HEMIS MANUSCRIPTS




the Wanderling


The Hemis Manuscripts are said to be a set of ancient documents hidden away in a remote monastery high in the mountains along the Tibet India border. The documents say Jesus of Nazareth visited India between the ages 12 to 30 during his so called missing years of the Bible. Generally speaking the Manuscripts have never been very high up in the public consciousness nor have they ever been given any amount of credibility by critics. Some people support the theory, others dispute not only the content and thesis, but that such documents actually exist. However, fact or fiction, real or non-existent, the trail of the Hemis Manuscripts is laid bare below because of how they came to light after having played a major role in one of the bestselling novels of the 20th century, The Razor's Edge.(see)

The Razor's Edge, by British playwright and author W. Somerset Maugham, was published in 1944. The story chronicles an actual real life person who eventually found spiritual Awakening under the grace and light of a venerated holy man high in the mountains of India. Thus for the real life person entered the Hemis Manuscripts.

Maugham's main character, the man who eventually found Enlightenment in India and who I met personally as a teenager while I was in high school, was based on a young American pilot flying for the British after having joined through Canada during World War One. Two years into the war he was shaken to his spine with remorse when his best friend, who taught him everything he knew about flying and how to survive, died in front of his eyes after saving his life during a raging dogfight out over the western front. At the end of the war, driven by an unquenchable thirst to find the accountability of life and not knowing what to look for or where to go, he embarked on a ten year journey that took him through Europe, China, Burma, and India in search of an answer.

The man, given the name Larry Darrell in the book, and who had gone back to America seemingly lost and numb from the war, returned to Europe in search of the answers that continued to gnaw at him. Seeped in a classical western mind-set he was at first, convinced he could find the answers he was seeking through books. Taking a series of manual labor jobs across Europe to contrast his constant reading led him to a back-breaking job at a coal mine in Lens, France. There he befriended a former Polish army officer and mystic named Kosti who encouraged him to look toward things spiritual for his answers rather than in books. Thinking Kosti was right Darrell leaves the mines and in the process of continuing his quest meets a Benedictine monk who invites him to stay and study at his monastery. The monk, called Father Ensheim by Maugham, observing the depth of his angst and the seriousness of his quest began thinking Darrell might just find the answers he was looking for IF he was only put into the right environment. He needed a bridge to allow him to cross the gap between the religious aspects he was studying and that of the potentially deeper spiritual aspects he was seeking.

The Father had heard that sometime in the late 1880s or early 1890s a man from the west had ended up in the monastery of Hemis high in the mountains of India recuperating from some sort of injury. While at the monastery he was shown an ancient manuscript that indicated Jesus of Nazareth had been in India during the so-called missing years of his life.(see) Being a fully entrenched member of the Catholic clergy he thought the prospect of Jesus being in India heretical, but found the idea intriguing nonetheless. Thinking that such a scenario, Jesus being in India, would be a perfect starting place or bridge for a western mind to open up to eastern religious thought, the good Father suggested Darrell go to India.

It is my belief that the man Maugham calls Darrell, following Father Ensheim's advice, went in search of the same manuscripts seeking the truth. If he ever saw the manuscripts or if the manuscripts ever existed is not known. However, it seems to me he had a massive change regarding his approach to things spiritual and religious after going to Hemis, especially so how he viewed things in a western sense. Between the time he got off the boat in Bombay and the time he arrived at the temple in Madura some two to three years later --- enough of a change occurred that when he went to study under the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, he was Awakened to the Absolute --- that is Enlightened in the same manner as the ancient classical masters.(see)


Which brings us to the Hemis manuscripts.

The existence of the manuscripts has always been very controversial. My personal interest in the manuscripts typically went no farther than how the possibility of their existence inspired the real life person Maugham used as a role model for the Larry Darrell character to go to Hemis in the first place --- so for me, any existence of the manuscripts thereof in real life one way or the other was neither here nor there. But then things changed allowing me to view the situation from a slightly different perspective. My Uncle introduced me to a man who had been to Hemis in 1975 and had garnered firsthand knowledge regarding the manuscripts. That initial introduction occurred some years prior to his visit to Hemis, so, at the time there was no mention of Hemis or the manuscripts. However, in the early 1990s, and well after his visit to Hemis, that early introduction allowed me to be in a relatively strong position to re-introduce myself and discuss the manuscripts with him personally.

My Uncle was a highly elusive medicinal plant and hallucinogenic mushroom hunter from the Santa Fe, Taos, New Mexico area. Albeit known on sight by many and semi-notorious because as a rather successful bio-searcher who had several plant species named after him, he was nearly as mysterious as he was unapproachable.

Several years after my mother died and my family disintegrated, through the grace of my then Stepmother and her seemingly never ending supply of money, I ended up spending many of my early formative years under the auspices of my uncle, oft times traveling with him deep into remote areas of the desert southwest in the pursuit of various bio-searching or archaeological/anthropological activities. Other times found me hanging around with him while he participated in library research or visited universities and professors, both of which I have reported in depth in THE WANDERLING AND HIS UNCLE: Their Life and Times Together. It was during one of those researches or visits, and I surely do not remember or recall any of the specifics, that my uncle, with me in tow, met with a man he knew by the name of of Robert S. Ravicz (1921-1993) who had some rather extensive credentials and knowledge in the area of hallucinogenic mushrooms, their use, rituals, and after effects that my uncle wanted to compare notes with.(see)

Some years after that meeting, in 1963, Ravicz, who held degrees from both the University of Texas and Harvard, moved into a faculty position at California State University, Northridge, eventually becoming a professor emeritus of anthropology. He died in July, 1993. My uncle died in June, 1989. Between the time of my uncle's death and Ravicz's I was doing a little research myself.

That research led me to a man who had been an eyewitness to a rather controversial event in World War II that I too, as a young boy, witnessed. The event so mentioned circulated around an incident that came to be known as the Battle of Los Angeles wherein a giant airborne object of an unknown nature overflew Los Angeles creating a major havoc throughout the city and causing the authorities to put into place an area wide blackout. Since I had seen the object as a young boy myself I sought out the man to hear what he had to say and then physically visited the areas he talked about.

According to how my eyewitness described the event, the giant object skirted the north side of the Santa Monica mountains toward the east along Ventura Boulevard only to turn south in a gap in the mountains about midway along the southwestern edge of the San Fernando Valley. After turning south the object crossed over Baldwin Hills and turned westward toward the ocean coming out over the aircraft plants near the El Segundo tank farm, then south along the coast. At 3:06 AM, for reasons unclear, at least four Santa Monica area anti-aircraft batteries turned inland and start firing out over the city and Baldwin Hills, and suddenly "the air over Los Angeles erupted like a volcano."

While I was following the route along Ventura Boulevard it put me only a few miles south of the Northridge campus. After visiting the campus in an offhand attempt to somehow locate Ravicz and claiming to be a longtime friend, I was able to finagle Ravicz's address and phone number from a former cohort. No longer a professor at Northridge, but a professor emeritus, he lived in Pacific Palisades, adjacent to the city of Santa Monica. Since Pacific Palisades was not far off from the route I was traveling, going to see Ravicz fit perfectly into my plans.

Why the imperative to meet Ravicz? Because, between the time I first met Ravicz with my uncle and the time I was trying to meet him now, I had learned of Father Ensheim's efforts in convincing my mentor go to Hemis. As well, somewhat later during those same intervening years it had come to my attention that Ravicz, the same man I had met through my uncle, had gone to Hemis also.

So what? Well, Ravicz visited Hemis in 1975 and, even though he had never heard of Jesus being in India prior to his arrival, while there, he was told by a longtime friend and eminent Ladakh regional physician that there were a number of ancient documents at the monastery which stated Jesus had been to Hemis. My interest in meeting Ravicz was to learn firsthand any knowledge he held regarding the Hemis manuscripts. Initally he was not able to recall me nor the incidents surrounding our first meeting, but he remembered my uncle well and expressed genuine dismay upon learning of his passing. He himself had only recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with a somewhat grim outlook, and, although he appeared weak and frail, his memory seemed strong surrounding the events of Hemis. At first he relayed to me basically what was already known about what he saw and knew. For example, that it was his experience that in order to gain access to any of the manuscripts or scrolls in question one would most likely have to invest a minimum of several months in gaining the confidence of the document overseers. So too, in that the manuscripts are said to be written in classical Tibetan, one would also have to have either a working knowledge of the language or a translator, which would most likely be required to be a cooperative monastery Lama willing to do so --- which could be questionable.

He seemed evasive in the early stages of our conversation, especially when I tried to pin him down on more specifics, responding to my queries now and again with no more than an undiscernible nod or grunt or something like, "You said it, not me." However, in the end, when it suddenly dawned on him I was a grown-up version of the young boy who ran around with an archaeologist's or prospector's pick all day reading comic books in the company of my uncle, he loosened up. Because of that loosening up, even though he continued to lean toward the crypic side, I have been able to extrapolate much more out of what he said generally than any specifics he was willing to reveal.

In all accounts attributed to Ravicz it is always reported he was told by a physician friend that there were ancient documents in the monastery of Hemis that alluded to Jesus being in India. In all those same Ravicz accounts the doctor friend was always an eminent, albeit unnamed, Ladakhi physician. Ladakh is a large regional geographic area while Hemis is a small speck located in that region. It does not necessarily follow that the eminent Ladakhi physician was specifically from Hemis, only from somewhere in the region. One or the other or both was never made clear. So too, some accounts relate that the Hemis manuscripts are scrolls, others that they are in a book-like format with pages. The specifics of either being the case was also not made clear.(see)

Ravicz was playing games with whoever he first imparted his information. When he said in so many words that to gain access to any of the manuscripts or scrolls in question one would most likely have to invest a minimum of several months in gaining the confidence of the document overseers, while most likely true, he was implying that such a requirement would thus then exclude him, so there would be no way he would have actually seen or have had any access to the manuscripts.

However, be as it may, Ravicz was not a total unknown quanity in and around the Ladakh region. Matter of fact he had long established the confidence of the people having traveled and lived for extended periods in monasteries and religious communities in the region. He had met with the Dali Lama on at least three occasions and was known for his interest and concern in how the people lived and practiced their lives. So said, Ravicz's ability to gain confidence was not something that needed to be established or proven because he already had it.

What does that mean? It means Ravicz did not need a doctor friend to tell him about the documents because it is quite possible he had access to them, if they existed, himself. However, having the right to do so and actually putting that right into motion is two different things. When I told Ravicz that a disciple of Swami Abhedananda, who proportedly saw the manuscripts in 1922, visited the monastery in the late 1970s, five years after he had, and was told they were no longer there, that they had been removed. Ravicz said, "Such was not the case in 1975."

When I asked him IF such documents did exist at the monastery and were in fact moved, where would such documents be moved to. His response, "Where all roads lead to."(see)


If you haven't read the footnotes yet, please do so by scrolling down to the bottom of the page.


DOING HARD TIME IN A ZEN MONASTERY


THE RAZOR'S EDGE: TRUE OR FALSE?


THE WANDERLING AND HIS UNCLE
Their Life and Times Together

OPERATION HAT
THE CIA IN TIBET AND THE HIMALAYAS



Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where
we differ is that we place a fog, a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience
and then make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be "real" in and of itself.


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AWAKENED TEACHERS FORUM


ZEN ENLIGHTENMENT IN A NUTSHELL




GASSHO
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CLICK
HERE FOR
ENLIGHTENMENT

ON THE RAZOR'S
EDGE


E-MAIL
THE WANDERLING

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Jesus stayed with his mother and father until twelve years of age. Between the age of twelve to age thirty there is no record of his life in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in the book of Acts, or anyplace else in the Bible. The last record for Jesus before he disappears from the pages of the Bible is when he was twelve years old as found in Luke 2:41-47. His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover:


"And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. ... they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers."


When Jesus shows up again, in Luke 3:23, to begin his ministry, he is said by Luke to be age thirty:


"And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, etc."


















Robert Ravicz: 'La Mixteca en el Estudio Comparativo del Hongo Alucinante,' (i.e., 'The Mixtec in the Comparative Study of Hallucinogenic Mushrooms'), Anales de INAH, Vol. XIII, 1960 (1961), page 73-92.

The above article, attested to Ravicz, was published in 1960. The meeting between he and my uncle and myself occurred many, many years prior to the publication. I only cite the article as an example to show Ravicz's level of involvement with mushrooms, medicinal plants, et al, inorder to establish the working relationship and mutual interests between my uncle and him. If they were in contact with each other after the meeting I was privy to is not known. However, considering the era there is an excellent possibility such was the case.

The era I am talking about encompasses the same era as the summer of 1960, the same summer of 1960 that a young Carlos Castaneda met, or so he relates, the Yaqui Indian shaman sorcerer Don Juan Matus that he eventually studied under and wrote a series of best selling books about. The interesting part is that my uncle was a prime mover in all that transpired --- and for all I know Ravicz may have had his hand in it as well. The following paragraph opens The Informant and Carlos Castaneda:


"Deep in the desert southwest, before Carlos Castaneda met the Shaman-sorcerer that became famous in his series of Don Juan books, Castaneda had a chance encounter with a somewhat mysterious hallucinogenic bio-searcher and mushroom hunter from the Taos, Santa Fe, New Mexico area. It has been chronicled that the bio-searcher, known only as the informant in various Castaneda writings, some written by Castaneda himself, some by others, and some even written by those not always sympathetic toward Castaneda, agree for the most part --- unsympathetic or not --- that the informant was the actual person that FIRST introduced Castaneda to the rituals and use of medicinal plants."


Castaneda's informant, the "somewhat mysterious hallucinogenic bio-searcher and mushroom hunter from the Taos, Santa Fe, New Mexico area" was my uncle.

























When accounts of the ancient Hemis documents first surfaced it was reported that the monastery housed a two-volume manuscript called The Life of Saint Issa. Then it was reported the information was not found in a two-volume set but was spread in fragmentary notices scattered throughout many Tibetan scrolls.

In 1922 the noted Indian holy man, Swami Abhedananda, traveled to Hemis and requested he be allowed to see the original documents. The Swami writes in his book Journey into Kashmir and Tibet the following as to the result of that request:


"The lama who was acting as our guide took a manuscript from the shelf and showed it to the Swami. He said that it was an exact translation of the original manuscript which was lying in the monastery of Marbour near Lhasa. The original manuscript is in Pali, while the manuscript preserved in Himis is in Tibetan. It consists of fourteen chapters and two hundred twenty-four couplets (slokas). The Swami got some portion of the manuscript translated with the help of the lama attending on him."


The guide took "A manuscript" from the shelf and said that it was an exact translation of the original manuscript in the monastery of Marbour near Lhasa. "A manuscript" seems to indicate something less than two, being "A manuscript" rather than "the manuscripts," and most likely more closely resembling a book-like format than a scroll, and for sure, not being anything like scattered fragmentary notices. The lama also said the manuscript he showed Abhedananda was an "exact translation" not that the manuscript was an exact visual duplicate of the original (i.e., that it did not necessarily look or resemble the original in outside build, shape, appearance or format but was fully accurate in the contents, that is, that Jesus visited India).

In 1939 a Swiss woman in her late thirties traveling in India with several female companions journeyed into Tibet, stopping at the Hemis lamasery for several days. During their stay the monastery librarian and two other monks approached the ladies carrying three objects wrapped in cloth. It has since been reported the objects were Buddhist books made of sheets of parchment sandwiched between two pieces of wood and wrapped in brocades — green and red and blue seeded with gold. The librarian reportedly unwrapped one of the books and told the ladies that the books say Jesus had been there (i.e., in Hemis).

Swedish professor and theologian Per Beskow, in his book STRANGE TALES ABOUT JESUS: A Survey of Unfamiliar Gospels (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985), although not speaking of the the Swiss woman or her comments specifically, pretty much backs up her account of what Tibetan books look like:


"Tibetan books are neither scrolls nor bound in our way. They consist of oblong leaves, imitating palm leaves; they are kept loose between wooden plates, and the whole is kept wrapped in a piece of cloth."


In the late 1970s, one Janet Bock, in an interview with a disciple of Swami Abhedananda stated the following regarding the ancient documents:


"(His master, Swami Abhedananda) found the scrolls and he translated all the writings, all the life incidents of the Christ. He narrated those incidents in his book 'Kashmiri O Tibetti.' Years afterwards he inquired but they said the scrolls were no longer there. I also requested to see the scrolls, but there is nothing. There are no scrolls. They have been removed, by whom we do not know."


So, by the late 1970s the Hemis documents were back to being scrolls, albeit gone. Note that the Swami's disciple was NOT told there never were any such documents, that is, that they never existed in the first place, only that they had been removed. However, it should be noted that the disciple tells Bock in the interview that years later (Swami Abhedananda) inquired about the scrolls and he was told that they were no longer there. Abhedananda died in 1939, so "years afterward" would have to be sometime before 1939, which would seem to indicate that the documents had been removed well before the disciple's late 1970s visit. So, here are two different people telling two different people (i.e., Abhedananda before 1939 and the disciple in the late 1970s) years apart not there were no documents in question, only that they had been removed --- even though, in 1939 the Swiss woman had been shown three books that she was told were the documents.

For a much more recent, contemporary account, in 2005 or so, world traveler Wayne Yoder stayed at the Hemis monastery. He reports basically the same thing Bock did in late 1970:


"Before coming to Ladakh, I had done some reading to give me some familiarity of the region and came across a book, Jesus Lived in India, written by a German scholar which states that Hemis monastery housed some very old manuscripts which gave evidence of Jesus spending time in the region studying with some of the masters. At one point, as a monk is showing me around the different temples, I mention this to him and he says that it is true but the manuscripts are no longer kept here. They have been moved to another location."


Again, as in the other cases above, it was not that the manuscripts did not exist, only that they were no longer kept at the monastery. Yoder, like the others, was told they had been moved to another location.


THE LIFE OF SAINT ISSA


JESUS IN INDIA? The Myth of the Lost Years




















Ravicz lived in Pacific Palisades practically on top of the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake-Shrine Temple. Some time after his 1975 visit to Hemis word of his knowledge regarding the manuscripts filtered down to Sri Daya Mata, the president of the Self-Realization Fellowship.

In 1959, Sri Daya Mata had traveled to India to meet and talk with people of note related to the Fellowship as well as visit some of the hallowed and sacred places from which the Fellowship sprang. During her travels she stopped to see Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha (1884-1960), the Shankaracharya of Puri, who had visited the Self-Realization Center in California the year before. As reported in the article titled "Remembering Paramahansa Yogananda," appearing in Self-Realization Magazine, (Winter, 1992, p.16) the following transpired:


"In 1959 I discussed this (Jesus being in India during his so-called 'missing years' of the Bible) with one of India's great spiritual leaders, His Holiness Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha, the Shankaracharya of Puri. I told him that Guruji (Paramahansa Yogananda) had often said to us that Christ spent some of his life in India, in association with her illumined sages."


His Holiness replied:


"That is true. I have studied ancient records in the Puri Jagannath Temple archives confirming these facts. He was known as 'Isha,' and during part of his time in India he stayed in the Jagannath Temple. When he returned to his part of the world, he expounded the teachings that are known today as Christianity."


So, not only the Hemis Manuscripts attest to Jesus visiting India, there are it seems, according to Bharati Krishna Tirtha, ancient records in the Jagannath Temple archives in Puri --- clear across the sub-continent from the Buddhist temples of the Himalayas to nearly on the coast Hindu temples.

In the Hemis Manuscripts it is stated that Issa spent six years in Jagannath (now Puri) and other holy cities of the Hindus, before going to live for a further six years in the Himalayas. In relation, Chapter V and VI translations are said to reveal the following:

CHAPTER V
5) He passed six years at Juggernaut (i.e., Puri), at Rajagriha, at Benares, and in the other holy cities. Everyone loved him, for Issa lived in peace with the Vaisyas and the Sudras, whom he instructed in the holy scriptures.

CHAPTER VI
2) But Issa, warned of his danger by the Sudras, left the neighborhood of Juggernaut by night, reached the mountain, and established himself in the country of Gautamides, the birthplace of the great Buddha Sakyamuni, in the midst of a people worshipping the one and sublime Brahma.

4) Six years after, Issa, whom the Buddha had elected to spread his holy word, had become a perfect expositor of the sacred writings.

5) Then he left Nepal and the Himalayan mountains, descended into the valley of Rajputana, and went towards the west, preaching to diverse peoples the supreme perfection of man.


The texts that Bharati Krishna Tirtha reportedly studied are independent of those said to be at the Hemis monastery. In the most commonly accepted translation of the Hemis Manuscripts, The Life of Saint Issa, Chapter V, verse 5 indicates Jesus passed six years at Juggernaut (i.e., Puri), at Rajagriha, at Benares, and in the other holy cities. It could be that the texts so read by Bharati Krishna Tirtha focused exclusively on Jesus' travels during his first six years in India in areas below the Himalayas --- hence the reason they ended up housed in the archives at the Jagannath Temple.

It should be noted that in the quote above by Bharati Krishna Tirtha (i.e., "His Holiness replied") wherein he states that when Jesus was in India he spent part of his time in the Jagannath Temple, would have to refer to a predecessor structure to the Juggernaut Temple, probably a Buddhist stupa at the site, because the Hindu based Juggernaut Temple in the present location didn't exist during the time of Jesus. The following is by Dr. Janmejay Choudhury in his Sri Jagannath Temple : The Nerve Centre of Orissan Culture and is representitive of historians that support the view of a previous Buddhist presence at the Jagannath site:


"Some Scholars trace a Buddhist origin of the trinity of the Jagannath temple. It is said that the tooth relic of Lord Buddha is preserved in the image of Jagannath, that the three deities- Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra represent Buddha, Dharma and Sangha respectively, that all Snana Yatra and Ratha Yatra of the Sri Jagannath temple are of Buddhist origin and that the sharing of Kaivalya on equal footing by all castes is due to the Buddhist impact. There are some literary evidences of co-relation between Lord Jagannath and Buddhism. According to some scholars, Jagannath is a common epithet of Buddha. In Tibet, one of the names of Buddha is Jagannath. Jayadeva, the twelvth century Vaishnava poet who according to some scholars, identified Jagannath with Krushna or Vishnu also accepted Buddha as the ninth incarnation of Krushna or Vishnu. Sarala Das, the fifteenth century poet, in his Mahabharat, regarded Jagannath as an embodiment of Buddha. He wrote, 'To deliver mankind, Jagannath has manifested himself in the form to Buddha', Daru Brahma Gita of Jagannath Deva says, 'to assume the form of Buddha, the lord gave up his hands and legs.'"


For a clarification to Ravicz's cryptic remark when asked IF indeed such documents did exist at the monastery at one time and then they were moved, where would they be moved to, and he replied: "Where all roads lead to," click HERE.


JESUS IN INDIA: PROS AND CONS


BUDDHISM IN AMERICA BEFORE COLUMBUS






















The summer of the year 1925, after having left Europe for India, found my mentor getting off a boat in Bombay on his way to the Hemis monastery. Just before leaving Bombay he went to see the caves at Elephanta, and while there met a holy man named Swami Ramdas, a holy man he would meet again, many times.

Although much different in scope, like my mentor, Ramdas was on a spiritual pilgrimage throughout India, traveling the width and breadth of the country, top to bottom, side to side, a pilgrimage that started in 1922 and not ending until 1931. In the process of his travels, one of the many holy places Ramdas sought out and stayed was a small cave in Himalayas overlooking the upper reaches of the Ganges River called Arundhati's Cave, also called 'the Jesus Cave' because through legend it is said Jesus of Nazareth stayed there for a time in meditation during his so called 'missing years of the Bible.' In the book, In The Vision of God, by Ramdas, the following is found:


"It was on the fifth day, maybe after midnight; the nights were pitch dark. Ramdas usually sat up the whole night in the cave. The cave was suddenly lit up by a strange light. Ramdas saw seated before him, on the floor about three or four feet from him, the figure of a man. His face was dazzling with a heavenly splendor. The features were fine, regular and beautiful. There was a short, black, glossy beard and moustache on the face. The lips were crimson red, revealing milk-white, lustrous teeth. Soft shining black curls flowed down his shoulders. He wore a long, dark, chocolate colored robe or gown with wide, loose sleeves. What fascinated Ramdas were his eyes. They were scintillating like twin stars. The rays they were emitting were filled with tenderness, love and compassion. Ramdas gazed on them, charmed and delighted. It struck him: “This is Jesus Christ.” There was another beside him, but Ramdas’ eyes were not for him, although he was aware of his presence. He might be a disciple. Now Christ’s lips moved. He was speaking. Ramdas listened, but could not make out what he said. The tongue sounded strange and unknown to him. For perhaps a minute he spoke; then the vision vanished, while the glow of light remained in the cave for some minutes more. Ramdas was completely immersed in ecstasy and only came to external consciousness after broad daylight."


My mentor, out of pure conincidence, during his travels, stayed at the 'Jesus cave' as well, although he reported no such experiences as Ramdas. If it was before or after Ramdas' visit is not known, however, to my knowledge they did not meet or bump into each other there in the classical sense. However, I will reiterate what I said above, between the time he got off the boat in Bombay and the time he arrived at the temple in Madura some two to three years later --- enough of a change occurred that when he went to study under the venerated Indian holy man the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, he was Awakened to the Absolute. Somewhere in there his mind became ripe.


SWAMI RAMDAS
A BIOGRAPHY