The book relates the wonderful life, religion and ideal of Jesus Christ. From different source-books the materials of this book have been collected. Besides, the mysterious legends and myths, those gathered around Christ's life, have been examined and adopted.
Most of the portions of the long-awaited book, 'Crucifixion by An Eye-Witness', that forms the basis of the book 'Unknown Life of Jesus' by Nicholas Notovitch, have been annexed and full account of the Hemis Monastery in Ladakh has been added. Many pictures of Jesus Christ, drawn by the master-artists, have enhanced the materials of the book.
The third new edition of this book is now published after careful corrections and additions of some omitted objects. The Appendix II has been newly appended with a short description of the Dead Sea and the Christian Monastery, Mar Saba.
I am grateful to Shrimati Haripriya Saha for an amount of donation towards purchasing papers for this third edition. I express my sense of gratitude to Prof. Kunja Bihari kundu for careful corrections made in the book. I am also indebted to Swami Paramatmananda Maharaj, the Secretary of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta, who has taken special care for corrections and printing of this third edition.
It is to mention in this connection that some facts about the Dead Sea and a Christian monastery, along with a new plate of the monastery, along with a new plate of the Monastery, Mar Saba, have been added from the rare and valuable booklet, The Crescent and The Cross, by Eliot Warburton, which Revered Swami Abhedananda brought with him when he returned from America in 1921. And we have mentioned before that he also brought with him the copies of the two valuable and unpublished books, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ by Nicholas Notovitch and The Crucifixion by An Eye-Witness, nearly the entire portion of which has been incorporate din this new third edition of the book.
We hope that this book with valuable and rare facts and information will be appreciated by all readers of the life of Jesus the Christ, and Christianity.
Preface to the Second Edition
In this second enlarged new edition of Christ the Saviour, many new materials and historical facts have been added with fresh outlook. Nearly three-fourth materials of the entire book, The Crucifixion, by An Eye-Witness, have been adopted, and some of the extracts from the book have been included.
We have included in this new volume many hidden historical facts, along with some critical notes and comments made by Rudolph Otto, J. M. Robertson, Ernest Renan, Friedrich strauss, Swami Abhedananda, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and other savants to unveil the mysteries which are connected with the life of the historical Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The Unknown Life of Jesus by Nickolas Notovitch has recently been published as the second edition by the Nababharat Publishers, Calcutta. The extracts of the Life of Jesus by Ernest Renan have been incorporated with some of the critical comments by Dr. David Friedrich Strauss from his book, The Life of Jesus (1902) for the earnest readers.
In 1925, some portions of the book The Crucifixion by An Eye-Witness were published in a book form as the Series No. 8 of the Dayananda Centenary Series, published by Narayan Swami, President, Dayananda's First Birthday Centenary Society, Mathura. In this volume, an illuminating Introduction was added by the Publishers, together with nearly the entire portion of the Preface, Description of Jesus, and the Letter which were confidentially written by an 'Esseer' of Jerusalem to his brethren in Alexandria, and these matters and facts were taken from the original book, The Crucifixion, by An Eye-Witness, published as "A Supplemental Harmonic Series, Volume II" (Sixth Edition) from Chicago, Indo-American Book Co., 5705, South Boulevard, 1915. In the title-page, it was written "A Letter, written seven years after the Crucifixion by a personal friend of Jesus in Jerusalem, to an Esseer Brother in Alexandria".
Another booklet, Latest Findings about Jesus Christ, was collected in Kashmir by Sri Susanta Kumar Chattopadhyay, which was published by Mirza Wasim Ahmad, Secretary for the Mission Works, Ahmadiyya Community, Oadian (India), January, 1968. In that booklet, the Secretary has dealt, in short, the problems of 'Doctrines of Christianity', 'Crucifixion', 'Jesus did not die on the Cross', 'The Resurrection Theory', 'Where did Jesus Go?' 'Prophecy in Buddhist Book', 'The Tomb of Jesus Christ' with a photo of the Tomb of Jesus Christ in Srinagar (Moholla Khaniyar, Kashmir), 'Latest Development' with two pictures of Jesus Christ: One in his youth and the other in his old age, along with three pictures: (1) Spots of blood which oozed after Roman Soldier pierced, (2) Picture of cloths with which Jesus Christ's body was caressed after embalming him with medical ointment to restore his consciousness, and (3) Picture of Jesus' face, obtained by enlarging the impression of his coffin sheet, and there has been written; 'Pope Pius IX admitted that no man could have made such Picture'.
Further to mention in this connection that Mr. Ikbal Kaul published an article, Did Christ Live and Die in Kashmir?, which appeared as the second article, Christianity in India: A Critical Study, published by the 'Vivekananda-Kendra-Prakashan' 3, Singarachari Street, Triplicane, Madras-600 005 as the Volume 5, No. 2, August, 1979.
Mr. Ikbal Kaul mentioned in his article, Did Christ Live and Die in Kashmir, about a book, Jesus Died in Kashmir, written by the German Philosopher-Scholar, Mr. Andreas Faber-Kaiser. Mr. Andreas Faber-Kaiser cogently contended that Jesus survived the Crucifixion, escaped to Kashmir, where he lived a full life, and died of natural causes and lay buried at Roza Bal in Khaniyar. It is said that two British Reporters of the London Daily Telegraph visited the Valley in January, 1978 to probe into the theory, Lord Irwin, a former Viceroy on India, is stated to have visited the Roza Bal shrine in 1930, when the theory gained momentum due to the Ahmadiyya movement. Besides, it has been reported: "To keep the memory of his (Samadhiman Aryaraja) guru green, he built the Isanesvara temple, identified by Sir M. Aurel Stein, the famed Indologist, as the Isabar shrine near Nishat Bagh. He built palatial buildings, convents and statues of gods at Theda and Himadevi, identified by Stein with Thid and Bron on the eastern shore of the Dal lake!"
When the Russian traveler Nicholas Notovitch, after the close of the Turko-Russian War in 1877-1878, crossed the Caucasian Mountains into Central Asia and Persia, and finally made an excursion into India in 1887, he proceeded to Kashmir, the 'vale of eternal happiness', and he reached Ladak. He wrote in the Preface of his book, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ (translated afterwards to French and thereafter from French to English by Alexina Loranges): "In course of one of my visits to a Buddhist convent, I learned from the Chief Lama that there existed very ancient memories, treating of the life of Christ and of the nations of the Occident, in the archives of Lassa, and that a few of the larger monasteries possessed copies and translations of these previous Chronicles
." However Notovitch visited the Hemis Gompha (Monastery) near Leh. He browsed through the monastery's manuscripts running into 84,000 scrolls, and found the life of Isa (Jesus Christ). He then made the manuscript to be copied by a Lama of the Hemis gompha, and afterwards wrote the book, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, and it was afterwards published in book from first in French, and then in English, as we have said before. When Swami Abhedananda, the direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa and the spiritual brother of Swami Vevekananda came back to India from America in the end of 1921, after preaching Vedanta Philosophy and the noble teachings of his Master, Ramakrishna Paramahansa, he brought a copy of The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ by Nicholas Notovitch, the fourth edition, 1916 and also a copy of The Crucifixion by An Eye-Witness, sixth edition, 1915; both the books were published from Chicago, Indo American Book Co., 5705, South Boulevard, U. S. A.
Now after returning from America in the end of 1921 to India, Swami Abhedananda visited Kashmir and from Kashmir to Ladakh and Tibet with an intense desire to visit the monasteries of Tibet and especially to find out the manuscript which maintained the life of Jesus Christ and his visit to India. The Swami visited the Hemis monastery and found the same manuscript which Nicholas Notovitch happened to find, and copied the related matter. Swami Abhedananda requested a learned Lama of the Hemis to help him to translate the desired texts in English. Afterward the Swami translated the whole matter in Bengali and published it in his Bengali book, Kashmere-O-Tibbate, which has been published from the Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta.
Regarding Jesus' death in Kashmir, there is no reliable historical record, rather it is known from the 'Letter of Esseer' that Jesus survived some months after his recovery from the Cross and died a natural death in his country. In the closing remarks of the German Translator of The Crucifixion, we find that it has been mentioned: "The Esseen letter records that Jesus died in solitude six months afterwards, as a result of his sufferings, that had prostrated and broken his constitution and his excited mind. It were to be wished that even the place was recorded where he died and was buried. The Old Esseen does not give any account of the place, probably on account of being recommended silence on that subject by the Order'
We have included here a record of writing about the visit to the Hemis monastery, by Shri Susanta Kumar Chattopadhyay, who went to Ladakh and visited the noted Hemis monastery for making a documentary film of the sacred festival in Hemis, along with songs and dances, which were performed on the occasion of the festival in the Hemis. I thank Shri Chattopadhyay for kindly permitting me to publish his writing on Hemis monastery in this volume. This writing on the Hemis monastery has been given in connection with the 'Unknown Life of Jesus.' Now, it is to note that the name of this second new edition has been changed into 'Christ the Saviour and Christ Myth' instead of 'Christ the Saviour'.
I am grateful to Swami Paramatmananda, Devashis Hore, Sm. Aruna Dutt and Dipankar Chatterjee for helping and encouraging me in this matter.
Back of Book
Swami Prajnanananda (Aug. 1907 - Oct. 1998); President, Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Calcutta and Ramakrishna Vedanta Ashramas, Darjeeling, Kurseong & Siliguri; born in 1907, at Prosadpur, Hooghly dist. (West Bengal); Educated : Calcutta University; initiated in 'Sannyasa' by Swami Abhedananda, a direct disciple of Bhagavan Sri Ramakrishna, in 1927; Awards: Sisir emorial Prize for research book Sangeet-O-Sanskriti (Bengali) 1958, Rabindra Memorial Prize for his book Historical Development of Indian Music (1960); D. Litt. By Rabindra Bharati University; Sarojini Gold Medal, by Calcutta University, 1973; Fellow, Sangeet Natak Academy, since 1963; Publication: Bharatiya Sangeeter Itihs, Raga-O-Rupa, Bangla Dhrupadamala, Sangeete Rabindra Prathibhar Dan, Abhedananda Darshan, Tirtharenu, Padabali Kirtaner Itihas, Sangeet-O-Sanskriti Vols. 1 & 2), Natyasangeeter Rupayan, Mantra-sadhana-O-Sangeet, Mahishasurmardinee Durga, Mon-O-Manush, Vani-O-Vichar (Vols. I-VIII), Tantre Tatwa O Sadhana, Tantratatwa Prabeshika, History of Indian Music, Historical Study of Indian Music, Music of the Nations, Philosophy of Progress and Perfection, Schools of Indian Philosophical Thoughts, Philosophical Ideas of Swami Abhedananda, Christ the Saviour and Christ Myth, Thoughts on Yoga Upanishad and Gita, An Enquiry into Psychology Soul and Absolute, Historical Development of Indian Music, Sangitasarasangraha, Music: Its Form Function and Value, Music of the South Asian Peoles (Vol. 1), Cultural Heritage of Indian Fine Arts, The Form and Function of Music in Ancient India (Vols. I & II), Edited: The Complete Works of Swami Abhedananda in 11 Volumes.
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