narrative is correct is somewhat immaterial. What counts most is that we recognise the role that Jesus, or ‘Issa’, played in spreading the word of peace, love and forgiveness.
“At a time of great global unrest, his teachings are more important than ever.”
Karl de Leeuw is an author and founder of peace campaigning website OneSouls.co. He is also the author of The Universe Code: The Free World Is In Doubt of Salvation – The Truth Will Set It Free!, out now on Amazon. The One Souls peace conference, described as an “eclectic mix of cultures and faiths in an endeavour to foster world peace through truth”, takes place on 28th August 2021, streamed live from New York. Tickets cost $3 (approximately £2.33) and are available from the OneSouls website. There are also 40 tickets available for the live event, priced at $50 each.