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§§ 3, 4, 5, 7
The histories of all peoples show that when a nation has reached the apogee of its military glory and its wealth, it begins at once to sink more or less rapidly on the declivity of moral degeneration and decay. The Israelites having, among the first, experienced this law of the evolution of nations, the neighboring peoples profited by the decadence of the then effeminate and debauched descendants of Jacob, to despoil them.
The country of Romeles, i.e., the fatherland of Romulus; in our days, Rome.
§§ 11, 12
It must be admitted that the Israelites, in spite of their incontestable wit and intelligence, seem to have only had regard for the present. Like all other Oriental peoples, they only in their misfortunes remembered the faults of their past, which they each time had to expiate by centuries of slavery.
As it is easy to divine, this verse refers to Joseph, who was a lineal descendant from King David. Side by side with this somewhat vague indication may be placed the following passages from the Gospels:
—"The angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife" ... (Matt. i, 20.)
—"And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David" (Matt. xxi, 9.)
—"To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David;" ... (Luke i, 27.)
—"And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David;" ... (Luke i, 32.)
—"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 ... which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David" (Luke iii, 23-31.)
Both the Old and the New Testaments teach that God promised David the rehabilitation of his throne and the elevation to it of one of his descendants.
§§ 8, 9
—"And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him."
—"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions."
—"And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers."
—"And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?"
—"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke ii, 40, 46, 47, 49, 52.)
"Sind," a Sanscrit word, which has been modified by the Persians into Ind. "Arya," the name given in antiquity to the inhabitants of India; signified first "man who cultivates the ground" or "cultivator." Anciently it had a purely ethnographical signification; this appellation assumed later on a religious sense, notably that of "man who believes."
Luke says (i, 80): "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel." The Evangelists say that Jesus was in the desert, the Buddhists explain this version of the Gospels by indicating where Jesus was during his absence from Judea. According to them he crossed the Sind, a name which, properly spoken, signifies "the river" (Indus). In connection with this word it is not amiss to note that many Sanscrit words in passing into the Persian language underwent the same transformation by changing the "s" into "h"; per example:
Sapta (in Sanscrit), signifying seven—hafta (in Persian);
Sam (Sanscrit), signifying equal—ham (Persian);
Mas (Sanscrit), meaning mouth—mah (Persian); Sur (Sanscrit), meaning sun—hur (Persian); Das (Sanscrit), meaning ten—Dah (Persian); Loco citato—and those who believed in the god Djain.
There exists, even yet, on the peninsula of Hindustan, a cult under the name of Djainism, which forms, as it were, a link of union between Buddhism and Brahminism, and its devotees teach the destruction of all other beliefs, which they declare contaminated with falsehood. It dates as far back as the seventh century, B.C. Its name is derived from Djain (conqueror), which it assumed as the symbol of its triumph over its rivals.
Each of the eighteen Puranas is divided into five parts, which, besides the canonical laws, the rites and the commentaries upon the creation, destruction and resurrection of the universe, deal with theogony, medicine, and even the trades and professions.
Owing to the intervention of the British, the human sacrifices, which were principally offered to Kali, the goddess of death, have now entirely ceased. The goddess Kali is represented erect, with one foot upon the dead body of a man, whose head she holds in one of her innumerable hands, while with the other hand she brandishes a bloody dagger. Her eyes and mouth, which are wide open, express passion and cruelty.
§§ 3, 4
Zoroaster lived 550 years before Jesus. He founded the doctrine of the struggle between light and darkness, a doctrine which is fully expounded in the Zend-Avesta (Word of God), which is written in the Zend language, and, according to tradition, was given to him by an angel from Paradise.
According to Zoroaster we must worship Mithra (the sun), from whom descend Ormuzd, the god of good, and Ahriman, the god of evil. The world will end when Ormuzd has triumphed over his rival, Ahriman, who will then return to his original source, Mithra.
According to the Evangelists, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which the Buddhistic version confirms, for only from Bethlehem, situated at a distance of about seven kilometres from Jerusalem, could the walls of this latter city be seen.
The doctrine of the Redemptor is, almost in its entirety, contained in the Gospels. As to the transformation of men into children, it is especially known from the conversation that took place between Jesus and Nicodemus.
—"Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar, or not?" (Matt. xxii, 17.)
—"Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matt. xxii, 21; et al.)
According to the Buddhistic belief, the terrestrial buddhas after death, lose consciousness of their independent existence and unite with the eternal Spirit.
§§ 10, 11
Here, no doubt, reference is made to the activity of the Apostles among the neighboring peoples; an activity which could not have passed unnoticed at that epoch, because of the great results which followed the preaching of the new religious doctrine of love among nations whose religions were based upon the cruelty of their gods.
Without permitting myself indulgence in great dissertations, or too minute analysis upon each verse, I have thought it useful to accompany my work with these few little explanatory notes, leaving it to the reader to take like trouble with the rest.
1 The Vaisyas and Sudras castes.
2 Brahmins and Kshatriyas.
3 Sanscrit:—"He whose essence (sattva) has become intelligence (bhodi)," those who need but one more incarnation to become perfect buddhas, i.e., to be entitled to Nirvâna.
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