Jesus was not there! It is this disappearance of Jesus from the cave that has led to the common theory of his resurrection and ascent to heaven.
But after he had shown himself to his disciples he had to disappear from the country, because if he had remained there he would have been crucified again. He went to India into which, one tradition says, a tribe of the Jews had disappeared.
The famous French historian, Bernier, who visited India during the reign of Aurangzeb, wrote: “On entering the kingdom after crossing the Pir Panjal Pass, the inhabitants of the frontier villages struck me as resembling the Jews.”
Yes, Kashmiris really do look Jewish – in their faces, in their every expression. Wherever you move in Kashmir, you feel that you are moving in a Jewish land. It is thought that Jesus came to Kashmir because it was a Jewish land in India – a tribe of Jews was living there. There are many stories in Kashmir about Jesus, but one has to go there to discover them.
The crucifixion changed Jesus’ mind totally. From then on, he lived in India for seventy years continuously, in complete silence – unknown, hidden. He was not a prophet, he was not a minister, he was not a preacher. That is why not much is known about him.
Christianity lacks much. Even about Jesus it lacks much. His whole life is not known: what he practiced, how he meditated is not known. The Christian apostles who recorded what he said were ignorant people: they never knew much. One was a fisherman, another was a carpenter. All twelve apostles were ignorant.
The apostles didn’t understand what Jesus was doing when he went to the hills and was silent for forty days. They only recorded that it happened and that when he came back again, he began preaching. But what was he doing there? Nothing is known – nothing.
After his period of silence, he became more and more involved in something which looked more social and political than religious. It had to be so, because the people around him were absolutely non-philosophical, so whatever he said was misunderstood. When he said, “I am the king of the Jews,” he was not talking about a kingdom of this world; he was speaking in metaphors.
Not only his enemies misunderstood him – even his followers and apostles misunderstood. They, too, began to think in terms of an earthly kingdom; they could not understand that what he was saying belonged to another world, that it was only symbolic. They also thought that Jesus was going to become king sooner or later.
That created the whole trouble. Jesus might not have been crucified in a different land, but for the Jews he was a problem. Jews are very materialistic. They were materialistic in the time of Jesus, and they still are.
To them the other world is meaningless; they are only concerned with this world. Even if they talk of the other world, it is only as a prolongation of this world – not a transcendence but a continuity. They have a different way of thinking.
That is why, as far as the material sciences are concerned, the Jewish contribution is so great. It is not accidental. The person who is most responsible for molding the whole world in terms of a materialistic concept was a Jew, Karl Marx.
Karl Marx, Freud, Einstein – these three Jews are the builders of the twentieth century. Three Jews building the whole world! Why? No one exists in the world today who has not been influenced by the Jewish concept.
Jews are very down-to-earth, rooted in the earth, so when Christ began to talk like a Buddha, there was no meeting, no communion. He was continuously misunderstood.
Pilate was more understanding toward him than his own race. He continuously felt that an innocent man was being unnecessarily crucified and he tried his best not to crucify him. But then, there were political considerations.
Even when they were about to crucify Jesus, at the last moment, Pilate asked him a question: “What is truth?” Jesus remained silent. It was a Buddhist answer. Only Buddha has remained silent about truth, no one else.
Something has always been said – even if it is only that nothing can be said. Only Buddha has remained silent, totally silent. And Jesus remained silent. The Jews understood this to mean that he did not know. They thought, if he knows, then of course he will say. But I have always felt that Pilate understood. He was a Roman; he might have understood. But Pilate disappeared from the scene; he put the priests in total charge and just disappeared – he did not want to be involved.
This whole thing happened because there were two languages being used. Jesus was speaking of the other world – of course, in terms of this world – and the Jews took every word literally.
This would not have happened in India where there is a long tradition of parables, a long tradition of symbols. In India, the reverse misunderstanding is possible because the tradition has been going on for so long that someone speaking of this earth may be understood to be speaking of the other world. There are poets in India who talk about romance, love, and sex – of this world, totally of this world – but their followers interpret these as symbolic of the other world. Even if you talk about wine and women, they think that the wine means ecstasy and the women are devas. It happens!
Jews are literal, very literal. And incredibly, they have remained the same. They are a strange race, with a different outlook from the rest of the world. That is why they have never been at home anywhere. They cannot be, because they have a different type of mind. To penetrate a Jew is always difficult. He has a certain closedness, a certain defensiveness. And the longer Jews have been homeless, the more defensive they have become.
The basic thing about Jews is that they think in terms of matter – even God seems to be part of the material world. That is why it was impossible for them to understand Jesus. For example, Jews say that when someone does something wrong to you, you should do something wrong back to him – and with double the force. This is how matter behaves. React! If someone puts out one of your eyes, then put out both of his eyes.
Jesus began to say an absolutely contradictory thing: if someone slaps you on one side of the face then give him the other side also. This was absolutely Buddhist. One cannot really conceive of how a Jew could suddenly begin to talk like this. There was no tradition for it, no link with the past.
Nothing happens unless there is a cause. So Jesus is inconceivable as a Jew. He suddenly happens, but he has no roots in the past of Jewish history. He cannot be connected with it because he has nothing in common with it. As far as the Jewish god is concerned, Jesus’ love, his compassion, is just nonsense.