Did Jesus Go to India to Learn Wisdom?
Some books purport that Jesus went to India during his youth to learn the wisdom of the gurus. Before I was a Christian, I learned this teaching from the book The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi Dowling, which I read in about 1972. At the time, I was convinced that it was true.
The book claims that Jesus spent 18 years of his life (called the “hidden” or “silent years,” between age 12 and 30) studying under Eastern religious gurus in India, Tibet, and Egypt. By this means Jesus achieved the “Christ” consciousness and then set out to teach others. According to this theory, Jesus and “the Christ” are different. Jesus was an ordinary man who learned how to be “the Christ” through initiation into the secrets of mystical wisdom.
In replying to this we would say, first, that it lacks evidence. Levi, for example, claimed that he received this “knowledge” about Jesus from the “Akashic Records,” an immense energy field allegedly surrounding the earth that contains all knowledge. We only have his word for this. There is no evidence that the Akashic Records exist, and there is no historic evidence for this theory about Jesus from history.
Second, the Indian guru Christ is contrary to the Bible’s teaching about who Jesus was, and the Bible gives clear evidence of being the Word of God. Jesus was not an ordinary man who learned how to be an exalted guru. Born miraculously of a virgin, Jesus was the eternal Son of God from His birth. He trusted in God on His mother’s breasts (Psalm 22:9). Obviously this was no ordinary child! The Bible says that Jesus already knew who He was when He was very young. At age 12 He told His parents that He was God’s Son and explained to them that He had to accomplish the work He had been given to do (Luke 2:49). The Bible says that Jesus is the Creator and has all wisdom (Colossians 1:16; 2:3). As such He did not have to learn esoteric knowledge at the feet of gurus!
Third, the name “Christ” is not something that Jesus achieved but is something that He had from birth. It was His title as Israel’s promised Messiah. The name “Jesus” means Saviour (Matthew 1:21). The title “Christ” is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Messiah, meaning anointed (John 1:41), and it refers to Jesus as the Messiah promised in Old Testament prophecy (Daniel 9:25-26; John 4:25; Acts 2:36). In the Old Testament God promised to send His Anointed (Psalm 2:2; Isaiah 61:1-2). The prophecies said that the Christ or the Messiah or the Anointed One would be God Himself (Psalm 45:6-7). Jesus was called Christ the Lord at His very birth. “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). His name is Jesus Christ (John 1:17). Jesus is Christ and Christ is Jesus.
Fourth, the Indian guru Christ is contrary to the Bible’s teaching about why Jesus came to earth. According to the Aquarian Gospel, Jesus came to earth to be man’s example and teacher in order to show us the way of reincarnating into perfection. But according to the Bible, Jesus came to earth “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). This refers to saving men from the consequences of sin by dying on the cross to take the punishment that we deserve. By this means, Jesus provided eternal salvation to those who believe in Him. According to the Bible, there is no reincarnation. The Bible says that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). According to the Bible, there is no other way of salvation except through Jesus (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Fifth, if Jesus had gone into India and learned from eastern gurus, the Jewish leaders would have used that fact to discredit him. They were opposed to Jesus from the beginning of His public ministry at age 30 and they searched for every possible way they might discredit Him. The Jewish leaders considered all other religions “pagan” and false,” and the fact that they didn’t mention anything about Jesus going to India and learning from eastern religions is proof that He did not do this. The people in Nazareth where Jesus grew up knew Him. If Jesus had studied in the East, the townspeople would have known it and would have said, “He thinks he is a great pagan guru because He studied under them.” Instead, when Jesus started preaching they asked, “Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?” (Matthew 13:54-56).
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