Jesus And Reincarnation
      by Tirtha das (VINA) 2-02-99.

      The Old Testament ends with the directly spoken words of God: "Behold! I will send you
      Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." (Malachi
      4:5). Here, God Almighty, speaking for Himself, is saying that the soul of Elijah is coming
      again to Earth. This directly implies that Elijah's soul will reincarnate as someone new.
      Several centuries later, in Luke, an angel appears in front of Zechariah, the Father of
      John the Baptist, and announces: "...and he shall go before him in the spirit and power of
      Elias, and shall turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the disobedient to the
      wisdom of the just: and make ready a people prepared for the Lord." So God himself, as
      well as the angel sent of the Lord, predicted the birth of John, formerly Elijah. This is also
      confirmed by much other Scripture, as we shall see. To understand the travels of the
      soul, all we have to do is think about it without prejudice. In John's case scenario, there
      are two distinct bodies in time and space, with one and the same individual soul. This
      directly refers to the process of transmigration of the soul, that is, reincarnation of the
      individual spiritual being.

      But, God Himself and the angel sent by the Lord were not the only ones alluding to this
      spiritual phenomena. With regard to the specific questions of his disciples concerning
      John, Jesus was glorifying the divine qualities of John, ending with: "And if you will
      receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come." (Matthew 11:14). Then in his own way of
      saying, "If you have a brain, then just try to understand it," Jesus declares, "He who hath
      an ear, let him hear, let him hear." Similarly, the disciples later asked him, "Then why do
      the Scribes say that Elijah must first come?" Jesus replied: "Elijah is to come, and he is
      to restore all things: But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know
      him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also will the Son of Man suffer at their
      hands." Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
      (Matthew 17:10-13). This is the same basic testimony that is found in Mark 9:11-13. A very
      similar Scriptural evidence is Luke 1:17, another reference to the angel of the Lord. Also,
      Luke 7:26-27 corroberates Jesus's testimony that John was formerly Elijah, as the words
      are almost identical to Malachi 4:5, and the reference cannot possibly be taken any
      other way. Conclusively, John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elijah. Jesus, by his
      using these words in this very simple and lucid manner, could not have meant anything
      else. He was not speaking in allegory or parables in these instances.

      In this way we can clearly understand that Jesus Christ taught the doctrine of
      reincarnation, also known as transmigration of the soul. "NO!" My Christian friends
      protest. But did not Jesus also cast the demonic spirits called 'Legion' that inhabited the
      body of a tormented man into the bodies of swine? And did not this forced embodiment
      drive the swine crazy, and then prompt them to jump off the cliffs into the sea? Does this
      also not mean that spiritual beings can and do inhabit all creatures, such as the pigs in
      question? Was this not a form of punishment for those miscreant spirits who had
      challenged Jesus's authority? Do we also not understand that there are pigs around us
      dressed as human beings? We all know people like this.

      And, did not Jesus also imply reincarnation when he asked his disciples: "Who do you
      say I am?" (Mark 8:27) Some of his disciples answered "John the Baptist," others said
      "Elijah," and still others said "perhaps one of the Prophets." By asking this question,
      Jesus was asking his disciples to consider who he had formerly been in previous lives.
      Some contemporary authorities speculate that Jesus may have previously been
      Ramanujacarya, Lord Brahma, the Prophet Elisha, Prahlada, Haridas, and/or
      Melchisedec. Regardless of the speculations concerning who Jesus may or may not
      have formerly been, it is clear that Jesus asked these questions in a non-argumentative,
      Socratic fashion in order to stimulate the intellectual acuity of his disciples to think about
      the topic of reincarnation. Otherwise, there is no purpose or logical reason for Jesus
      asking such a question, specifically in this particular manner. The teacher wants the
      students to think about such concepts and to figure things out, based upon Scriptural
      evidence, by mulling things over and arriving at logical conclusions. "Who by taking
      thought, can add one cubit to his stature?" By bringing up these topics once in a while,
      Jesus would at least stimulate his intellectually gifted disciples to think about the body
      as the shell only, as completely distinct from the soul, the real, eternal 'self'. Jesus was
      encouraging us to use our brains, our God given intelligence.

      Based upon his words in the Holy Bible, it is a conclusive fact that Jesus Christ taught
      reincarnation. Unfortunately, at the Second Council of Constantinople in about 530 A.D.,
      the assembled Priests forever banned the doctrine of reincarnation as heretical, even
      though it was a widely understood aspect of both Judaic and Christian theology up to
      that time, implying also that it had permeated the Catholic Church, and was of such
      signifigant, widespread, and ingrained belief that the Catholic Clergy had to deal with it
      by pronouncing it 'heretical'. The fact that the Catholic priesthood did not understand the
      doctrine of transmigration of the soul, how it worked as a part of an All Merciful God's
      design to eventually liberate all souls, is a testament to the level of spiritual awareness
      of the day. Over the centuries, many were tortured, mutilated and killed for observing
      such different blasphemous ideas, deemed "heretical" by the 'Church". Today, the topic
      of reincarnation cannot even be brought up at a Sunday service in a Baptist, Catholic or
      Protestant church, although Jesus clearly taught the doctrine.

      Both the Talmud and the Kabbala of the Jews, as well as Jesus's own words referenced
      'transmigration of the soul' as part of a natural and very obvious spiritual understanding.
      The idea was that God was, in His Own Heart, unlimitedly kind hearted, and gave the
      individual soul chance after chance, life after life to improve his sense of devotion, the
      ultimate goal of all religion. As Jesus states, "The pure in heart shall see God." How then
      can one see God unless his motives are pure, and his devotion constant and
      unalloyed? As perfect devotion usually does not become manifest in one life, God, in his
      wisdom and kindness gave the soul the opportunity to gradually progress. This life was
      the result of one's past life's 'karma', or good and evil deeds. "As you sow, so shall you
      reap." Your future life was the result of this life's pious and impious activities as well. You
      could immediately attain salvation by becoming perfect in devotion, in conjuction with
      God's grace. "We are saved by grace, not works." But works are taken into account, just
      as an employer gives promotion based upon dedication, hard work, and results. "And I
      will give unto every one of your according to your works." (Rev. 2:23) Jesus taught the
      law of 'karma', action and reaction, cause and effect, and that works and devotion would
      be taken into account at one's time of 'judgement'. As action and reaction is a law of the
      physical sciences, it is also an unseen law of the metaphysical sciences as well.
      Because reincarnation of souls is spiritual law, there is no contradiction between that
      doctrine and Christianity today. Contemporary Christianity simply has to grow and
      mature. The 10 % tithe is not enough. One cannot buy the Kingdom of God with 10 % of
      money or 10 % mentality. It is time for Christians to become enlightened activists and
      devotional participants instead of mere silent observers, watching the world go to Hell
      from the sidelines.

      If Jesus did teach this doctrine, then where did he learn it? Many authorities and scholars
      have researched that Jesus travelled to India to find the truth. It is a Biblical fact that there
      are 18 missing years from the life of Jesus Christ as taught within the Holy Bible, from the
      time he was 12 to the time he was 30 and undertook his missionary activities. According
      to some of these historical investigators, at this time, he was getting his own higher
      education with the Vaishnava brahmana priests in Jagannatha Puri, India. There, in Puri,
      Jesus studied all the Vedas, the Srimad Bhagavatam, the Bhagavad Gita, and the
      processes of mystic yoga which teach the healing arts, levitation, etc. There is also
      much physical evidence to suggest that Jesus retired to India after the crucifixion.

      If we want to follow the path of Jesus Christ, we have to abandon our prejudice and take
      advantage of the ancient Vedic culture. In India, and now around the globe, the topmost
      authoritative book in the world on the science of the 'transmigration of the soul' is the
      Bhagavad Gita As It Is, as originally spoken by Lord Krishna, and meticulously
      translated into English by His Divine Grace, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami. "Who is this
      Krishna person anyway?", we might reasonably ask. This can be easily answered by
      anyone who is observant. If one understands linguistics in even a very basic way, one
      can immediately see the resemblance of the names, KRISHNA and CHRISTOS
      (CHRIST). There is a very logical reason for this. In Sanskrit, "Krishna" is a name for
      God, the same Supreme Lord of the Bible, to which Jesus referred as 'God the Father'.
      "Christ" in the English, has it's derivitive in the Greek "Christos", which is further derived
      from the Sanskrit "Krishna". KRISHNA OR CHRIST, the name is the same. In Jaganatha
      Puri, as a teenage apprentice, Jesus studied the Bhagavad Gita and all the Vedas with
      the brahmanas there in the tradition of Vaishavism. In this way, Jesus learned the
      complete science of the 'transmigration of the soul' from learned brahmanas.

      It may be asked then, "Why didn't Jesus teach this?" Well, apparently from Scriptural
      reference, Jesus DID teach this. But, down through the centuries, pure transcendental
      knowledge as presented by Jesus Christ, was changed, perverted, omitted, or simply
      brushed aside. As far as many details of higher knowledge, Jesus states, "There is
      more that I can tell you but you cannot bear to hear it at this time." This is a clear
      indication by Jesus himself that upon his return, there will be much more to learn. Logic
      dictates that God and the Kingdom of God are unlimited. Therefore, we will be learning
      newer and newer aspects of the Absolute Truth forever.

      So, when Jesus refers to John the Baptist as being the reincarnation of the Biblical
      prophet Elijah, we should not be very much surprised. Jesus was an enlightened human
      being, and not just a believer of some faith, like the average Christian, Jew, or Hindu.
      Jesus was not a lay person, but was situated in perfect knowledge of all things, such as
      the identity of God, the spiritual world which lays beyond the purview of our limited
      senses, and all spiritual phenomena like reincarnation. Being from the spiritual world, his
      overview was not limited to the material knowledge available. His vision was literally
      'beyond the clouds'. That is why Jesus is called the spiritual master and why we are
      called the servant of the spiritual master. We have only our Earthly sense perceptions to
      guide us, until we fine tune our spiritual perception. Unfortunately, 2,000 years ago, Jesus
      was mistaken to be an ordinary human being by average citizens like ourselves,
      because he performed many ordinary human dealings in addition to his 'miracles'. For
      example, he worked as an ordinary carpenter, banging hammer on nails, etc. Most
      people perceived Jesus Christ in an indifferent manner, or sometimes in a negative way
      due to his extremism and outrageous sayings. The people of the day largely ignored
      him because by external appearances, this Jesus appeared just like an ordinary human
      being. I often speculate that this may again be one of the many problems that Jesus
      might face upon his return... the predictability of the masses to relegate Jesus to a
      common man.

      All this speculation aside, there are other relevant reference materials pertaining to
      Jesus's travels in India. One interesting book, if not completely in line with the Vedic
      conclusions of the Vaishnava disciplic succession, is called "Jesus Lived In India." This
      book makes for interesting reading, historically researching Jesus's travels away from
      the Mediterranean area, both before and after the crucifixion. There are also other
      literatures describing Jesus's travels there. According to the Acquarian Gospel of Jesus
      the Christ, supposedly documented from the akashic records (permanent records on a
      type of spiritual audio tape in the ether), Jesus lived in Puri with the Vaishnava
      Brahmanas. There is also Nicolas Notovitch's writings on Jesus's Travels in Tibet. The
      last two books document well Jesus's travels in both India and Tibet, but have their
      limitations, aside from not coming to the implied Vedic conclusions as Jesus learned
      them, Narayano paro vyaktat. "Lord Narayana Krishna is a priori to the cosmic
      manifestation." Nevertheless, Jesus's presence in India is a conclusive fact based upon
      these and other documenations. If one travels to the many different places of Jesus's
      pilgrimages to India, he will find many monuments commemorating Jesus's appearance
      there as St. Issa, or Yus Asef. Apparently, Jesus was a learned scholar, as well as a
      traveller, healer, mystic yogi, and enlightened spiritual master.

      Sometimes, my Christian friends strongly object to my ideas, which I have only
      chronicled, based upon my own 25 years of Scriptural digging and the reasearch of
      others. That Jesus taught the doctrine of reincarnation within the Holy pages of the Holy
      Bible is obvious. As Jesus put it, "Having ears, they hear not. Having eyes, they see
      not." Still, most Christians today reject the science of the soul's travels in this world as
      'Hindu' or 'Buddhist'. This is quite odd really, because the science of reincarnation
      permeated early Christianity for hundreds of years. I recommend that instead of rejecting
      the concept of reincarnation, it would better suit intelligent, truth seeking Christians and all
      individuals everywhere to investigate Jesus's own words in more depth. What we want is
      the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is also worthwhile to investigate the
      most authoritative literature on the subject, the Bhagavad Gita As It Is. Why should one
      use only this particluar translation? As Jesus himself studied with the Vaishnavas, and
      taught the Vaishnava conclusion, that God is ultimately a Person, the Supreme Person,
      the best copy of the "Bhagavad Gita" available today which provides the most clear and
      concise information on the subject is the "Bhagavad Gita As It Is". The conclusions of
      this translation verify that Lord Krishna is the Supreme Person, and not just a
      mythological folk hero or 'Hindu' god. Most other non-Vaishnava copies of the
      Bhagavad Gita fall into many pitfalls of spiritual misunderstanding. Generally, they come
      to erroneous, impersonalistic conclusions, usually relegating Lord Krishna to some
      imaginary figure on some imaginary battlefield. Sometimes the impersonalists relegate
      Lord Krishna's position to that of an avatara of Vishnu, an expansion of the white light, or
      a mythological hero created in the minds of common villigers. But just as a sincere
      Christian knows that Jesus was the Son of God, a real person, with form, intelligence, real
      feelings and emotions and his own unique spiritual personality, we can also conclude by
      investigating the Vaishnava literatures that Lord Krishna is a factual person, the person
      to whom Jesus attributed his own strength, power, knowledge and mystic opulence. It is
      therefore beneficial to us to accept only those views that are non-envious of either the
      position of Jesus Christ or Lord Krishna. The old saying goes... "Milk touched by the lips
      of sa serpent has poisonous effects." Why would Jesus have studied Krishna
      consciousness with the brahmanas at Puri if there was nothing to be learned there? Out
      of the thousands of different philosophical branches of the origian Vedic culture that
      Jesus had access to in India, he specifically chose the path of Vaishnavism as truthfully
      representative of the final authority concerning Absolute Knowledge. In addition, how can
      any rational human being overlook the obvious similarities in the names "Krishna" and

      Why throw the baby out with the bath water, rejecting the logical and reasonable science
      of the transmigration of the soul because of preconceived ideas, Westernized traditional
      church doctrines, or personal prejudice? If Jesus taught us to love our neighbors, and
      our neighbors happen to be Jews, Hindus, Hare Krishnas, Muslims, and Buddhists, we
      would only be helping ourselves by understanding the way others think about God in
      their own way. It is only to our own advantage to study other religions and the many
      different ways others perceive God. Like university professors, we can study other
      scriptures and religions with the view of finding corrollaries as well as differences.
      Because God is ONE, the underlying similarities of all religions outweigh the differences
      in doctrines and protocals. Studying the religions of others helps us become better,
      more enlightened Christians. We can truly 'Love one another' better by understanding
      how others think. Enthusiasm without knowedge is simply fanaticism. And, knowledge
      without passion is dry speculation. A perfect Christian will have both the enthusiastic
      passion of his convictions tempered by the sword of knowledge and wisdom. Jesus
      commanded his real followers to "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Pretend Christians
      cannot love others who are different than themselves. In this regard, Jesus teaches, "If
      you love only your own kind, then what is the profit? For do not the sinners and common
      folk do the same?" In this manner, Jesus was encouraging us to grow to spiritual maturity
      by embracing others who are different than themselves. We would all be surprised that
      the internals of all religions are the same. God and service to God is the central,
      underlying theme. The externals prevent us from considering others as our brothers and
      sisters, who all have God as our common Father. Jesus taught this. If we are real
      Christians we will do this. If we are spiritual frauds, then we will discard others, falsely
      thinking ourselves superior in some way, against Jesus Christ's orders.

      If the history books are true, and Jesus studied in several Krishna temples, then why not
      try to understand these higher levels of spiritual understanding called Krishna
      consciousness? Jesus himself stated: "There is more that I could tell you, but you cannot
      bear to hear it at this time." This is a clear indication that when Jesus comes again, he
      will further enlighten us as to the mysterious identity of God the Father, the nature of the
      spiritual world, and the higher, invisible, and more subtle principles governing spiritual
      life in general. We may protest that we already know God and are sufficiently educated
      in spiritual matters, but Jesus does not teach this. Jesus states, "None hath seen the
      Father, except the Son." He also states: "I have spoken these things in parables and
      cryptic meanings, but the hour is coming when I shall no longer speak to you in figures,
      but shall tell you plainly of the Father."

      This is a clear indication that at the present time, we are not in full knowledge, and that
      when Jesus comes again, he will enlighten us as to the nature of all pure, infallible
      knowledge coming from the Absolute Kingdom of God, where God is the Absolute
      Highest Truth, One without a second, the Mystery Person we know only as God Almighty.
      My intuition tells me that Jesus will reveal Lord Krishna to be that Person, the Supreme
      Personality of the Godhead. Time will tell. Along with the eventual revelation by Jesus of
      this Mystery Person known as the Supreme Lord, many of the mysteries of Heaven and
      Hell and much detailed spiritual phenomena such as reincarnation will be revealed.
      Jesus told us he would return, and his returning implies all this and more, much much
      more. We have a lot to look foreward to.

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