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Nikolaj Notovitch, a Russian politician, was born in 1858 in Crimea. In his youth, he spent a lot of time studying religion and perhaps this could be one of the motives that after the war, in 1878 he decided to travel and collect spiritual knowledge. He visited India and his primary interest was the study of local culture and customs. The route of his journey was through the Caucasus to Afghanistan, then today's Pakistan and Kashmir to Ladakh, where he stayed for the longest. He returned to Russia via Turkestan and Karakorum. 

On his way frequently visited Buddhist monasteries, and so it happened that in a monastery in Karby learned that throughout India and Tibet exists the living memory of a saint, called Saint Issa, whose fate is remarkably similar to Jesus. In Srinagar there is indeed a grave, which allegedly deposite his remains. Issa said he came to Kashmir from Judea. Notoviče was interested of  this information, enough to completely determine the objective of pilgrimage. 

After Karby he learned that there were no manuscripts of Issa: they could stay in Tibet. Here, he visited many monasteries, looking for any information about the prophet Issa. Mostly he did not learn too much, but could not escape his attention that virtually in all lay monasteries many texts stay quite freely, covered with a thick layer of dust. 

In the Lamayuru monastery Notovitch received the information that the texts about Issa could be kept near Leh, the capital of Ladakh. Finally, in the buddhist convent Hemis of Leh he learned that the texts were there, but they must be found. So, if he’ll come later, he will be able to see them. Notovitch left the monastery but considered a pretext to come back:  he had an accident that resulted in his leg being broken. This gave him the unscheduled opportunity to stay awhile at the Hemis convent, enough to locate a Tibetan translation of the legend about Issa and carefully noted in his carnet de voyage over two hundred verses from the document known as "The Life of St. Issa."

After his return to Russia, he chronologically arranged the text. However, there was much controversy about the authenticity of the document. Notovitch was aware of the great historical and religious values of the text and assumed that the Church should welcome the historical evidence of the presence of Jesus' person in Tibet. Church attitude, on the contrary, was negative. First Notovitch turned to the Archbishop of Kiev Platonova, which recognized the importance of the discovery, but he tried to talk the issue of the text. In Paris, Notovitch met with Cardinal Rotellim, which said that the text release was premature. At last, Notovitch was accused of creating a hoax and was ridiculed as an imposter. In his defense he encouraged a scientific expedition to prove that the original tibetan documents existed. Notovitch knew that in Paris lived a man who would be interested in the text, and asked for M. Jules Simon to arrange a meeting with him. So it happened that he met Joseph Ernst Renan (1823-1892), a famous author of Jesus' biography. He really was interested of Notovič discovery, but Notovitch got the distinct impression that it wanted to empower Renan to steal all the credit. The excuse was because the text was partially modified and the book release in French waited until after Renan death to avoid unnecessary disputes.

One of his skeptics was Swami Abhedananda. Abhedananda journeyed into the arctic region of the Himalayas, determined to find a copy of the Himis manuscript or to expose the fraud. His book of travels, entitled "Kashmir O Tibetti", tells of a visit to the Himis gonpa and includes a Bengali translation of two hundred twenty-four verses, essentially the same as the Notovitch text. Abhedananda was thereby convinced of the authenticity of the Issa legend.

The lost years of Jesus map

Map of Jesus's eastern travels
Source: Summit University Press

In 1925, another Russian named Nicholas Roerich arrived at Himis. Roerich, was a philosopher and a distinguished scientist. He apparently saw the same documents as Notovitch and Abhedananda. And he recorded in his own travel diary the same legend of St. Issa. 

About 14 years later, these texts was sawn by Elizabeth Caspari, which was probably the last one who saw them. Infact, we don't have later signs of direct contact with the main text, but it is not surprising, since Ladakh was closed to foreigners until 1974. The most important factor was, in addition to the general disorder in the library, the legitimate fear of losing to the lamas texts.

Indeed, it was noted that the area went through people who also like to inquire about the texts, and if any found, could try to empower them.

Notovitch book, which became extremely rare over the years, inspired, in the late 70th, Sami, spoused Bock, from the U.S., to track the footsteps of Jesus. Unfortunately, the manuscript of Jesus' biography is no longer in Ladakh. At least in the claimed librarians. However, it is equally possible that it could not or would not be found. 

After Tibet was attacked by Chinese troops, which are pushed to Ladakh, there was a diplomatic dispute between India and China: both parties decided to address the exploration of old documents. Selection of documents was entrusted by F. Hassnain. In this work only the desired documents are found, but also many references and reports about Jesus and his work in Kashmir.

The revelations about the boy-messiah

In "Jesus lived and died in Kashmir" are reproduced some parts of the Notovitch manuscripts  about Issa history:

"A beautiful boy was born in the country of Israel and God spoke through the mouth of this child explaining the insignificance of the body and the greatness of soul.

The divine boy, whom they named Isa, began to speak as a child about the one indivisible God, urging the misplaced masses to repent and be cleansed of the sins they had committed.

From all parts people flocked to hear him and were amazed upon the words of wisdom that emerged from his mouth child; the Israelis claimed that this baby lived in the Holy Spirit.

When Issa reached the age of 13 years, a time when one must take an Israeli woman, the house where his parents earned the bread, through a modest work, began the meeting point of rich and noble people who wanted to have young Issa by-law, because he was known everywhere for his edifying discourses in the name of the Almighty.

Then Issa secretly disappeared from his parents' house, leaving Jerusalem, and walked with a caravan of merchants to Sindh (Pakistan), with the aim of improving the God's knowledge and studying the laws of the great Jubilee.

At 14, Jesus had gone through the entire Sindh and the devotees of the Jain god implored him to stay between them, but he left, walking to Jagannath (one of the holy cities of India), where he was received with great joy by the priests of Brahma, who taught him the Vedas, to save the people through prayer, to expel the evil spirit of the human body and return to this human form.

Jesus lived six years traveling the holy cities of Jagannatha, Rajagriba, Benaíes and others in a state of peace with the Vaishyas and Shudras, whom taught the sacred scriptures to."

From an early age, preaching the equality of men

In the manuscripts of Notovitch appears that Jesus won his first antipathies in India, when he spoke about the equality of men for the Brahmins and the enslaved Sudras, who claimed they only would get rid of slavery by death. Jesus refused the invitation of the Brahmins to join his beliefs and preached against them among the Sudras.

So, he severely condemned the doctrine that gives men the right to explore other men, and fought the idolatry too, defending the belief in an only one powerful God. Finally, the priests decided that he should die. Warned by the 'Sudras', Jesus left India and reached Nepal.

After learning the Pali language, he left Nepal and went to the west, through Kashmir and coming to Persia (now Iran), where the priests forbade the people to hear him. As they disobeyed the ban, Jesus was arrested but shortly released afterwards.

At 29, Jesus embarks on its journey back to Israel, arriving at only a year later. From there, Notovitch manuscripts, according to Faber-Kaiser, mingle with biblical texts.

After comparing Issa philosophies as described by Notovitch with the Jesus Christian history and the history of the prophet who came to India and settled in Kashmir after the crucifixion, it's possible to conclude that the three are only one person. 

Infact, for Faber-Kaiser, since the beginning of his flight Jesus' goal was to arrive at Kashmir to fulfill a mission: to gather the lost tribes of Israel, which were spread throughout Asia after the Great Schism. According to Kaiser, there are indications that the ten tribes survivors settled almost all in Kashmir, and someone in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

An amazing story

The Christian story tells us that Jesus was crucified on a Friday at noon. Before nightfall, already dead, his body was removed from the cross and laid in a burial cave of Joseph of Arimathea, whose entrance was closed with a stone. The following Sunday, Jesus body had inexplicably disappeared, thus fulfilling the prophecy: God's son raised him from the dead. After a brief time on Earth, during which came in contact with his disciples, Jesus ascended into heaven, where is on the right hand of God, the Father.

But against this Christian dogma is the tomb of Srinagar. Andreas Faber-Kaiser relies on two main points to try proving that Jesus didn't die in Palestine, at 33, but in Kashmir, northern India, long after: the circumstances of his martyrdom and the cross references that Jesus lived in India, from 13 to 30 years, period of his life that the Bible doesn't speak about.

The crucifixion occurred on a Friday, the eve of the Jewish Sabbath, which meant download Jesus' body before nightfall. According to the timetable of the day, the Sabbath began on Friday night and by Jewish law hadn't allowed to leave hanging on the cross a tortured man during the holy day of Shabbat.

Faber-Kaiser argues that the purpose of crucifixion was not an immediate death, but the slow torture bearable for up to four days, especially for a young man and healthy. Then, a tortured man, who was lowered from the cross-time, would be able to survive if properly treated. This is what happened to Jesus, only subjected to a few hours of torture: he was removed from the cross still alive and, assisted by his friends and disciples in the cave of Joseph of Arimathea, was recovered and managed to escape.

The author of "Jesus lived and died in Kashmir" uses many parts of the Christian history in which there is the evidence that the martyred was still alive when descending from the cross. The Gospel, according to St. Mark, says that Pilate, who knew that a crucified takes days to die, was surprised to hear the new that Jesus was dead. It also says that Pilate struck Jesus' body with a spear, to verify that was indeed dead, and although he didn't react from the wound gushed an "abundant blood", which doesn't happen in a lifeless body. The Gospel, according to St. John, notes that the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea was not full of earth, as it was customary among the Jews, but only closed with a stone, leaving in its interior the space to breathe.

Finally, the most recent scientific analysis performed on the Shroud of Turin - the cloth in which Jesus' body was wrapped to be taken off the cross - show that blood on it was impregnated with the blood of a person still alive .

Women, children and a child still alive

Based on documents collected by Professor Hassnain, it's possible to trace the path that Jesus traveled from Palestine to Kashmir: "He and his mother, Mary, had to go away from Palestine and leave for a distant country, from country to country. Thomas, one of the disciples of Jesus, accompanied them on the trail. Traces of Jesus were founded in Persia, Afghanistan and in the town of Taxila, in Pakistan. Emerging from Taxila, Jesus, Mary and Thomas flock moved towards Kashmir, but Mary didn't get seeing the 'Promised Land', not supporting more feathers of the long journey. She died in the town of Murree.

Faber-Kaiser continues: "From Murree Jesus entered the Kashmir valley, today until called Yusmarg (Yusu Valley). In Kashmir, Jesus had a wife and children, and still lives in Srinagar Mr. Sahibzada Basharat Saleem, who retains the complete genealogy of his family, from Jesus to him. "

The scene of Jesus' death is described in the "Ikmatud Din" book, writed by Shaikh Sa'id al-Sadiq, an author and historian eastern US, who died in 962: "Jesus, sensing the approach of his death, called his disciple Ba'bat (Thomas) and expressed him his last wish: to build a tomb over his body, in the place where expired.


The Lost Tomb

This tomb is in a shrine named Roza Bal, located in the Khanyar district of the city of Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir. The entrance to the tomb reads the inscription YouzaAsouph. It is believed to be the final resting place of the Prophet named Yuz Asaf (or Issa, the Koranic name for Christ). Many ancient scriptures and some other facts suggest that Yuz Asaf is in fact none other than Jesus himself.


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After crucifixion, the first trail of Jesus is found in the Persian scholar F. Mohammed's historical work "Jami-ut-tuwarik" which tells of Christ's arrival in the kingdom of Nisibis (now known as Nusaybin in Turkey) . The same is found in the Imam Abu Jafar Muhammed's "Tafsi-Ibn-i-Jamir at-tubri." Holger Kersten who researched on Jesus being in the sub-continent, found that in both Turkey and Persia there are ancient stories of a saint called "Yuz Asaf" ("Leader of the Healed"), whose behaviour, miracles and teachings are remarkably similar to that of Christ.

More clues are drawn from the Apocrypha. These are texts said to have been written by the Apostles but which are not officially accepted by the Church. The Apocryphal 'Acts of Thomas', for example, tell how Christ met Thomas several times after the Crucifixion. In fact they tell us how Christ sent Thomas to teach his spirituality in India. This is corroborated by evidence found in the form of stone inscriptions at Fatehpur Sikri, near the Taj Mahal, in Northern India. They include "Agrapha", which are sayings of Christ that don't exist in the mainstream Bible. Their grammatical form is most similar to that of the Apocryphal gospel of Thomas.

Then there are more in The Apocryphal Acts of Thomas, and the Gospel of Thomas which are of Syrian origin. In these texts Thomas tells of Christ's appearance in Andrapolis, Paphlagonia (today known as in the extreme north of Anatolia) as a guest of the King of Andrappa. It seems that Christ and Mary then moved along the West coast of Turkey, proof of this could be an old stopping place for travellers called the "Home of Mary", found along the ancient silk route. In his travels through Persia (today's Iran) Christ became known as Yuz Asaf (leader of the Healed). We know this because a Kashmiri historical document confirms that Issa (the Koranic name for Christ) was in fact also known as Yuz Asaf. The Jami - uf - Tamarik, Volume II, tells that Yuz Asaf visited Masslige, where he attended the grave of Shem, Noah's son. There are various other accounts such as Agha Mustafa's "Awhali Shahaii-i-paras" that tell of Yuz Asaf's travels and teachings all over Persia. It seems that Yuz Asaf blessed Afghanistan and Pakistan with his presence also. There are for example two plains in Eastern Afghanistan near Gazni and Galalabad, bearing the name of the prophet Yuz Asaf. Again in the Apocryphal Acts of Thomas, Thomas says that he and Christ attended the Court of King Gundafor of Taxila (now Pakistan), in about 47AD, and that eventually both the King and his brother accepted Christ's teachings. Researchers claim that there are more than twenty one historical documents that bear witness to the existence of Jesus in Kashmir, where he was known also as Yuz Asaf and Issa. For example the Bhavishyat Mahapurana (volume 9 verses 17-32) contains an account of Issa-Masih (Jesus the Messiah). It describes Christ's arrival in the Kashmir region of India and his encounter with King Shalivahana, who ruled the Kushan area (39-50AD), and who entertained Christ as a guest for some time.

The historian Mullah Nadini (1413) also recounts a story of Yuz Asaf who was a contemporary to King Gopadatta, and confirms that he also used the name Issa, i.e. Jesus. There is also much historical truth in the towns and villages of Northern Pakistan to prove that Jesus and his mother Mary spent time in the area. For instance, at the border of a small town called Murree, there is nearby a mountain called Pindi Point, upon which is an old tomb called ‘Mai Mari da Asthan’ or "The final resting place of Mary". The tomb is said to be very old and local Muslims venerate it as the grave of Issa's Mother. The tomb itself is oriented East-West consistent with the Jewish tradition, despite the fact it is within a Muslim area. Assuming its antiquity, such a tomb could not be Hindu either since the Hindus contemporary to Christ cremated their dead and scattered their ashes as do Hindus today.

Between the villages of Naugam and Nilmge, 40km south of Srinagar, is a meadow called Yuz-Marg (the meadow of Yuz Asaf, i.e. Jesus). Then there is the sacred building called Aish Muqam, 60km south east of Srinagar and 12km from Bij Bihara. "Aish" is derived from "Issa" and "Muqam" place of rest or repose. Within the Aish Muqam is a sacred relic called the 'Moses Rod' or the 'Jesus Rod', which local legend says, belonged to Moses himself. Christ is said to also have held it, perhaps to confirm his Mosaic heritage. Above the town of Srinagar is a temple known as "The Throne of Solomon", which dates back to at least 1000BC, which King Gopadatta had restored at about the same time as Christ's advent. The restoration was done by a Persian architect who personally left four inscriptions on the side steps of the temple. The third and fourth inscription read: "At this time Yuz Asaf announced his prophetic calling in Year 50 and 4" and "He is Jesus -- Prophet of the Sons of Israel"! Christ may have travelled to the South of India also, finally returning to Kashmir to die at the age of approximately 80 years. Christ's tomb, lies in Srinagar's old town in a building called Rozabal. "Rozabal" is an abbreviation of Rauza Bal, meaning "tomb of a prophet". At the entrance there is an inscription explaining that Yuz Asaf is buried along with another Muslim saint. Both have gravestones which are oriented in North-South direction, according to Muslim tradition. However, through a small opening the true burial chamber can be seen, in which there is the Sarcophagus of Yuz Asaf in East-West (Jewish) orientation!

According to Professor Hassnain, who has studied this tomb, there are carved footprints on the grave stones and when closely examined, carved images of a crucifix and a rosary. The footprints of Yuz Asaf have what appear to be scars represented on both feet, if one assumes that they are crucifixion scars, then their position is consistent with the scars shown in the Turin Shroud (left foot nailed over right). Crucifixion was not practised in Asia, so it is quite possible that they were inflicted elsewhere, such as the Middle East. The tomb is called by some as "Hazrat Issa Sahib" or "Tomb of the Lord Master Jesus". Ancient records acknowledge the existence of the tomb as long ago as 112AD. The Grand Mufti, a prominent Muslim Cleric, himself has confirmed that Hazrat Issa Sahib is indeed the tomb of Yuz Asaf!


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