Jesus in India

Older Book Reviews (1899 – 1999)

A Search for the Historical Jesus – Fida Hassnain, London, 1995

In a follow-up to his previous work The Fifth Gospel, Professor Hassnain published A Search for the Historical Jesus giving considerable more detail. The book has 21 chapters, covering history of the Bani Israel in Northern India, birth of Jesus, travel to India as a youth, crucifixion, Turin Shroud, resurrection, and tracing his journey back to India. 
The final few chapters deal with the tomb itself locally known as the Rozabal, and review of the Kashmiri history of the person entombed.

He writes that as Director of Archaeology of Jammu and Kashmir State, he was able to study the tomb in greater detail and even make repairs. In 1975, when Professor Hassnain was exploring the wooden sarcophagus located within the shrine, he came across a wooden cross and a slab of stone with foot impressions depicting wounds. “Both Yuzu Asaf and Jesus had one thing in common” writes the Professor, “wound marks on their feet.”

Interestingly, further research by German scholars confirmed that the wound position represented in the carving matched those found on the Shroud of Turin. Thus these discoveries by Professor Hassnain connected Yuz Asaf with Jesus and, in turn the man on the Shroud.

Professor Hassnain reviews the ancient Kashmir records and concludes that the historical information supports the view that Jesus migrated to, and settled in Kashmir. He writes: “it appears to me that the time has now come to ask the people of the West to join hands in the rediscovery of the historical Jesus.”

One interesting quotation Professor Hassnain brings to light is from an ancient work entitled Kamal-ud-Din, from approximately 960 A.D. It helps one to understand why, if Jesus lived in India and his followers prospered, there is no longer a trace of his mission, apart from the tomb. It appears there was a community in Kashmir at one time called Nasara, followers of Jesus, though now wiped out. 

According to Kamal-ud-Din, the Nasara priests realized that their brethren in Central Asia had accepted the Holy Prophet of Islam. Shortly thereafter, sometime after 570 A.D, they also converted to Islam. The Nasara Christians lost their separate identity sometime before the 10th century A.D.

The above quotation in Kamal-ud-Din, combined with the discovery of a Hebrew Gospel in India amongst Israelites by the Christian scholar Panteanus in the 2nd century A.D, and evidence of persecuted Nasara communities in Persia from old inscriptions proves that the sun of Christianity did rise in these regions. 

Due to persecution and conversion, the Nasara were assimilated by other religions and became forgotten as an independent entity. This can be compared to the virtual disappearance of non-Christian religions in Europe when Pauline Christianity spread rapidly there.

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