Jesus and Buddhism

No, it’s not a religious rant, it’s about a book. Several years back, a book was written about the lost years of Jesus (the time from when he was about 25-30, I believe). There’s apparently a small Buddhist temple somewhere that has a story of a man who came from the East, studied with them for a few years, and left, and according to the time and their description of this stranger, it is believed it was Jesus. So, some guy wrote a book about it, but I can’t remember it’s name, or the author. Is there anyone out there who could give me a hand? (Jesus, the lost years just doesn’t seem to fit)

I remeber something like that, too, and I may have it still. I’ll write back if I find it, but, uh, wouldn’t he have come from the West if he were going into any place where Buddhism was practiced 2000 years ago? He might have been walking back I suppose…

I’ve heard the theory that Jesus was influenced by Buddhism, and though I don’t know if I buy the story that he journeyed to the Far East and studied it at a temple, I see no reason why he couldn’t have heard about it. There was trade and the exchange of ideas between the Roman Empire and the Far East.

“Buddha was not a Christrian, but Jesus would have made a good Buddhist.”

-Ray Wylie Hubbard

After seaching Google, I found one website that mentions a couple of works that you might have been referring to:

Another site listed this reference:

But whether Jesus actually traveled to the Far East or was aware of Buddhism through local trade, there is little doubt about the parallels between what he and the Buddha taught.

I highly recommend two books by Thich Nhat Hanh, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers and Living Buddha, Living Christ. From a Christian perspective you can read Marcus Borg’s Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings.

I have read in a few places about the missing years of Jesus. The story goes that he studied with Buddhist monks in India and this influenced his later teachings. In these stories he is known as Lord or Saint Issa. The first book that I know of about this in the western world is The Unknown Life of Christ by Nicolas Notavitch, 1894. See this web site for info -
(Sorry I don’t know if I made this a link)
Some people belive this to be fact. As far as I can tell there is no hard data to prove this. Nor do I see this as very important. But it may be to those who have lived as Christians and now find Buddhism much to thier liking and need a transition point.
I will try to find more information for you on this.


Not the one you’re seeking, but an interesting book:

Buddhists talk about Jesus, Christians talk about the Buddha, edited by Rita M. Gross and Terry C. Muck.

This subject was already covered in another thread just a few weeks ago.

The name “Issa” (misspelling; actually it should be ‘Isa) is simply the Islamic form of “Jesus.” The story had been circulated in Kashmir, where Europeans picked it up, and all Muslims including Kashmiris normally call Jesus ‘Isa. When the story about a wondrous teacher named “Issa” is repeated, the use of that name outside a Muslim context makes it sound exotic and more impressive, but to Muslims it’s nothing exotic, it’s just the everyday name of Jesus.

Be aware that the Ahmadiyya had an ulterior agenda in promoting the Jesus-in-India story and have no credibility as a source.

In The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi Dowling, one part describes Jesus’s trip to India where he gets into a debate with a Buddhist priest. The Buddhist argues in favor of the theory of evolution, while JC refutes it, and actually uses the phrase “survival of the fittest”. You can draw your own conclusions about the authenticity of this account. :rolleyes: