CV & Contact





[17-05-2014] Chr. Lindtner speaks about the pythagorean sources of Buddhism and Christianity at the university of Saint Petersburg.




Time for the Lindtnerean Revolution

"What is needed is a paradigmatic shift - a Lindtnerian Revolution - in outlook, which, of course, will entail  a  change in outlook far more unsettling to traditional Christianity than  even Darwin´s Theory of  Evolution has been!" (Quote from Prof. em. Michael Lockwood, Buddhism's Relation to Christianity, Chennai & Delhi 2011, p. 241)
Also see the video on youtube with Norman Lowell and Lady Michele Renouf, click below:




[29-04-2012] Faith as (small or big as) a Mustard Seed


It is a great pity that NT theologians still have the chutzpah of ignoring the numerous Buddhist sources of almost all the parables of the mythical Jesus.
The German NT scholar Heinrich Weinel in his  book on the parables of Jesus (Die Gleichnisse Jesu, 1903 & 1910) , was willing to admit that Jesus had been influenced by Indian parables, above all that of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-27).
It was the German Indologist  H. Jacobi who first translated it (from the Uttarādhyayana 7:15-21), and it runs: " Three merchants set out on their travels, each with his capital; one of them gained there much, the second returned with his capital, and the third merchant came home after having lost his capital. This parable is taken from common life; learn (to apply it) to the Law. The capital is human life, the gain is heaven; through the loss of that capital man must be born as a denizen of hell or brute animal...He who brings back his capital is (to be compared to) one who is born again as a man...But he who increases his capital is (to be compared to) one who practises eminent virtues; the virtuous, excellent man cheerfully attains the state of Gods." (Quoted from Richard Garbe, Indien und das Christentum, Tübingen 1914, p. 42; reprinted Süderbrarup 2004)

Weinel admitted that Jesus may have been influenced by this Indian parable, but found that Jesus changed it so that it became more profound, more original, more poetical.
The reader may judge the poetical originality of Jesus for himself! -
Let us now look at the celebrated parable of the mustard seed! It is about the power of faith.
According the Matthew 17:20, if you have faith (pistis) as (big - or small?) as a mustard seed (kokkos sinapeōs, you can order a mountain to go from here to there, and it will do so.
According to Luke 17:6, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you can order a mulberry tree (suka-minos) to pull itself up by the roots and plant itself in the sea, and it will.
According to Mark 11:20, Jesus cursed a fig tree (sukź). He then said, that if you have faith in God, you can tell this mountain to get up and throw itself in the sea, and it will.
All this is about "little faith" - oligo-pistia - the word (a compound) only appears here (Matthew 17:20), and, as I have pointed out elsewhere (infra), translates the noun corresponding to the Sanskrit adjective  alpotsukas, from alpa(s) + utsukas ( = alpotsukas, " having little faith"). As a rule, it is used by the Lord only.
Jesus speaks of faith, of a mustard seed, of a mountain,  of the sea (ocean), and of a mulberry tree, or a fig tree.
The Buddhist source of all this is to be found - as to be expected by now - in the usual source, MSV, I, pp. 186-187.
The Buddhist legend in brief is this:
Udāyī (nom. ) has faith (prasādas) in the Sākya monk, i.e. Sākya-munis (the Buddha from Kapilavastu). He goes to the king, the father of Sākyamunis. The king is impressed by the peace of mind (upasamas) of Udāyī. He asks Udāyī , if Sākyamunis also has such a peace of mind?
Udāyī confirms that this is so, but that the peace of mind of  Sākyamunis is very different. His own is small like that of a mustard seed (sarsapa-vat) whereas that of Sākyamunis is huge like  the Sumeru mountain. Moreover, his own is small like that of the amount of water in the footstep of a cow (gospada-vat), whereas that of the teacher in whom he has faith, is profound as the ocean (samudra).
I have already pointed out how MSV has served as a source for numerous passages and ideas found in the NT gospels. Hence there can be no room for doubt that the parables of Udāyī served as a source of the parables of Jesus.
I have also already pointed out elsewhere (infra), that if  Jesus was responsible for the parable of the ten virgins in  Matthew 25:1-13, then Jesus must have been  a great Sanskrit scholar. Only a Sanskrit scholar could have rendered it into Greek. This parable is to be found in the MPS (a part of the MSV; only in Sanskrit, not in the Pāli version).
The parable of the mustard seed presupposes a direct knowledge of the Sanskrit:
The version of Udāyī is so plain and rational that no further comments are needed. His own faith in Sākyamunis has given him peace of mind, but his own peace of mind is very small compared to that of his Lord.
Comparing the original  to the "transcreation" in the NT gospels (cf. also the Gospel of Thomas 20), we learn a lot about the "poetical originality" of "Jesus". We are dealing with wild and irrational exaggerations. All is mixed up. The pirate copy is by no means more "profound" than the original, but - deliberately so - highly paradoxical. The intention of "Jesus" is to puzzle and thereby also to attract his readers.
Accordingly,  his obscure parables have puzzled his readers ever since.
It is now easy to identify the suka-minos in Luke (and the sukź in Mark). The suka-minos is a pun on Sākya-munis. The mulberry tree as well as the fig tree refer to Sākya-munis.
He was cursed by Jesus, he was thrown into the ocean by the new faith.
The Indian king of Dharma has thus  been replaced by the Jewish king of Righteousness.
That trick of transcreation  is a part of what - quite understandably - had to remain the Secret of the Christ. Behind Jesus we find the Buddha. Early "insiders" must have been aware of the true identity.
And it is still a question of faith, and the old Buddhist  ideal of heaven remains the same.

  (Note to the reader: Here and infra I have used a simplified transcription of Sanskrit and Pāli  words, leaving out some diacritical marks on sibilants etc.)


[25-04-2012] Mary Magdalene and the Empty Tomb, John 20

This is a legend based, as so often, on two or more different Buddhist sources, the SDP and the SBV of the MSV.
From the SDP we have the motive of the empty stūpa(s) that contained the Lord. The Sanskrit stūpas becomes  the Greek taphos, "grave". In John 20:7, the San. stūpas also becomes Greek topos, (empty) place, where the body of the Lord used to be located. The sense and sound (consonants) of the original Sanskrit have been preserved well. The "translation" is faithful to sound and sense at the same time, as so often.
The purpose of the legend is to "prove" the Resurrection of Jesus. All the NT "proofs" have, as I have shown by now, been taken from Buddhists sources. They do, therefore, not prove any historical event, but they do prove that the NT to a large extent is a "pirate copy" of Buddhist sources.
Things take place, not "out there", but "in here" -  in the imagination of the authors. We are, to be sure, not dealing with mere parallels, but with a direct literary dependence - as can be seen from the following observations:

John 20:1 starts out with the odd phrase:

tź de mia tōn sabbatōn,

which is a DIRECT RENDERING af the eight syllables of the very common introductory Sanskrit:

ekasmin khalu samaye

with the frequent  variant:

tena khalu samayena

On one, reportedly (khalu) occasion; on that, they say, occasion; once upon a time.

Note how nicely eka- becomes mia, how tena becomes tź de, how the final  samaye/samayena becomes sabbatōn. Even the Gr. de retains some of  the force of the San. khalu. The San. khalu indicates, in Mahāyāna usage, that this is something that is supposed to have taken place: "it is said, for sure, reportedly".

The legend of the woman who in the early morning sees the empty bed of Yasāh is reported in the SBV (I, p. 141) in these words:

1. adraksīd - (she) saw
2. anyatamāvaruddhikā -a certain harem woman
3. sarātram eva - while it was still night
4. suptapratibuddhā - (when she) had woken up from sleep
5. Yasāh kumāro - prince Yasās
6. mahāsayane - on the big bed
7. na drsyate - is not seen
8. iti - thus (she saw, or said).

John renders as follows, as a rule, with the same number of syllables, respecting the word order:

0. tź de mia tōn sabbatōn was, as said, based on a combination of San. tena khalu samayena, and ekasmin khalu samaye.

1. adraksīd, the verb, becomes erkhetai, she came; but the sense is retained in the blepei.

2. anyatamāvaruddhikā, a certain harem woman, becomes Maria hź Magdalźnź; but the anyatama- is also to be seen in the ho allos mathźtźs, John 20: 3, 8.

3. sarātram eva becomes prōi skotias, while still quite dark; the eti ousźs renders the force of the emphatic San. eva.

4. This is applied to Jesus - Yasāh -  who was now raised, not from the bed, but from the dead, John 20:11. John refers to the graphź, scripture, i.e. the SBV, I p. 141. (Likewise, "Paul", in 1 Cor. 15.)

5. kumāras becomes kurios, and Yasās becomes Jesus.

6. mahāsayane becomes eis to mnźmeion, to the tomb.

7. The na drsyate, he - kumāras/kurios = Jesus  - is not seen. This is the main motive.

8. The iti reflected in the ref. to graphź, John 20:9.

The story goes on: The woman runs to the father of Yasāh (Simon Peter), who suspests that his son may have been taken away by robbers, and therefore sends out his men to look for him etc. In the end, Kumāras turns up again - safe and sound. There is a sermon about rebirth in heaven - svarga-kathā. There is a teaching that is like a pure cloth, suddham vastram - the sudarion, linen cloths, in John 20:7. Jesus refers to his "brothers", John 20:17, and the original also refers to the four brothers of Yasās (I, p. 146). Jesus refers to his father, who, in the original, is the father of Yasās. The wife and the mother of Yasās are also converted (I, p. 144), as are his four brothers (I, p. 146).

What Matthew, Mark and Luke have to report about the alleged resurrection can easily be traced, with several  nice details, to the same Buddhist sources, above all the MPS in the MSV.

The strange  mother of Joses, Mark 15:47, was the mother of Yasās. The Jesus from Nazareth of Mark 16:6 was here Yasās from the town - nagarī - of Vārānasī (I, p. 146). The FOUR brothers of Yasās accounts for the FOUR brothers of Jesus, Matthew 13:55. Their names are listed SBV I, p. 146. Each of them is - as Yasās - described as an agra-kulika-putras, i.e. as a son, putras, of an agra-kulika, belonging to a prominent (agra-) family, the nobility, the chief family". It is because of this relationship, that Yasās is called a kumāras, prince. Here, in Matthew 13:55, Jesus himself is described as "the carpenter's son", ho tou tektonos huios - a direct rendering of the San. used for Yasās and his brothers: agra-kulika-putras - seven syllables in the original and in the copy.

What went on in the mind of "Matthew" when he chose to render San. agra-kulika-putras by ho tou tektonos huios? Well, first of all, the putras at the end of the compound was no problem: putras becomes huios, son. Then he faced the five syllables agra-kulika. According to our dictionaries, kulika- means not only "of a good family", but also refers to the chief or head of a guild, even  an artist of high birth. Now, the father of Jesus was certainly of high birth, being "the son of David", Matthew 1:20. Moreover, the Greek tektōn can mean a craftsman or workman of almost any sort, a master in any art. The Greek tektōn can, therefore, be accepted as a fine rendering of the San. agrakulikas.

A summary will make all this come out more clearly: The main person is Yasās, a kumāras, the son of an agrakulikas in Benares. Yasās becomes sick and tired of life in the palace. One night he wakes up, sees the harem women, and leaves his big bed.

A little later, one of the concubines wakes up and sees the empty bed. She runs to the father of Yasās, who suspects that his son may have been kidnapped for the robbers to collect a ransom. He sends out two groups of men to seek for the son. The son is found in the company of Bhagavān, who, by way of a miracle, makes Yasās invisible so that his father cannot recognize him. John follows this story, but faces certain problems. John cannot give any natural explanation for the tomb of Jesus suddenly being empty. Why would kurios want to leave the grave?

Mary Magdalene faces the same problem. She suspects that "they" may have stolen the body of her Lord - but why would "they" want to do that? Certainly not to collect ransom money - for who would want to buy the dead body of Jesus? She then suspects the gardener - the invisble Kumāras - to have removed the body. But what would his motive have been? Perhaps to sell the grave to another? We do not know.

John then has to resort to a supernatural explanation - resurrection.
But even this notion is taken by combining two different Buddhists motives. On the one hand we often hear that humans can stay in hell for some time, and then come up again. Such a person is called a nārakas - which becomes Greek nekros, dead.
The other idea is that of a human being who wakes up from his/her sleep. The compound is supta-pratibuddhas, being awake again after having slept. By combining these two entirely different notions, John and the early Christians find Buddhist support for the idea of resurrection from the dead.

The authors of the gospels combined the motive of the empty bed of Kumāras with the motive of the empty stūpa(s) of a Tathāgata(s). Nearly all the other events having to do with Easter can be traced back to these Buddhist sources, above all the MPS.

The empty grave has, of course, often been discussed by theologians. Here, I will only mention the rare and learned book by J. Duncan M. Derrett, The Anastasis: The Resurrection of Jesus as an Historical Event (published by P. Drinkwater, 56 Church Street, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, England, 1982).

In 1982, Dr. Derrett took it for granted that we were here dealing with an account of an historical event. But later on, in 2001, in his important book, The Bible and the Buddhists, Dr. Derrett was much more open to Buddhist influence.


[24-04-2017] The Washing of the Feet (John 13)

Some days ago the world was witness to Benedict XVI washing the (dirty?) feet of twelve priests. This queer ritual is based on what John 13:1-17 has to report about the behaviour of Jesus.

As far as I am aware, there are no Jewish or pagan sources for the odd notion of a master washing the feet of his disciples. But there is a Buddhist source. It is the Pāli version of the Mahāparinirvānasūtra, i.e. the Mahā-parinibbāna-suttanta of the Dīgha-Nikāya (D. xvi. 1.22). It runs:

"Then the Lord dressed, took his bowl and garb (pātra-cīvaram) and went with the group of monks to the rest-house, washed his feet, entered the hall, and took a seat against the centre pillar, with his face towards the East. The group of monks also, after washing their feet, entered the hall, and took seats around the Lord, against the western wall, and facing the East. And the Pātali-village laymen (upāsaka) too, after washing their feet, entered the hall, and took their seats opposite the Lord against the eastern wall, and facing to the West."

Then follows what in Matthew 25:1-13 becomes the parable of the ten virgins. (This has been reprinted in Michael Lockwood's Buddhism's Relation to Christianity, p. 230). Our episode is not to be found in the San. version of the MPS.

Before they entered the rest-house etc., a water-pot and  an oil lamp had been placed there. This accounts for the lamps and the oil in Matthew. An oil lamp becomes oil and lamps. (In San. you cannot see from the compound itself!)

John uses two very rare nouns, namely niptźr and lention to render the Sanskrit pātra(m) and cīvaram respectively. So when Lord Jesus was taking (labōn) the lention it was originally the Lord who took (ādāya) the cīvaram (garb). Jesus, in John's wild imagination, uses the pātram or niptźr for water for washing the feet of his disciples.
The word for the bowl, pātram, also becomes Petron (p-t-r-m/n). This is why Peter comes into the picture.

In the original three different groups wash their (own) feet. They do so before entering the hall, and that is quite natural. In John the Lord washes the feet of his disciples, but the disciples are also asked to wash the feet of one another. Not their own. That is not very natural.

So here we have a picture of quite a few people busy washing other peoples feet - but not their own!

Certainly, John had a sense of humor! Would he not have had a good laugh had he seen the Pope washing the feet of the twelve priests in 2012?

In a learned paper, "Domine, tu mihi lavas pedes?" ( Studio su Giovanni 13,1-30) Dr. Derrett (in Italian, reprinted in his Studies in the New Testament, Vol. III, Leiden 1982, pp. 130-160) has discussed most of the different interpretations of this curious incident where a teacher washes the feet of his students.

Why do theologians always tend to take for granted that the NT gospels are written by people with little or no sense of humor? Imagine a famous professor washing the feet of his students in class!

John also refers to Judas, the famous "traitor". But we now know that this Judas was concocted by combining various words etc. from the MPS having to do with Cundas, the last meal, the theft and with the unknown monk who was a traitor (see Lockwood, op. cit., p. 203).

All these events took place shortly before the death and resurrection of the Lord - in the Buddhist and in the Christian gospel. The Christian account of Easter is, in other words, a fanciful combination of Jewish and Buddhist elements.


[21-03-2012] Walking on Water and Peter“s Faith (Matthew 14:28-33 par)


According to Buddhist lore, a Buddha is in possession of supernatural faculties allowing him, the "God above the Gods", to fly like a bird in the sky, to pass unhindered through walls, to walk on water as if on solid ground etc. - to mention just a few of many similar miracles.

According to Greek mythology, Hercules could also walk on water. Like Jesus, Hercules is a son of the God, i.e. of Zeus.

The Jews of the OT said the same of their Lord, the God, kurios ho theos, whose proper name we are not allowed to mention.

Thus, in the Greek words of Job 9:8, God may be seen "walking around on the sea as on firm ground". Here, the Greek (but not the Hebrew, which is quite different!) runs: peripatōn hōs ep“ edaphous epi thalassźs.

This is almost a literal translation of the Pāli: udake pi (abhijjamāno) gacchati sayyathā pi pathaviyam (cit. Derrett, The Bible and the Buddhists, p. 70).

Matthew , in his usual way, combined the OT passage with this and other Buddhist passages when he composed his version of Jesus walking on water (Mt 14:22-33 par).
Mt 14:25 replaces the genitive of Job by writing: peripatōn epi tźn thalassan. But Luke 6:48 retains the genitive of Job 9:8: peripatōn epi tźs thalassźs.

The German scholar Norbert Klatt has argued (1982 and 1990) - quite convincingly - that Matthew“s text must have been based on the Buddhist text, not vice versa (as Derrett had argued against Klatt 1982).

Comparing the Christian and Buddhist (mythical) reports, Klatt“s literary analysis revealed that they were congruent in the following points (Klatt, 1990, p. 29):

1. A person (the Lord, C.L.) is alone in a place of solitude

2. This person (the Lord, C.L.) is performing spiritual exercises (prayer/meditation)

3. Some time later this person walks about, on or in the water (peripatein, cankami, cankramati)

4. The waters are depicted as rough or powerfully rapid

5. The story changes its focus of attention and turns to another set of persons (disciples or Kassapa)

6. On the water is/comes a boat with several persons aboard

7. Those aboard the boat are astounded at the sight of the person walking on the water

8. They do not know who the person walking on the water is (and therefore ask him)

9. The person walking on the water identifies himself with the words "It is I"

10. Those in the boat wish to take the person walking on the water aboard

11. The person walking on the water enters the boat.

The concordance is obvious, and Klatt finds that the only way to explain it is to assume that the story of the walking on the water found its way "from one culture into another". (p. 30). The "borrowing is from the Buddhist source into the Christian gospels" (ibid.) Derrett, ten years later (BB, p. 70), wrote that already Martin Dibelius, the German theologian, in 1933, " rightly divined foreign influence". His own view is that the Buddhist and the Christian stories may here have "gained reciprocally." They are somehow historically related.

The main Sanskrit source is, to be sure, to be found in the Catusparisatsūtra (part of the MSV), chapter 24. This source escaped Klatt. The Buddha performs no less that 18 miracles, the purpose of which is to convert a famous teacher, Kāsyapa(s) and his 500 disciples. Miracle 18 gives the story of a great flood that arose in the river Nairanjanā.
The Lord is now surrounded by water. He walks to and fro on a firm sandy spot (in the middle of the river). An ascetic, Kassapa/Kāsyapas, finding the Lord to be gracious, fears that he may be carried away by the flood. So he takes a boat made of tree and goes in search of the Lord.. He sees the Lord surrounded by water of more than the height of a full-grown man, walking around on a sandy spot. He asks: "Are you alive, great ascetic?" - "I am alive, Kāsyapa!". "Come aboard, great ascetic! Will you come into the boat made of one tree, great ascetic?" - "I come aboard, Kāsyapa." -
And the Lord accomplished such a performance of magic power that he, (his) mind concentrated, rose up to the boat made of one tree, as water arises. Then Urubilvā-Kāsyapa thought: "It is marvellous, the extent to which the great ascetic possesses great supernatural power and authority. But I too am an Arhat."

The purpose in Matthew is the same as in the CPS: If you have faith in the teacher, as a son of God, you will be saved. The number 5000, mentioned in Matthew 14:21 links up with 500 in the original. The 5000 are also found in another Buddhist source, the SDP (see my essay from June 2010, reprinted in Michael Lockwood, Buddhism“sRelation to Christianity, Chennai 2010, p. 283).

Kāsyapas with his 500 disciples turn up again in Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:5-6, as Kźphas and more than 500 brothers. (The "more than" epanō, from yet another Buddhist source, MPS.)
A "structural concordance" may well be sufficient to establish a historical relationship, but to be on firm ground the broader context must also be taken into consideration, if possible.

What is decisive here, is that the Greek text of Matthew contains some Sanskritisms that can, of course, only be accounted for by assuming that the Sanskrit text enjoys the relative (chronological) priority.

These Sanskritisms in Matthew provide a "Buddhist fingerprint", as it were:

1. In the Greek of Matthew, two sentences are introduced by an euthus or eutheōs (Mt 14: 27 & 31). According to our Greek dictionaries euthus/eutheōs means "at once, immediately" - which does not make good sense here. In the Buddhist original atha introduces a new sentence, and means: then, and then. Hence the Greek has the sense of the Sanskrit. Here we have Sanskrit fingerprints.

2. The Greek kat“ idean in 14: 23 renders the Sanskrit ekānte, "aside", often said of the Lord.

3. In 14:28 & 29, the epi tźn thalassan/epi thalassźs of Job has been replaced by epi ta hudata, on the waters. This is highly revealing, for it reflects the San. udake, "on water". This noun was not derived from the quotation from Job! The San. and the Pāli had pi (from api) which in the Greek becomes epi.

4. Kāsyapas who had not yet been converted by the Buddha - the great ascetic - is transformed into Peter, who had little faith. Now we understand why Peter is also called Kźphas (John 1:42; 1 Cor 15:5 etc.). Behind Kźphas = Petros we have the Buddhist Kāsyapa(s). The consonants are similar.

5. The compound oligopistos in 14:31 is most revealing. It only occurs a few times in Matthew, and once in Luke. Otherwise, it is not attested in Greek before the NT.
It is derived from the San. alpotsukas, used in exactly the same context, when the Lord rebukes someone (esp. Māra, the "Devil"). San. alpas becomes Greek oligos, synonyms, and San. utsukas becomes pistos.-The corresponding abstract noun, oligopistia, Matthew 17:20 only, pentasyllabic, is a precise rendering of the San. compound hīnādhimuktitā, "little faith" (common in Mahāyāna scriptures; see the San. dictionaries for ref. to the Buddhist sources : MSV etc.).

The episode originally took place near Urubilvā near the river Nairanjanā, where the Bodhisattva (not yet a sa-buddha) attained perfect enlightenment as Buddha. Being one, he multiplied himself; being multiplied, he became one, the CPS says.

The authors of the gospels did exactly the same: one became many, many became one.
This literary device of turning one into many and many into one is absolutely fundamental for the "Buddhist" authors of the gospel. Ther can be several originals behind one "person", and one "person" can appear as several "persons". One must never ask for one source only. Otherwise one will sink into the water!

Matthew 14:22-36 forms a numerical unit. It consists of 222 words, i.e. one quarter of the most basic of all numbers, 888 - the number of Jesus. Matthew always has to serve several masters at the same time: The Buddhist sources, the Jewish sources (OT), sound and sense , and the Pythagorean requirements of textual geometry (called gematria by the Jews).


[18-03-2012] To Fulfil All Righteousness (Matthew 3:15)


The noun dikaiosunź, righteousness, has been used by Matthew seven times, and has, in recent years, given rise to numerous discussions and interpretations by theologians. There is, as always, an OT and Jewish backgound, but there is also a Buddhist one, which seems to have escaped notice.

The Buddhist source is not just important for a better understanding of Matthew 3:15, but also because it allows us to identify yet another of Matthew“s sources - the Prajnā-pāramitā (PP), still available in several Sanskrit recensions. The most important versions of the PP have been translated into English by the late Edward Conze.

The idea in Matthew is puzzling, if not hilarious: Take a quick dive in a river, and all righteousness will have been fulfilled!Jesus says to John that baptism is more or less the same as " quickly fulfilling all righteousness".

How so? - we do not know from Matthew alone! Obviously, he does not want us to know. It remains his own secret. The PP known as Suvikrāntavikrāmi-pariprcchā (ed. by Ryusho Hikata, Kyoto 1958, p. 4, line 5) provides us with the direct source:

The situation is this: A Bodhisattva by the name of Suvikrāntavikrāmī asks the Lord (Bhagavān) about "perfection of wisdom", prajnā-pāramitā. How does a Bodhisattva quickly attain the fulfilment of the dharma(s) of all-knowledge? That is the question.

The ideal of the PP is to attain knowledge of all dharmas (concepts, things, principles, laws etc.) . That knowledge, we learn from the Lord, is to see that all things (dharma) are empty. This is, in brief, the message of all the recensions of the PP.

The knowledge that sees all dharmas as being empty is the same as enlightenment, or sambodhi. A Bodhisattva who has attained sambodhi is a sambuddhas - "fully baptized".
The baptistheis in Mt 3:16 therefore translates the Sanskrit sambuddhas.

Matthew“s ten syllables: plźrōsai pasan dikaiosunźn is adirect translation of the Sanskrit (loc. cit.):sarvajnatā-dharma-paripūrim. San. paripūrim becomesGreek plźrōsai. San. sarva- jna-tā-dharma- means "the concept (dharma) of the state (-tā) of knowing (-jna-) all (sarva-), in short, omniscience.

In the PP, therefore, it is a question about the highest kind of knowledge, not about "righteousness" in any moral or practrical sense of the word.
We are dealing with Buddhist "gnosticism".

In the PP (ibid.) it is a question of the Bodhisattva living (caran) "in the prajnā- parāmitā", the locative form of which is the heptasyllabic:
prajnā-pāramitāyām. The seven syllables of Matthew 3:15 contains an obvious pun on the Sanskrit compound:
prepon estin hźmin.

Thus Jesus identifies PP with omniscience. He can do so as a sambuddhas.

A few lines later, PP is defined as being sarvadharmānām grāhikā, She (as a goddess) grasps all dharmas.

This identification allows us to make yet another identifcation: Matthew“s 3:15 ( 8 + 5 = 13 syllables): apokritheis de ho “Iźsous eipen pros auton is an echo of PP (ibid. p. 4, line 7-8 = 14 syllables): evam ukte Bhagavān ...bodhisat(t)vam avocat.

I have already pointed out in my book Geheimnisse (p. 357 for ref.) that the Greek: khreian (ekhō) hypo (sou) baptisthźnai in Matthew 3: 14 is a direct rendering of the Sanskrit: upasampādayitavya(h).

A teacher may then accept the novice and say to him : go forth! - pravrājetu.
This imperative, pravrājetu, accounts nicely for the otherwise quite obscure aphes arti in Matthew 3:15.

As known, it is only Matthew who places an arti after a verb. The reason, we now see, is that he imitates the Sanskrit.

On the whole, we here have a picture of a student coming to a teacher for initiation and enlightenment. This is Buddhist, and this is what some early Christians understood by baptism.

I hope these observations have established a historical link between the NT and the Buddhist PP. Matthew 13: 54 asks from where, pothen, Jesus has this wisdom, sophia. He does not reveal the source of this unusual sophia. A good question, indeed: The Greek hź sophia hautź probably rendersthe Sanskrit prajnā-pāramitā.

Matthew goes on to ask: Is the name of his mother not Mary? This fits very nicely with what we learn from the PP- sūtras: Typically, PP is depicted (also in Buddhist art) as the Mother of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and She is identified with Māyā, "Illusion". Thus Māyā, or PP, is the Mother of Jesus, the Sambuddhas.

Note, finally, that Matthew 13:53-58 forms a textual unit that consists of exactly 108 words - the " holy Buddhist number" (cf. my observations reprinted in Lockwood, op. cit., pp. 148 - 156; see also Lalitavistara, Chapter 4, on the 108 " Doors of Dharma"). It is thereby suggested that sophia has to do with counting (words, syllables etc.), as in Revelation 13:18 (arithmos gar anthrōpou estin = Saddharma-pundarīka-sūtram).

This is also the right place to recall that in all the PP (Sanskrit) texts, the number of syllables has been carefully counted, as reflected in the various titles of PP. Perfection of wisdom has, for sure, something to do with counting words and syllables. It is feature that the NT shares with many Buddhist scriptures. It is a fact that should never be ignored.

Matthew 13:55 provides a wonderful example of this "wisdom of numbers". Jesus is identified by a question - is he the son of the carpenter? estin ho tou tektonos huios, which is 565 + 70 + 770 + 1015 + 680 = 3100 = ho huios ho tou anthrōpou = The Son of Man. You have to count in order to identify "the son of the carpenter". That Matthew should use the PP is, in itself, not surprising. One of his other main Mahāyāna sources is the SDP, and the SDP also refers, briefly, to the PP. It may here be recalled that Edward Conze, comparing John“s Revelation with the PP in 1959, called attention to "close verbal coincidences" (see Michael Lockwood, Buddhism's Relation to Christianity", p. 260).

For the Lord taking a bath in the river, and for baptism in the original sense of initiation (upasampadā) there are other Buddhist sources (mainly CPS) , not to be found in the PP (but presupposed). Typically, Matthew combined various Buddhist sources.

Before I forget: The Oratio montana (Mt 5-7) is a sermon on dikaiosunź (Mt 5: 6 & 10 etc.), a Dharma-desanā ( San. desanā becomes Gr. didakhź in Mt 7:28). The hoiptōkhoi tō pneumati in 5:3 has always been difficult. In the PP (Hikata, p. 5, line 4), we have the compound daridra-cittas, a person of poor mind, poor-minded. The Greek ptōkhos pneumati would be a perfect rendering ot that San. compound.

In line 5, we have the San. compound hīnādhimuktikas, which would account well for the Greek oligo-pistos, Matthew 6:30 etc., a person of little faith. Normally, oligopistos translates alpotsukas, for sure.

  [15-03-2012]"She will give birth to a son" (Matthew 1:22)


The first seven syllables of Matthew 1: 22 are a direct translation from the Sanskrit of SBV I, p. 40. The Greek runs: teksetai de huion, which is as close to the original Sanskrit that one can possibly come: putram janayisyati.

More precisely, "Matthew" here combines the famous OT passage (Esaias 7:14) quoted in 1:23: "idou hź parthenos en gastri heksei kai teksetai huion...", with the Buddhist one just quoted. In 1:22 he adds a de in order to match the seven syllables of the Sanskrit. To be sure, when I here write "Matthew", I mean the unknown author or authors, who copied the SBV (a part of the MSV) in which "Matthew" is mentioned as a disciple of the Buddha, as I have pointed out elsewhere long ago (cf. Michael Lockwood, Buddhism“s Relation to Christianity, Chennai 2010, p. 232).

This method of combining two or more otherwise quite different passages with one or more words (or numbers) in common, is very typical of "Matthew" and the other evangelists. You have two or more  different texts with a few words in common; on that basis you create a third. It is easy - and fun -  to do, but difficult to trace since the sources are not mentioned.

The situation in the SBV is this:

The mother of the Bodhisattva is called Mahāmāyā, which becomes hź Mariam, also four syllables. She "sees" four dreams. In the first dream, a white "elephant" (i.e. a white cloud) enters her womb, San. kuksim. The San. kuksi - becomes the Greek synonym gastri (locative), in the womb. She informs the king of her dreams. The king calls upon some priests skilled in the interpretation of dreams.

They say: deva, yathā sāstre drstam - putram janayisyati..." Sir, as is seen in a book - she will give birth to a son...". In "Matthew" these priests are transformed into an angel of the Lord (aggelos kuriou), an OT motive. Just as the priests refer to the authority of a book, thus the angel in "Matthew" also refers to the authority of a book (viz. OT, in the LXX version). This angel says to Joseph: Son of David... the San. deva, Sir, God,  becomes Daueid. A few lines later (p. 41), we have the San. deva-putras, the source for the huios Daueid in Mt 1: 20.

In the SBV the priests predict that the child will either become a (worldly) king or leave his home in order to become a Tathāgata, a  famous saviour of mankind. The Bodhisattva was carried down from heaven (where there are many other god-sons, deva-putra) like a cloud driven by the power of the wind (māruta) into the womb.The wind becomes the holy pneuma of "Matthew" 1:18 and 1:20. There is nothing mysterious about a cloud being driven by the wind.

By leaving out the cloud, "Matthew" creates a great mystery. Easy for him, difficult for us. The Bodhisattva was born as the king of the Sākyas. Jesus was born as the king of the Jews. Both descended from heaven for exactly the same purpose - to teach us about righteousness and immortality.

A little later, we hear about the various names of the Bodhisattva - Greek to paidion, the boy (SBV I, p. 17-18). Sākya-munis is one of them; Devāti-devas, God above Gods, is another. Even the gods fall down at the feet of the prince (kumāra), and "let therefore the name of the prince be Devātideva (p. 48), for he is a god above (all other) gods. The OT source of "Matthew" spoke of his name as  Emmanouźl, which means, when translated, "With us is the God"- meth“ hźmōn ho theos. The name Em-manuo-źl is unique in the OT and NT. The source is Buddhist in both cases. The - manou - contains a pun on the Buddhist - munis, in Sākya-munis. (Yet another pun on Sākya-munis is found in the suka-minos of Luke 17:6.) The motive of the king, Herod, who, hearing this, becomes agitated, and all Jerusalem with him, is also inspired by the SBV, where we hear about the anxiety of the king (p. 67). The king was afraid that his son would leave the palace. He did. Jesus left for a foreign country, Egypt. Eventually, both of them returned.

In the original, the king is called Suddhodanas. One of the teachers of the Bodhisattva is Ārādas (p. 97). Thus king Herod, Hźrōdźs, is a combination of the king and the teacher.

What about the mother of Sākyamuni(s) - was she a parthenos, a virgin? This question is also taken up in the SBV (p. 34): When she was still an unmarried young girl, a dārikā, she was given the name Mahā-māyā, explained as "Great-beauty". Already when she was still an unmarried virgin, it was said that she would one day "give birth to a son" -  putram janayisyati. The San. dārikā means "a young girl", but from the context we can infer for sure that she was also a virgin. An unmarried girl who was not a virgin would have been an absolute scandal in the Buddhist/Indian context, as in the Jewish, of course. But once the Bodhisattva has entered her womb, she is no longer spoken of as a dārikā, only as the mother or as Mahāmāyā. She is never a mother and a dārikā at the same time. It is quite clear from the SBV that the dārikā had intercourse with the king before she gave birth to the Bodhisattva. But after she had given birth she no longer longed for any man, SBV, p. 43. She was then "like a virgin", if you wish.

So, to sum up so far: The idea in the SBV and in Esaias is the same. There is a young girl of whom it is predicted that she one day will become the mother of an extraordinary son. There is no suggestion whatsoever that she remains a virgin. The Buddhist and the OT sources know nothing of parthenogenesis. The Greek parthenos, the San. dārikā, and the Hebrew haalmah are synonyms. They refer to a young woman, a virgin, who later on becomes a mother in exactly the same way that all other girls may become mothers. She is never a virgin and a mother at the same time.

But when we come back to "Matthew", the situation is quite different. It has changed. There can be no doubt that "Matthew" introduces the concept of parthenogenesis.
Thus we have to look for yet another source. It was not "Matthew" who invented the paradox of a woman who was at the same time a virgin and a mother. Any Greek schoolboy would immediately be able to answer the question: Who is famous for being at the same time a virgin and a mother?

The answer is, of course: Athena. Did you never hear of the Parthenon?
I have previously  made the point that the Greek text of the NT often works on two levels at the same time. What appears as a paradox on the surface, is perfectly logical on the deeper or geomatrical level.

This rule also works here.

On the surface it is a paradox that a virgin is the mother of the Messiah. But not so once you look at the statement in terms of geometry:

First you draw a circle with the circumference 515, which is the number of Greek parthenos (80+1+100+9+5+50+70+200 = 515). The inscribed square is 464, which is the number of the mother, hź mźtźr. The double solar cross inscribed in the 515 circle ( = the square containing the 515 circle) is 656, the number of Messias.

So this nice drawing - which also looks like the sun -  tells you that a virgin (515)  is the mother (464)  of the Messias (656). Since 656 is also the number of Mary, the mother ( Mariam hź mźtźr = 192 + 8 + 456 = 656), the same drawing also tells you, that the Mother Mary is a virgin who is also at the same time the mother - of the Messias (if yet another square is drawn). Since Nazaret is also 464, you can go on and on. The diameter in the 515 circle is 164, which is the famous Athźnź Nikź (76+88 = 164), known to all from coins and from the Acropolis.

So, for the Greek readers of "Matthew" it must have been obvious, that the mother of Jesus was Athena. In the SBV the Bodhisattva is said to be a "boy-sun", bāla-sūrya.
It is, also in "Matthew", the Sun that is being born in the form of a man, Jesus.
Athena is his mother.

The idea that Athena was the mother of the Sun god is not at all original with "Matthew". For instance, Cicero, in his De natura deorum 3, 55, refers to an old myth according to which Minerva (=Athena) gave birth to Apollo, the Sun god. This myth was also known to some of the Christian authors. It can be traced back to Aristotle (see e.g. the references in Arthur Stanley Pease (ed.), M. Tvlli Ciceronis De natura deorum, Cambridge, Mass. p. 1105).

If Athena is the mother of Jesus - who, then, is his father? The answer is simple, when you look at how Jesus elsewhere identifies his heavenly father. It is Zeus. When the Greeks spoke of the God, ho theos, they meant Zeus. Jesus, the son of God, is thus the son of Zeus and his beloved daughter (Homer), Athena. The God is identified with the pneuma in John. Zeus was also identified with pneuma by the Stoic philosophers. So, again, Zeus is the father of Jesus. More about Zeus, the true father of Jesus later. To Leda he came as a white swan. To Māyā, Zeus came as a white cloud etc. etc.

All this has provided us with a glimpse into the workshop of "Matthew": His intention is to create a myth about a Jewish king. He already is familiar with the MSV which contains the myth of the king of Sākyas. He was also familiar with the OT, and he was very much familiar with Greek mythology and geometry. He uses and "translates" his Buddhists sources as if they had already been present in the OT. He does exactly the same with his Greek sources. The readers he first had in mind must therefore primarily have been Jews. The gospel of "Matthew" is an extreme but also typical case of Hellenistic syncretism.


[18-11-2011] Dr. Detering“s False Witnesses

Pope Benedikt XVI has stated, what is, of course, the official view of all bishops, priests, theologians and orthodox Christians all around the world, namely, "Jesus is not a myth, he is a man of flesh and blood, he stands as a reality in history".

But can we really rely on the Pope in this regard? Is his opinion based merely on faith, or on sound scholarship? Can we be sure that this Pope  is honest?  Even the most critical Protestant theologians cling to a historical Jesus, e.g. Bultmann: "To doubt that Jesus really existed is unfounded, and not even worth a word of refutation."

But there are others who think otherwise, and will have nothing of such papal arrogance. In Germany there was, for instance, Arthur Drews, and now there is, above all, Dr. Hermann Detering.

In his new book, Falsche Zeugen. Ausserchristliche Jesuszeugnisse auf dem Prüfstand, Dr. Detering reviews the external non-Christian testimonies for Jesus, i.e. the well-known passages from Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Suetonius, as well as the less known Mara bar Serapion and Thallus.

Dr. Detering“s method is historical and philological, reminding us of the great Eduard Norden. All views  expressed by German and foreign theologians, all pros and cons are taken into consideration. Detering“s  judgment is always informed,  fair and mature. The passage on Chrestus in Suetonius has nothing to do with Jesus known as Christus. The remaining passages in Josephus etc. are shown, very convincingly and with many fine philological observations  to be later Christian interpolations.

The motive for making these interpolations is also obvious. Once they had decided to turn their mythical hero into a historical person, they had to fabricate evidence in support. And so they did. When have Christians, starting with Paul,  have any problem with pia fraus if good for the church?

It is, therefore, wrong of theologians to claim that we here have external evidence for the historicity of Jesus called Christ.

Dr. Detering does not deal with the internal evidence of the NT. To him, however, Christianity still retains  a symbolic value, even if Jesus is just a myth, for: " The incarnation of the Logos is a grandiose religious idea." If looked upon as a historical fact that took place in the years 1 - 30, it becomes an intellectual monster.

For a historian who is familiar with Hellenistic religions and has no apologetic axe to grind, it ought to be fairly obvious that there is no solid internal evidence in the NT to support any claim of a historical Jesus.

There were numerous  sons of god  in those days, and Jesus is just one of them. Nor should there be any doubt about the true identity of his heavenly father, ho patźr ho ouranios, i.e. Zeus.

When the Greeks spoke of the God, ho theos, they meant Zeus.  Zeus had many sons, typically  called kings (anax, basileus), and Jesus is his Jewish son, and king of Israel. Mary was, alas,  not the only virgin with whom Zeus had a son, as all theologians ought to keep in mind.

But theologians will want to ignore all these simple and obvious facts. They will want to ignore the excellent detective work of Dr. Detering, just as they ignored or defamed the  work of Arthur Drews, and just as they have decided to ignore the fact that "the Greek of the New Testament (is) a patchwork of various passages from Buddhist scriptures, originally written in Sanskrit and Pāli" (Michael Lockwood, Buddhism“s Relation to Christianity, Chennai 2010, p. 250).

If we share Dr. Detering“s faith in the incarnation of the Logos as a grandiose religious idea, this must also imply a greater openness in regard to other Hellenistic religions, for we are here dealing with ideas that have Orphic and Pythagorean roots. That, however, is another topic, about which one would like to hear more from Dr. Detering.

One of the very few things I missed in Dr. Detering“s book was a discussion of Hadrian“s letter to Servianus, where the Roman emperor (117-138)  writes:...illic qui Serapim colunt, Christiani sunt et deuoti  sunt Serapi, qui se Christi episcopos dicunt..etc. The contents of this letter does not suggest a later interpolatio christiana. Nor  can it be taken as evidence of a historical Christ, rather on the contrary.
On p. 37 read legomenou for legemonou.


[11-11-2011] A Lindtnerian Revolution is needed...

Buddhism’s Relation to Christianity. A Miscellaneous Anthology with Occasional Comment

This is the title of the first extensive and highly qualified critique of the CLT. The author is Professor emeritus Michael Lockwood, who has taught philosophy for 32 years at Madras Christian College. Dr Lockwood is an accomplished scholar who has published translations from the Sanskrit and brought out a book about Indian art etc.
He is also a scholar of Greek and Hebrew, and thus in a good and rare position to take part in the important debate suggested by the title of the book that has just appeared in Chennai, India (Tambaram Research Associates). The book - 288 pages, beautifully produced - contain the following sections:

1. A survey of two hundred years of scholarly work on the remarkable parallelism between the messages and lives of the Buddha and Jesus.

2. Buddhist sculptures that parallel episodes in the Christian scriptures.

3. The inscriptions of King Ashoka, revealing the spreading abroad of the Buddhist doctrine of Dharma, as far as Egypt and other countries around the Mediterranean. Many parallels between Buddhist and Christian doctrines are pointed out.

4. The widespread legend of Christian sainthood during medieval times; how the Buddha was somehow turned into a Christian saint.

5. Only Buddhism and Christianity have made extensive use of parables - and the Buddhists came first!

6. Various parallels in the sayings of the Buddha and Jesus.

7. Various pioneering developments achieved by Buddhism, as a missionary religion, prior to similar developments in Christianity.

8. The debate about the historicity of Jesus. Various arguments for and against are considered.

9. A closer look at two examples of "extreme revisionism", holding that Jesus was not a historical person, and that the evangelists who wrote The New Testament, were crypto-Buddhists: "The pioneer of this extreme revisionism is the Danish Sanskrit scholar, Christian Lindtner. The strong reactions to his radical views have illustrated the basis of the Indian warning not to inquire too deeply into the origin of God-men and rivers."

The learned author reproduces almost all the entries on www.jesusisbuddha.com, and offers his extremely competent and mature critique with a full command of the Indian and Christian sources in question.

He writes, inter alia (. 143): "The Danish academic, Christian Lindtner, is one of the foremost scholars arguing that the so-called 1 st century CE person of Jesus is really a disguised projection of the historic Buddha by the New Testament evangelists who are themselves, crypto-Buddhists, basing much of their writings on Indian Buddhist Sanskrit and Pāli sources. Lindtner’s theories and writings, quite predictably, have been considered outrageous and hurtful by Christian circles. Some of his critics have also accused him of being a Holocaust denier and of having various other moral flaws. These accusations have no relevance whatsoever to academic issues - his critics, in this, commit the ad hominem fallacy in reasoning, the most widespread of fallacies! There have been, thus, very few qualified attempts to refute Lindtner’s views, as there are very few persons with the linguistic qualifications to support such refutations: a command of the various languages of the Buddhist scriptures and writings, as well as a command of the languages of the Jewish and Christian scriptures and writings."

Furthermore, Lindtner has established that passages of the Greek New Testament were translated from Sanskrit and Pāli (p. 250): "Early Gnostic scholars were, in fact, the very creators of what were to become the canonical Gospels of the New Testament -allegorical narratives about Jesus the Messiah composed using a strange ingenious process of creatively translating into the Greek of the New Testament a patchwork of various passages from Buddhist scriptures, originally written in Sanskrit and Pāli. The use of this method of "transcription" from Sanskrit and Pāli into Greek has been firmly established by Christian Lindtner."

So, to conclude,  what now is needed, is "a Lindtnerian Revolution" (p. 241): "What is needed is a paradigmatic shift - a Lindtnerian Revolution - in  outlook, which, of course, will entail a change in outlook far more unsettling to traditional Christianity than even Darwin's Theory of Evolution has been!"

These are brave words! Professor Lockwood can be happy that he is now emeritus!
When Lindtner wrote words to the same effect in 1998 the immediate reaction from "academics" was the demand to have his books burned and himself prevented, by any means, from doing further research into the Buddhist sources of Christianity.



Rosaries and Catacombs - and the Pope's Tiara


One of the most obvious cases of Buddhist influence on early Christian cult is provided by the Rosary - Latin: rosarium. Typically, the Buddhist rosary consists of 108  beads. Burmese monks are known to have used rosaries consisting of 72 beads, i.e. 2/3 of 108. Sikhs also use strings with 108 beads for prayer, and so did the ancient followers of Vishnu., who, perhaps, influenced the Buddhists. Among some Muslims the number is normally 99. The original Catholic Rosary also consisted of 108 beads (ten decades for Ave Maria, and eight units  for Pater Noster)

But why is the rosary called a rosary - a rosarium? Where do the roses come in?
The correct  explanation, it seems, was first given by the German Indologist, A.F. Weber (1825-1901). To understand the Latin term one must first identify the original Sanskrit:

The Sanskrit is japa-mālā, i.e. a string or garland, mālā, for prayer, japa-. This compound noun is well-attested in Sanskrit. If a small change is made, we arrive at japā-mālā (with the long a = ā), which is an entirely different story. Sanskrit japā- means a "rose", which has nothing at all to do with japa, which, as said, means "prayer" or , more precisely, "mumbling". It is therefore obvious that the Latin rosarium is a translation of the Sanskrit japā-mālā - not of the "correct" japa-mālā. This does not mean that those who coined the Latin rosarium  simply misunderstood the Sanskrit japa-mālā. Perhaps they simply found the Sanskrit japā-mālā more "poetical", more charming.

In any case, the original meaning of the rosarium is only clear when the Sanskrit japa-/japā-mālā be kept in mind. It is easy to see that the translation would not work in the opposite direction: from Latin rosarium there is a straight way back to japā-mālā, but not to japa-mālā. Weber, it seems, took japā to be a misunderstanding of japa. But, as said, that is probably not the case. We are rather, as so often in the field of comparative gospel studies, dealing with deliberate distortions, or "funny translations".  I have already, passim,  pointed out numerous such cases of "deliberate misunderstandings".

Coming back to the number of beads, it is known that the figure  108 is important for the Buddhists in many ways. For instance, the fundamental Sanskrit version of the Middle Path (madhyamā pratipad) consists of exactly 4 x 27, or 108 words etc. etc. The number 108 is, moreover, often found in the number of words or syllables of a given textual unit in the Greek New Testament. The number 108 thus links up early Christianity with Indian Buddhism in more than one way. It is a Buddhist "fingerprint".

More examples of early Christian cult being influenced by Buddhism will be found in the learned book of Richard Garbe: Indien und das Christentum. Eine Untersuchung der religionsgeschichtlichen Zusammenhänge, Tübingen 1914 (reprinted, with a new Foreword, by Lühe-Verlag, Süderbrarup 2004), pp. 117- 127. Let me add to Garbe“s observations  by pointing to the noun "catacomb", the meaning of which is as clear as the etymology is unclear. The Latin cata-cumba is sometimes explained as  formed by dissimilation from Latin cata tumbas, which , again, is supposed to be from the Greek kata, "down", and tumbas, acc.plur. of Late  Latin tumba, "grave. tomb". I suggest that we rather  have to look for Sanskrit caitya-kumbhas. The San. caitya- means a "tomb", and kumbhas is common Buddhist usage for  a pot or urn (e.g. in the MPS).

The Catacombs, the underground cemeteries in or around Rome used by the early Christians, thus derived their name from Sanskrit caitya-kumbhās (nom. plural), "tomb-urns". This hypothesis does, of course, not exclude that the Sanskrit, later on, was assimilated to a Greek-Latin compound - kata-tumbas, or catacumba(s). At that point, as natural, the Sanskrit original had been forgotten. The Latin-Greek compound sounds, to my ear, like yet another "funny translation".
A funny translation, for sure, is involved when we finally  look at the tiara, the Pope“s triple crown. Tddress. I imagine that Garbe was right  (op. cit., p. 117) when he pointed out that the he Greek is tiara, and the Oriental origin is generally assumed - the ancient Persian heaetymology has to be found in Sanskrit (and Pāli) cīvaram, the Buddhist mendicant“s dress. But let us not cause offense to  the Holy Father by following this historical trace further! Or is there really any good cause for offense on papal part? After all, the first Pope, PeTRoS,  was no other that PuTRaS, the first disciple, known to all Buddhists as Sāri-Øputras. He, too, wore his cīvaram - but, true, not on the top of his head!
Dr. Chr. Lindtner
September 27, a.D. 2010.



The Mysterious Comforter (paraklźtos) of John


Once the MPS (part of the Mūlasarvāstivādavinaya, MSV)  and the Lotus (SDP) have been identified as the two main  Buddhist sources of the four NT gospels, it is not difficult to identify the original  behind the "mysterious" Comforter", or para-klźtos, mentioned by John 14:16; 15:26; 16:7; and 1 John 2:1.

From these NT passages we learn that Jesus promises his disciples that his father, God, will give them another paraklźtos; that he, Jesus, will send to them from the Father, God, and that the paraklźtos will come only after the departure of Jesus.

In 1 John 2:1 this mysterious paraklźtos is identified with Jesus Christ, being with the Father. The other gospels do not mention the paraklźtos. This is all we have. The Latin is either paraclitus, which is not helpful, or advocatus, misleading, as will be seen. The Buddhist source is obvious - it is MPS 41.2 (ed. Waldschmidt, Berlin 1951, p. 386). The Lord Buddha comforts the monks by saying that once he has passed away there will be another teacher, or refuge (nihsaranam).

This teacher or refuge is the Prāti-moksas, that the Lord has pointed out to the monks twice a month. The Prātimoksas is the name of the set of rules or precepts Buddhist monks have to follow. Buddhist scholars, for various reasons (style, language etc.) , agree that the Prātimoksas belongs to the early strata of Buddhist literature. The etymology of the noun Prāti-moksas (Pāli pātimokkha) is unclear. The usual Tibetan translation is so sor thar pa, suggesting "individual release".

The meaning of the term is, however, clear from the context: Normally, the Lord is the teacher who gives the rules etc. for monks (and, later, nuns) to abide by. Once the person, the Lord as a teacher is no longer there, the set of rules will serve as replacement, as substitute.

John 14:15 confirms that the para-klźtos has to do with "rules", entolas (acc. plur.). Now, the NT gospels are not addressed to Buddhist monks, but to common  people, Jews etc., in general - lucky people, poor in spirit, who will win the kongdom of god, or heaven (i.e. the Christian  nirvānam). Thus it would be quite wrong to expect a Greek version of the entire  Prātimoksas. The term para-klźtos thus necessarily becomes vague, or general, compared to the strict set of regulations and precepts  that are so characteristic of the Buddhist Prātimoksas in its numerous recensions.

In the Sermon on the Mount there are several echoes of the Prātimoksas, to which I shall come back elsewhere. English translations include "Helper", "Comforter", etc., but thanks to the Buddhist original we see that "Replacement", "Substitute" comes closer to the meaning intended in both sources. This, again, may be helpful for understanding the original meaning of the term Prāti-moksas. San. prati not only has a distributive sense ("individual", as the Tibetan so sor  has it), but can also mean "instead of". Along with a noun for a "nose", for instance, it comes to mean "an artificial nose" - a new nose (artificial) instead of the old (natural) one. San. moksas surely means "liberation, release". In a compound with prati becoming prāti, it acquires the sense of a release instead of the normal one - the one provided by the Lord as a teacher of precepts.

The Prātimoksas thus comes to carry the sense of a body of precepts serving as a teacher of liberation when the real teacher has passed into final nirvānam. San. Prāti-moksas, just as Greek para-klźtos, thus means "the personification of the precepts as a teacher replacing the real one once he has passed away". In other wordsØ- The Preceptor (to retain the masculine noun) serving as a substitute, or Replacement, for the original one.

Actually, the basic idea is quite simple, and fundamental to the Lotus: The sūtram contains the words of the Lord. Once the Lord has passed away, we are left with his words in the sūtram. The sūtram thus embodies the Lord. The cult of the Lord is replaced by thge cult of the sūtram. The cult of the sūtram finds its culmination in the recitation of the title of the sūtram. This why there are so many puns of the title of the Lotus - as I have already pointed out in my book Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus.

I need not add that just as one can conceive Christianity without the mysterious para-klźtos, thus one  cannot conceive (early) Buddhism without Prāti-moksas. In other words: NT must here have been influenced by Buddhism - not the other way around. So the identifiaction of the paraklźtos is also important for the problem of relative chronology.

Dr. Christian Lindtner
September 17, a.D. 2010.



The Middle Path of Matthew 5:3-10


It must be due to simple ignorance that scholars have overlooked the obvious fact that the eight Beatitudes of Matthew 5:3-10 are based on the eight virtues (or dharmas)  that lead to Nirvāna. The Sermon on the Middle Path (MP) leading to Nirvāna was the first major sermon given to the five disciples of Tathāgata, just as the Sermon on the eight "beatitudes" leading to the kingdom of Heaven,  ouranos.  Heaven, was the main topic of the first sermon addressed by Jesus to his disciples surrounded by five groups of people. The setting is thus exactly the same: The Lord was  speaking about eight virtues, factors or circumstances leading to the same goal. Once again, Jesus therefore is a Tathāgata in disguise, and, as usual, the authors of the gospels did their job by way of deception. Whether one likes it or not, the NT gospels are plagiary, or pirate copies. (This genre was not uncommon in those days, cf. e.g. Eduard Stemplinger, Das Plagiat in der griechischen Literatur, Leipzig 1912/1990.)
Let us first have a brief look at Matthew 5:3-10 from a more formal point of view. It consists of two numerically equal units: 3-6 consist of 18+18 = 36 words. Here, verses 3-4 consist of 12+6 words, and verses 5-6 of  8+10 words, i.e. 2 x 18 words. In the second part, verses 7-8 consist of 6 + 10 words, whereas verses 9-10 consist of  8 + 12 words, giving us again the sum of 2 x 18 = 36. It is quite obvious that here,  as always, Matthew carefully counted the words. Matthew also counted the syllables: The first part consists of exactly 90 syllables, or 5 x18 syllables. The second part, verses 7-10, consists of 98 syllables, or 5 x 18, with an extra 8 syllables, perhaps intended to correspond to the number of beatitudes. The ratio of syllables and words is 188:72, which is 2.61111...(this ratio  is highly revealing, see below!)

His  Buddhist source  (SBV, ed. Gnoli, p. 134) also counted the number of words and syllables in the same fashion: The Buddhist text on the MP  in its Sanskrit version shows the same geometrical structure or pattern. It consists of a total of 108 words, neatly arranged in four units each consisting of  exactly 27 words. The author of the Sanskrit MP likewise counted the number of syllables (and even letters!) , which of course goes to confirm the gematria  (textual geometry) of the words. One level thus supports another. The mutuality excludes sheer coincidence. With his 2 x 36 = 72 words, Matthew thus represents two thirds of the original 108 words of the Sanskrit MP text. The figure 108 is, as known a "holy number" for Christians as well as Buddhists. It occurs in various contexts, and is ultimately based on the pentagon or pentagram, characterized by the angles that measure 108 degrees. The pentagon or pentagram represents the divine proportion, as known. Coming back to the ratio 188:72 in Matthew, we now see that the divine proportion is involved , for 72 x 1.618.. gives us 116.496, and 116.496 x 1.618 gives us 188.490... The round number 188 was the number of syllables in Matthew 5:3-10. Matthew thus conceived 5:3-10 as a unit with the divine proportion (1.618..) as his rod of measure. In the Sanskrit version of the MP, the Tathāgata addresses the five monks, or rather, to be precise,  the monks belonging to a group of five. The Sanskrit word is pancakān - an obvious pun on Greek pentagon. In the Sanskrit MP the divine proportion is also repeatedly reflected in the ratio of words and syllables.
Let us then have a brief look at the contents of the Beatitudes in relation to their Buddhist source: Paying attention to textual symmetry, Matthew starts (v.3) and ends (v. 10) with the  statement that the disciples are "happy" - makarioi - BECAUSE they have or posses the Kingdom of Heaven - hź basileia tōn ouranōn. There is thus a causal relationship, not very clearly articulated, between being makarios and having the basileia tōn ouranōn. The reason is introduced twice with hoti autōn, six times by hoti autoi. It is clear that the Kingdom of Heaven somehow replaces the Buddhist idea of Nirvāna.

In other words, when "Matthew" translated the Sanskrit word Nirvānam, he chose, first, basileia tōn ouranōn. We here have to look closer at the noun ouranōn, in the genitive plural. Interestingly, the Buddhists themselves faced problems with understanding the term Nirvāna(m), and this we must keep in mind. Sometimes it was taken as pointing  to a peaceful state of mind, without any passions or worldy concepts.  Sometimes it was taken as indicating  a place that could not be grasped or pointed out etc. (See e.g. my book  Master of Wisdom, pp. 320-322.) There was nothing to prevent the Buddhist monks from splitting Nirvānam up: nir-vānam, as if meaning meaning NO vānam. Such "funny etymologies" , nirukti, are quite common in Buddhist Sanskrit texts, and were imitated by the NT Gospels. This is how the Greek ouranos was chosen -  ou-ranos, meaning NO ranōn (Greek -ranōn thus = San. -vānam). Many similar examples will be found in the Prajnāpāramitā. (Compare also San. gani-kā, coutesan becoming a certain woman, gunź tis.)
Among the Buddhists the term Nirvānam always carries a connotation of peace.
To reproduce this idea, Matthew 5:9 chose the Greek noun eirźno-poios. This is the only place in the NT where it occurs. He must have had a special reason for introducing it. One modern translation says: " Happy are those who work for peace among men" - but such an understanding misses the point completely. The Sanskrit behind eirźnopoioi (masc. plural) must be the term nirodha-gāminī, which is an adjective to pratipad, path, more or less a synonym of mārga(s), way,  path. Here, nirodha- is a synonym of nirvāna-. It means "leading to Nirvāna/nirodha. So, the idea is that the makarioi are happy in the sense that they bring about peace (of mind) for themselves. This means that they ascend to heaven. Once they are in heaven, they are known as deva-putras, sons of god, or god-sons. And only then does one understand why Matthew 5:9 introduces the term huioi theou - sons of god. The Greek huios theou is an exact rendering of Sanskrit deva-putras, son (putras) of deva, which means god (devas = Lat. deus = Greek theos). The idea that the disciples of Jesus may become "sons of god" makes little sense in the context of the NT, or even in the context of Christianity in general. It does, however, make perfect sense in the original Buddhist context, where there are numerous sons of god (as among the Greeks).  When Tathāgata passed into final Nirvāna, his "precious body"  somehow went up to the world of Brahmā - and that world was inhabited by numerous deva-putras. Four of them were even present at his birth (Gnoli, p. 42). Matthew  (5:6 and 10) also mentions the term dikaiosunź, which can only be a translation of the Sanskrit dharma(s). From the bilingual Indo-Greek coins we know that the  San. adjective  dharmikas (var. spellings)  is rendered by dikaios etc. In Matthew 7:28, the sermon as a whole is described as a didakhź, which, again can only be Sanskrit desanā. Likewise, the MP belongs to a group of teachings described as a dharma-desanā. The dharma-desanā of Tathāgata is thus know to all Christians in the disguise of the didakhź dikaiosunźs of Jesus - the false Tathāgata.
To conclude for now: I am, of course, not claiming that the Sanskrit MP is the only source of the Eight Beatitudes of Matthew. There are, as known, also Jewish sources. There are beatitudes in the OT, and there are beatitudes from Qumran (4Q525). They can easily be looked up. In the Qumran fragments it is Wisdom, sophia, that is praised for bringing about beatitude. That, of course, is a typical Buddhist idea -  prajnā or jnāna bringing about Nirvānam. To some extent the terms are synonyms. (This suggests that Qumran also has the same Buddhist MP source!) One of the most embarrassing problems facing modern theologians is the fact that they cannot locate the mountain on which Jesus is supposed to have given his famous sermon. This has even led some to speak of a "theological mountain" - which must mean a purely imaginary mountain. How can a man - even Jesus - stand on a mountain that is not on the map! Of course, Matthew would not want to mention the name of the mountain! The true mountain, source criticism now informs us, is to be located in  ancient Benares (Vārānasī - Rishivadana).
Yet another observation. If we take Matthew 5:11 into account, we arrive at nine beatitudes. The disciples will be persecuted, like prophets before them, says Jesus.
There is also a Buddhist background for this, and it is reflected here in Matthew:
Among those who listen to Tathāgata, some are positive, others negative. Those who rejects the Aryans (= Buddhists) will, after their passing away, turn up in hell among the inhabitans of hell.(Very nicely, San. nārakas becomes Greek nekros.)  Those having a correct view of the Aryans, will turn up among the gods (deva) in the world of Heaven - svarga-loka (Gnoli, p. 118, 158 etc.). The technical phrase āryānām apavādakāh, eight syllables, is rendered by Matthew 5:11 as kai eipōsin pan ponźron, also eight syllables.

For the Buddhist source of such warnings of the Lord, one also  has to turn to the Lotus. If one collects the various passages on persecution in the NT, it will be seen that nearly all of them can be traced back to the Saddharmapundarīkasūtram - the Lotus or SDP. Jesus, in other words, was speaking to Buddhist missionaries actively propagating the Dharma-desanā among the Jews. But also, as just pointed out (Gnoli, p. 118, p. 158), to  those who as āryānām anapavādakāh svargaloke devesūpapadyante. So, as usual, Matthew combines several Buddhist and Jewish sources.

Let me finally come back to 108 - the holy number of the Buddhists. As pointed out, Matthew 5:3-10 consists of 72 words, or two thirds of 108, the number of words in the Sanskrit MP (Gnoli, p. 134). But our story does not end here.  Matthew 5: 11  consists of 16 words, and 5:12, the final verse, consists of 19 words, adding up to 35 words for these two final verses. Adding 72 and 35 we arrive at a total of 107  words - whereas we would expect a total of 108 words. It is thus not quite impossible  that the textus receptus of Matthew (Nestle-Aland etc.)  has to be emended accordingly. However, I think that the number 107 (rather than the expected 108) was intended by Matthew. By letting this textual unit consist of 107 words he managed to place three words right in the middle, viz. makarioi hoi eirźnopoioi (verse 5:9a) - happy are those who bring about eirźnź- where eirźnź therefore translates the nirvānam of his Buddhist source. There is special focus on the word eirźnź, since it is the first word in the second half of the textual unit of 107 words. Matthew is saying: Look at the word eirźnź!  So we have two different words for the goal of the Buddhist path - first heaven, then peace. This technique of drawing special attention to a fundamental idea of a given textual unit was also used by Luke.

Thus, H.J. de Jonge made the important observation that in Luke 2:41-51a, a pericope of exactly 170 words, the word  "in the middle", mesō (in v. 46) is the 85th word, and the phrase "in the middle of the teachers", en mesō tōn didaskalōn, therefore forms the mathematical centre of the pericope. (See, M.J.J. Menken, Numerical literary techniques in John, Leiden 1985, p. 18 for ref.). Buddhist texts on dharma, as said, make a distinction between two ideals - that of nirvānam, and that of a pleasant rebirth in heaven, svargas.

This distinction is reflected in Matthew when he uses the two terms eirźnź and ouranos. Both are obtained by the practice of dharma - Greek dikaiosunź.
For long, I was unsure about the Sanskrit original behind the Greek makarios. One could think of kalyānas, sukhin, tustas etc. There are many synonyms. But we must stick to the context in question. Matthew mentions makarioi eight (+ one) times. He places it right in the middle along with the Buddhist eirźnopoioi, as pointed out above.

In the Buddhist MP text only one word appears eight times - namely samyag/samyak, the "correct" view, speech etc. Obviously, the eight Buddhist samyak-s become the eight Christian makarioi. The original consonants are retained: S-M-K. The eight happy ones of Jesus were thus originally the eight correct modes of behaviour of Tathāgata. By following this eight-fold path one arrives at Nirvāna or svarga - eirźnź or ouranos. (For more on the "Christian Nirvāna", cf. Erich Dinkler, EIRENE: Der urchristliche Friedensgedanke, Heidelberg 1973. Buddhist influence is not limited to the NT.) This was the topic of the first sermon of Tathāgata aka Jesus. The sermon took place on a mountain near Benares - the "theological mountain" of Christian  theologians. It was the first dharma-desanā of the mythical Jesus. What he had to say was something he had somehow discovered or experienced at the river - Matthew 3:15. Exactly as the Bodhisat(t)va discoved his Dharma at the river.

Jesus never really makes it clear, WHERE, on the map, this odd kingdom of heaven (or of god) is to be located. But I have already pointed out elsewhere, that the kingdom of heaven must have been Kapilavastu, where Tathāgata spoke to Brahmā, Sakra(s), Kubera(s) and the other sons of god. They appear in the disguise of Abraham, Isaak and Iakōbos in Matthew 8:11 (Gnoli, p. 196). And in the NT Kapila-vastu appears as Kaphar-naoum, Matthew 8:5 etc. We now also understand why the NT speaks not only only of Heaven, but also of the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Kingdom of God, to the same effect. Tathāgata was the son of the king of Kapilavastu. This king was addressed as "deva", "king". The Kingdom of God is therefore the kingdom of the king of Kapilavastu, the father of Sākyamuni(s), or Tathāgata(s), the ksatriyas (= ho khristos). At the same time, Kapilavastu is surely  a mythical kingdom, located on the slopes of the Himalaya mountains. It is up there in the sky, almost in heaven. So, what Jesus is saying is that his disciples will be happy when the end up in the mythical kingdom of Kapilavastu along with the other devaputra-s. In this way he is using skilful means, upāya-kausalyam, even "tricks", to convert common people to the Dharma. For the same reason, of course, he charges his disciples that they should tell no man that he was the Christ , Matthew 16:20. But as historians we conclude: The  first part of the Sermon on the Mount is, therefore the NT version of the Middle Path. Buddhist Nirvāna is found in the very middle.
Dr. Christian Lindtner
September 2, a.D. 2010



The Anointing at Bethany - Matthew 26:6-13 par


When the authors of the NT gospels composed their work, they did so by combining bits and pieces meticulously compiled  from different sources in different languages: Greek, Hebrew, Latin and - above all - Sanskrit. In so doing they followed certain rules - the so-called middoth cherished by learned rabbis - even to this day. Here and there they had to  add a few words of their own, e.g. conjunctions such as  kai, "and". But even indications of time and place were copied directly from Buddhist sources. They always carefully counted the number of words and syllables, reflecting their deep interest in gematria. The Buddhists shared this interest in gematria, and the background is, of course, Greek. Already in the OT we see that the Septuaginta is based on Greek textual geōmetria - from which we have gematria.

Nearly all the motives found in the NT gospels can be found in other ancient sources - healings, walking on water, flying in the air, resurrection from the dead etc. etc. Scholars have already long ago traced most of these to Buddhist, Egyptian, Greek and other  sources etc. In spite of its age, Carl Clemen, Religionsgeschichtliche Erklärung des Neuen Testaments, Giessen 1924 (repr. 1973) still provides a qualified  discussion of most of the parallels.

Our task as philologists  is clear: We want to look over the shoulders of "Matthew" and his colleagues as they were sitting there in their workshop at the table compiling and pasting together bits and pieces from various sources, as said, in various languages.

The Hebrew sources have been collected by Hermann Strack and Paul Billerbeck in their indispensable Kommentar zum Neuen Testament; and for the classical sources we have the Old and the New Wettstein - as far as it goes. Wettstein, when he published his Novum Testamentum Graecum, Amsterdam 1751/52, collected about 30000 parallels from Greek and Latin authors. Der neue Wettstein, which is being published by Udo Schnelle and Manfred Labahn in Halle continues this important work. The first volume, being a commentary on Mark, presents about 1300 texts from Hellenistic authors. The rules according to which the NT gospels were fabricated may be found in Hermann L: Strack“s book: Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, New York 1959. What is stilled needed to complete the picture of the NT sources is a set of reference volumes collecting the Buddhist sources of the NT.

It goes without saying that it follows from source criticism that Jesus, the hero of our story, is a literary figure, like Donald Duck, not at all  a historical person, like Augustus.
The episode of the Anointing at Bethany is reported by all four evangelists, with significant variants: Matthew 25:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50, and John 12:1-8.
The Lord is staying in a house in Bethany (not mentioned by Luke). A certain woman, a sinner (hamartōlos) comes to him with  an alabaster jar filled with an expensive perfume (muron barutimon), which she then pours on his head etc. The motive of a woman bringing precious perfume to the Lord so that its fragrance spreads all over town, has been taken from another Buddhist text, closely related, in fact, to the MPS, the Avadānasatakam  (see H.W. Schomerus, Ist die Bibel von Indien abhängig?, München 1932, p. 172). Here the woman with the sandal salve falls down at the feet of the Lord, and prays that she will be reborn as a man. The motive of the fragrance that spreads all over town has left its scent in John 12:3:" The sweet smell of the perfume filled the whole house."

But the main Buddhist source is, as so often, the Mahāparinirvānasūtram 12:4 par. (ed. Waldschmidt, Berlin 1951, p. 188). Here it is the famous courtesan (ganikā) Āmrapāli who comes and serves a meal to the Lord and his disciples, the monks. The food, with which she serves them, is described as sucinā pra-nītena (instrumental case). She serves it "with her own hand".

Matthew speaks of a muron that is barutimon - a perfume (oil) that is very precious. Mark speaks of a muron (made) of nard that is pure (and) very expensive. Luke only mentions the perfume, muron. John has a muron of nard that is pistikź and polutimos. The nard, also mentioned by Pliny et al., is the name of an Indian plant used for perfume (Nardus spica Valeriana; Sanskrit naladam). The San. pra-nītena (four syllables) is rendered by baru-timon (Matthew) , by polu-telźs (Mark), and by poly-timos (John) - three variant renderings, equally valid,  of one and the same original San. adjective.

It should be noted that the San. combines the two adjectives without a word for "and". The Greek of Mark and John imitatates the asyndeton. The rare pistikos, only given by Mark and John, is a perfect rendering of San. sucinā (instrumental case of suci-). In normal Greek pistikos means "reliable, trustworthy". The context suggests "pure" - which is confirmed by the San. original, which, in fact, simply means "pure".

This all goes to show that Mark and John used the same source as Matthew, but also that they used it independently. In particular, they all struggled with the San. adjective pra-nītas (mask. nom.). They offered three different versions, Luke left it out.

There are, moreover, several puns on the name of the celebrated courtesan from Vaisālī(later becoming Vézelay of Mary Magdalene  in France!) , Āmra-pāli-ganikā:
1. The murou in all four evangelists, has a pun on āmra.

2.  The gunź hź-tis, a certain woman, in Luke contains a pun on gani-kā (where -kā is taken as if a pronoun, still  acc. to middoth). - Luke“s en tź polei hamartōlos, in the town,  is clearly an echo of -pāli and āmra-pāli(s) - with t for p in - tōlos.

3. The apōleia in Matthew and Mark is yet another pun on her name.

When John mentions Lazaros, this name is a pun on Licchavis, with whom Āmrapāli is explicitly associated. John is also the only evangelist here to identify the woman as Mariam - i.e. as Āmram (accusative form), the "Mango girl".
According to Jesus, the woman poured perfume over his body in order to prepare it for burial ahead of time. That is, of course, a ridiculous explanation for her odd behaviour, but it shows nicely what kind of paradoxes one can run into when combining several different sources as the evangelists did here, as elsewhere.

But for the oil in connection with the burial - or rather: cremation - of the Lord, they again used the same Buddhist source - the Mahāparinirvānasūtram. The same source also has the Lord explain to his disciples how they have to prepare for his cremation. Since episodes from the MPS are attested in Buddhist art dating from B.C., there can - if only for this reason - be no doubt about the priority of the sources. As I have already pointed out, the 46 syllables of Luke 10:38 were also based on the same source, Mahāparinirvānasūtram 10:3 = 11:1 and 15:4 - cf. my Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus, p. 111 for some details.

John 12:6 mentions the thief and the rare glōssokomon, far too  freely translated as "money bag". This refers to the evil monk who, during the last meal of the Lord, stole a loha-karotakam, a bowl of copper (or gold, or iron), as mentioned in  MPS 26:16. John“s explanation of the behaviour of the thief is different. He, the traitor, wants to sell the salve so that he can steal the (ridicously) large amount of  money it brings. In the Buddhist original the monk steals the bowl because he is an evil monk. In the Buddhist original the theif becomes a traitor by stealing. In John he alrady is a traitor, who also wants to steal.

It is a great pity that authors still publish books about Mary Magdalene,  passing over the direct Buddhist sources as if they did not exist (cf. e.g. Margaret Starbird, Magdalene“s Lost Legacy. Symbolic Numbers and the sacred Union in Christianity, Rochester, Vermont 2003). Please note that some of the observations here made, were first published in The Adyar Library Bulletin 64 (2000), pp. 151-170. A few repetitions were unavoidable.
Dr. Christian Lindtner
August 11, a.D. 2010



Solving the unsolved question of Matthew 22:41- 46


All Buddhists and  Buddhologists are familiar with the curious  fact that the Buddha, according to the scriptures,  left certain questions unsolved, undecided  or unanswered, e.g. - is the world eternal or is it not eternal? etc. The reason for his silence could, in theory,  be that he considered such questions irrelevant to salvation  or tedious, or that he simply did not know the answer. Such questions, dogmas or issues (vastu)  are termed avyākrita in Sanskrit, or avyākata in Pāli. (For references please see e.g. V. Trenckner et al. (eds.); A Critical Pāli Dictionary, Vol. I, Copenhagen 1944, p. 484.)

Matthew 22:41-46 provides an important example of a question raised by the Lord, but in this case neither he himself nor his opponents come up with an answer. Moreover, modern scholars have failed to come up with a satisfactory answer to the question posed.
Here, then, we have a nice case of an  ayvākrta-vastu in the NT. It will, therefore, not be superfluous for me to offer a solution to the old unsolved question raised by Jesus according to Matthew 22:41-46.

The question is: How can Christ be son and lord of David - i.e. at the same time? A slight paraphrase will make the paradox more clear: how can Bob be the father and the son of Bill at the same time? Hard to say!

No wonder, then, that "from that day on no one dared ask him any more questions" (Matthew 22:46). No one was able to answer - apo-krithźnai (pun on San. avyākritāni, nom. plur.- !). But there is an answer, and the answer is quite simple - provided one knows where to look for it.

Jesus, also known as Christ, as Emmanouźl, the Son of David , the Lord etc. knew the answer, but did not tell: The answer is to be found at the level of gematria, or textual geometry: The number of Christ, Khristos is 1480. The number of son, huios, is 680, and the number of Lord, kurios, is 800. So, since 680 + 800 add up to 1480, he is the Christ, for Khristos is also 1480. So Christ is son and lord, for 1480 is 1480.

But there is more: Jesus, or Christ, is said to be son of David, huios Daueid = 1224. He is also said to be lord of David, kurios Daueid = 1104.

Next step: 1224 and 1104 add up to 2328.  As known, Khristos translates Messias, which is 656. The Messias is thus 70 + 656 = 726. He is also to be called Emmanuel, or Emmanouźl (Matthew 1:23), and ho Emmanouźl gives us 70+644 = 714. When we add 726 and 714, we arrive at 1440.

Together with 888 for Jesus (familiar to most early Christians), we get 2328 (888+1440). In other words 2328 = Son of David (and) Lord of David = Jesus, the Emmanuel, the Messias.

Moreover, 2328 is the number of 1480 and 848, which is king, Greek basileus.
Thus the number 2328 provides the geometrical proof that: Christ is the son and the Lord of David, that Jesus or Emmanuel is the Messias, and that Christ is a king - i.e. a king of the Jews, or of Israel, of course.

We may take yet another step: It has been shown that Christ is Lord, or the Lord, ho kurios = 870. Subtracting 870 from 1480, we are left with 610, and there is nothing to prevent us from taking 610 as the teacher, Greek ho didaskalos, 70+540 = 610 (any concordance  for the NT  ref.).

Also, Jesus is the son of Joseph. In other words: Joseph is (the father) of the teacher, Greek  Iōsźph ho  didaskalou = 2328. Hence, an angel also calls Joseph "son of David" (Matthew 1:20). Somehow, father and son are one, united in (the) Christ.

In this passage, Christ certainly proves that he is a teacher - a teacher who teaches at two different levels: Buddhist readers are instantly reminded of the celebrated  stanzas in Nāgārjuna“s Mūlamadhyamakakārikā 24:8-10:

"The Dharma teaching of the Buddhas actually presupposes two realities: the relative (superficial) reality of the world and the reality in the ultimate (profound) sense. Those who do not understand the distinction between these two truths do not understand the truth in the profound instruction of the Buddha. The ultimate sese cannot be shown without the support of language; without understanding the ultimate sense nirvana remains unapproachable." (Quoted from my book Master of Wisdom. Writings of the Buddhist Master Nāgārjuna, Berkeley, CA, 1986,1997, p. 340.)

The importance of these simple observations - that have, to the best of my knowledge not been made before - cannot be overestimated: If the student of the NT fails to make a sharp distinction between the level of language and the level of numbers, he cannot understand the truth in the profound instruction of the Christ.
The distinction, in Mahāyāna, between two truths serves a specific purpose - the attainment of nirvana.

Is this also the case in the NT? Perhaps we shall find time to see  what Emmanuel has to say about nirvana at some later point.
Dr. Christian Lindtner
a.D. July 21, 2010.



The Man in the Clouds


According to a fresh poll, no less than 41% of all Americans believe that Jesus is still  alive ,  and that the Son of Man - who is also considered son of God, and son of Joseph, a carpenter -  will return before the year 2050.

If asked, WHERE, exactly, old man  Jesus abides  right now, the answer would probably be: Up there in the clouds - which is what the NT teaches in so many words and wants us to believe. Google, please, for fanciful images of Jesus in the clouds!

Of course there is no man really to be seen by any human eye, by any  telescope etc. up there in the clouds. It is all poetical fancy, as when Zeus, according to the Greek myth, formed a cloud in the  image of Hera, whereupon Ixion embraced her. Thus Kentauros - the Buddhist Gandharvas -  was born. Gods that appear in clouds is not an unusual motive in the ancient religions. The myth of Jesus in the clouds can be derived from the corresponding Buddhist myth (SBV, p. 41 etc.)

In Sanskrit literature  there is a device  called madhyama-pada-lopa - the loss (lopa) of a word (pada) in the middle (madhyama), i.e. in the middle of a given compound. It is a great pity that Christian theologians, when dealing with the highly obscure notion of the holy spirit - hagion pneuma - are unaware of this fact which is reflected in the Greek rendering of the Sanskrit.

The Buddhist myth tells us that Queen Māyā, the mother of the Bodhisattva,  saw a white elephant descending and entering her womb . The white elephant  is a common metaphor for a white cloud in Indian poetry (a fact that Buddhists unfortunately seem to have overlooked).  The cloud was driven by the wind. The blow of the wind sets the cloud in motion. Matthew copied the Buddhist myth leaving out the cloud and the blow ,  thus creating great confusion in the minds of generations to come. As usual, the confusion is intended.

The Christian myth is a copy of the Buddhist myth:  First, we have the young god up in heaven.He is a deva-putra - a son (putra) of God (deva).  Next, God decides to send him down to earth, in the form of a man,  to teach the masses a few lessons about Dharma, or righteousness. The vehicle used for bringing the deva-putra  down from heaven to earth is a cloud - and that cloud is driven by the blow of the wind - how else? The Sanskrit runs: megho...māruta-vega-preritas, i.e a cloud (megha)  driven (preritas) by the blow, or power  (vega) of the wind (māruta).

So, Jesus , the deva-putra (alias Daueid-putra), enters the womb of his virgin mother. She is obviously a virgin, for the father of her son is merely a cloud driven by the wind of God. Hence the NT also identifies  God with wind (John).  A wind called "holy", for it is a rather special wind.  The blow of the wind is left out by way of madhyama-pada-lopa, leaving us only with the mysterious cloud. Later on, Matthew 4:1,  her son goes to the desert "in the wind" - i.e. transported by yet another cloud driven by the wind.

If one checks all the passages dealing with wind and clouds in the NT in this light, it is clear that Jesus, exactly like the Buddhist original, uses clouds driven by wind in  precisely  the same way that we use cars etc.  driven by e.g. diesel engines etc. The book of Daniel 7:13 is another source for the same idea that likewise inspired the NT : "I beheld in the night vision, and, lo, one coming with the clouds of heaven as a son of man..." The cloud here looks like a man.

The god responsible for the movements of the cloud is, of course, as any Greek schoolboy immediately would recognize, no other than Zeus, the king of men and gods, the heavenly father, called , already by Homer, nephelź-geréta, "the cloud-gatherer".
The son of Man, who is also the son of God,the wind,  descends from heaven in the form of a cloud. He is a messenger from Zeus.  The cloud that looks like a man is also a king, according to the Buddhists source, according to Daniel and according to the NT.
The myth of the king descending from heaven in the form of a cloud is, as said, a very common motiv in Hellenistic religious syncretism. The kingdom of the heavens, said to be near, simply refers to Jesus, the cloud that looks like a man that can speak, move  around etc. 

Sometimes were are told that the dove is a symbol of the Holy Spirit, or that the lamb of god is a symbol of Jesus Christ. That, however, is not really the case. Once we recall that the dove as well as the lamb are white, we are obviously again dealing with white clouds. The white dove = cloud can hardly be distinguised from the wind (pneuma) that carries it, and the white lamb = cloud can, likewise, hardly be distinguished from from God, who is defined as wind, again pneuma. So the dove and the cloud are not at all symbols. Just as we can see a man in a cloud, thus we can see a dove or a lamb. All of the iamges are but clouds, and it takes a cloudy mind to take them for more than that.
In Matthew 17:5 we have another nice case of a cloud that creates confusion. He mentions a cloud that is said to be bright, phōteinź. The voice of god is heard from that cloud. The voice, we now know, is the sound of  Homer“s nephelź-geréta. Peter offers to make three tabernacles - for protection from the rain, we may add, in the light of the Buddhist source.

The Buddhist source (CPS § 6; see  my Hīnayāna, Copenhagen 1998, p. 26) speaks af a cloud that is a-kāla. Sanskrit a-kāla can mean either bright (not black), or out of season. Matthew deliberately prefers  the "wrong" correct  rendering, in order to confuse his reader.  The original idea is that suddenly (out of season)  a  cloud , full of rain, appears in the sky. Hence "Peter" offers to made a shelter, i.e. to protect Jesus and his visitors from the rain.

Why Peter offers to make huts for protection can only be understood once one is aware of the original Buddhist source. Matthew fails to mention the rain. Luke 9:33, well aware of the Buddhist source, adds that Peter was "not knowing what he said". If one only knows the NT, one does not understand Peter“s motive. Peter did not know the motive of his own action - for he did not know the Buddhist source.
The Cloud messenger (Megha-dūta) is the  title of a famous Sanskrit poem by Kālidāsa. Should the reader wish to enjoy some nice Sanskrit poetry about clouds that may serve as vehicles for fanciful messages, its study is warmly recommended. Buddhists - as well as their Christian imitators - often claim that we should "love all living beings" - perhaps with the exception of the infidels. If so, one wonders why priests still fail to make clear distinctions between myth and reality, between real and imaginary - for surely, to love other human beings  is not to confuse other human beings  - or how?
Dr. Christian Lindtner
a.D. June 28, 2010



The five thousand of Matthew 14:21 par.


Our source criticism has already demonstrated that the more than five hundred brothers of 1 Corinthians 15:6 were invented by combining two different Buddhist sources: one that spoke of five hundred Buddhist monks present at the cremation of the body of Tathāgata, and one that spoke of the more than  five hundred laymen that had recently passed away.

But what, then, about the 5000 men, beside women and children, mentioned by Matthew 14:21?  And what about the five loaves and that which remained over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full?

To find the answer, we must identify the source, and the source is to be found in the second chapter of the Lotus - the Saddharmapundarīkasūtram (SDP). I here refer to the translation of H. Kern.

The assembly of the Lord consists, on the one hand, of twelve hundred Arhats headed by Ājnāta-Kaundinya (head of the group of the first five disciples) (Kern, p. 34) and, on the other hand, of five thousand proud monks, nuns, and lay devotees of both sexes (p. 38; repeated on p. 44). The five thousand men and women leave the assembly, and the twelve hundred, headed by the five, are thus  left behind in the assembly. With this image in mind, it is easy to see how Matthew, Mark and Luke handled their Buddhist source, i.e., in this case, the SDP.

In Matthew 14:15 the disciples wanted to send the multitudes away. In the SDP the five thousand proud monks and nuns  actually did leave the assembly. Once they had left the assembly, , that which remained over of the broken pieces, were "twelve baskets full" The twelve hundred Buddhist disciples have thus been transformed into twelve baskets full.

The five Buddhist disciples (Ājnāta-Kaundinya and the other four) are transformed into five loaves. According to Mark 6:43-44, the men  that ate the loaves were five thousand. The Lord sends them away (Mark 6:45).

Luke 6:15 has the curious remark, that they wish to make Jesus a king, but that he withdrew. The backgroud for this is again the same chapter of the Lotus (Kern, p. 58), where the Lord says: "I declare that I am the king of the law (dharmarāja); I am urging others to enlightenment, but I am here without disciples."

The Lotus repeatedly sanctions the employment of symbolic or code language (Kern, p. 59): "They have spoken in many mysteries; hence it is difficult to understand (them). Therefore try to understand the mystery (sandhā; sandhāya etc.) of the Buddhas, the holy masters of the world;forsake all doubt and uncertainty: you shall become Buddhas; rejoice!" Only insiders, i.e. the closest disciples know the code.

The modern reader of the feeding of the five thousand is, of course, left deeply mystified.
That he is left mystified is according to the book, i.e. in accordance with the message of the SDP. To solve the mystery, one must identify the source.

The two fish that are eaten but still survive has another obvious Buddhist source to which I shall come back later. (Pieces of  flesh of two fish are eaten, but the fish survive, and the next day the two fish provide yet another meal etc. etc.) Mark 6:39-40 is significant for the distributive compounds "sumposia-sumposia" and the "prasiai-prasiai", only to be found here. They are often translated by "into groups"  and "in rows".
It is a great pity that our New Testament grammars have failed to identify them as Sanskritisms: samghāt samgham...pūgāt pūgam ( from the MPS, passim, cf. my paper "Some Sanskritisms in the New Testament Gospels", in The Adyar Library Bulletin 65 (2001)). It shows that Mark now and then used the Buddhist source independently.

The rule that allows the combination of corresponding significant numbers - e.g. 40 days with 40 years - is, as known, sanctioned by traditional rabbinical hermeneutics (see e.g. Hermann L. Strack, Einleitung in Talmud und Midrash, München 1921, p. 107, with ref.).

Dr. Christian Lindtner
a.D. June 7, 2010.



Gematria of the Lotus (Saddharmapundarīkasūtram)


In order to understand the Greek of the NT, one must be able to read Sanskrit, and, likewise, in order to understand the Sanskrit of several Buddhist texts composed in that language, one must know ancient Greek. The reason for this is simple: Just as the NT often depends on Buddhist sources, thus Buddhist texts often depend on Greek sources. These scholars we bilingual, they knew Greek and Sanskrit.
Here is a passage from the Saddharmapundarīkasūtram (SDP), or Lotus (Kern ed. p. 391; Wogihara ed., p. 331; Vaidya ed. p. 231). In the translation of Kern (p. 367), with a few additions:

"Therefore, young men of good family (kula-putras), you should after the complete extinction of the Tathāgata, with reverence keep, read, promulgate, cherish, worship it. And wherever on earth, young men of good family, this Dharmaparyāya shall be made known, read, written, meditated, expounded, studied or collected into a volume, be it in a monastery or at home, in the wilderness or in a town, at the foot of a tree or in a palace, in a building or in a cavern, on that spot one should erect a shrine (caityam) in dedication to the Tathāgata. For such a spot must be regarded a a terrace of enlightenment (bodhi-mandas); such a spot must be regarded as one where all Tathāgatas &c. have arrived at supreme, perfect enlightenment; on that spot have all Tathāgatas moved forward the wheel of the law (dharma-cakram); on that spot one may hold that all Tathāgatas have reached complete extinction."

The idea, in brief, is: The SDP is a dharma-parable. It may be recited, written (or drawn, San. likhyeta), considered,  copied, explained etc. on a given spot of earth, in a given place. A caityam, or sanctuary, shrine, should then be made in honour of the Lord - Tathāgatam (accusative), for this spot is the bodhi-temple (mandas) of ALL the Tathāgatas. They have been enlightened in that spot of earth. Moreover, all the Tathāgatas have turned the Wheel of Dharma, the dharma-cakram, in that place.
To understand this curious passage, it will be helpful to visualize the situation as a whole. First, it says that the SDP is a dharma-parable. The San.for parable is paryāyas, and, as I have pointed out elsewhere, San. paryāyas, is translated in the NT by the Greek parabolź. Greek parabolź, means, in geometry, application. In other words: the SDP is being drawn on a spot of earth, in the learned sand, as the Greek scholar would say.

The numerical value (psźphos) of Saddharma-pundarīka-sūtram is, according to the Greek mode of calculation,352 +666+1041 = 2059. The diameter of a 2059 circle is 656, and the radius, of course, 328. The numerical value of dharma-cakram is 146+182 = 328; and the numerical value of Tathāgatam (the accusative case as found in the text above) is 656. (For the Chistians 656 is Messias = 40+5+200+200+10+1+200).

To sum up: The passage invites the kula-putras, son of good family, i.e., the educated reader, to draw a 2059 circle with the 656 diameter of Tathāgatam, and the 328 radius of dharma-cakram. The San. cakram (here the neuter, also attested in earlier San. masculine: cakras) clearly represents Greek kuklos, circle.  Once we know Greek, we easily see that dharma-cakram is 328, that Tathāgatam is 656, that Saddharma-pundarīka-sūtram is 352+666+1041 = 2059. Furthermore, it is said that all Tathāgatas have turned the dharma-cakram on that spot of earth. This means that the 656 diameter of Tathāgatam has turned, i.e. has drawn the 2059 circle of Saddharmapundarīkasūtram.

What, then, about the two words caityam and bodhimandas (nominative case)? It will be observed that the numerical value of caityam is 20+1+10+300+10+1+40 = 382. Likewise, the number of bodhi-mandas is 86+296 = 382. The number 382 must, therefore, be significant in the present context, i.e. in connection with the drawing - the 2059 circle of SDP -  before our eyes. If we draw Tathāgatas, which is 816, as a circle, the inscribed pentagon measures 763.62..or 764, which is the sum of the numerical values of caityam and bodhimandas (i.e. 382 + 382 = 764). The 816 circle with the inscribed 764 pentagon thus tells us that the caityam which is the bodhimandas, is contained in Tathāgatas. Or, to the same effect: Tathāgatas contains the caityam and (or: which is) the bodhimandas.

But how do we go from the initial 328 radius in 2059 SDP circle to the 382 of caityam and bodhimandas? First, 328 is the 2 x 164 solar cross in the 514.95 = 515 circle. Four such circles amount to 514.96 = 2059.84, which, taken as 2059 was, as demonstrated, the number of SDP. The 515 circle contains the inscribed 464 square. When we subtract one half of 164, i.e. 82, from 464, we arrive at 382, the value of caityam as well as bodhimandas. We can now easily how the author, who must have known the Greek language as well as the Greek mode of psźphos, went about: He started out with 328 - dharmacakram. From that he derived the figure 382. This figure he divided by five, giving him the image of the 382 pentagon inscribed in the 408. 20.., or 408 circle. Two such circles gave him 816 for Tathāgatas.

The words of the SDP, in this passage, to sum up, thus operate - as the text itself often states when it refers to "hidden or symbolic  language (samdhā-bhāsya)"  - on two levels. There is a hidden message. There are, as always in Mahāyāna, two truths.  On the superficial level of words one can translate from one language into another language. On a deeper level, one must know the numerical value of each Sanskrit word according to the Greek mode of calculation (psźphos).

All this was, as I hope to have shown by numerous examples, also know to the authors of the New Testament. Let me therefore, briefly repeat what I have pointed out elsewhere:

Revelation 13:18 refers to the number 666, saying that "it is, in fact, the number of a man" -  a-rith-mos gar an-thrō-pou es-tin. These nine syllables of the Greek represent the nine original syllables of the Sanskrit of the title: sad-dhar-ma-pun-da-rī-ka-sūt-ram
The total number of syllables, as said, is, in both cases, nine. Moreover, the number of letters is, in both cases, 23. Each phrase consists of four different words. The San. counts nine vowels, but the Greek has ten.

Revelation13:18 does not explicitly identify the man whose number is said to be 666. This omission has, unfortunately, given rise to endless speculations. In our view,philological  problems must, if possible,  be solved in the light of their sources. The Greek for "man" is anthrōpos (nominative form). His number is said to be 666.  But 666 is the number of San. pundarīka: 80+400+50+4+1+100+10+20+1 = 666. The "man" in Revelation 13:18, is, therefore, the Lotus, the pundarīka. Something is missing! The man has not been fully identified from the NT point of view. The Greek anthrōpos, man,  is 1310. When we subtract 666 for pundarīka, we are left with 644. We would expect, from the context, that 644 somehow refers to the hero of the NT, i.e. to Jesus or Christ (888 or 1480).

According to the OT quotation in Matthew 1: 23, Jesus will be called Emmanouźl - but, strangely,  the NT never mentions him by that name. We must thus look for our Emmanouźl on some deeper level, i.e. on the numerical level. Now Emmanouźl is 5+40+40+1+50+70+400+8+30 = 644. The 1310  "man" that Revelation 13:18 refers to, is, therefore, pundarīka as Emmanouźl, for 666 + 644 = 1310.

To put it simply: The Christian saviour (known as Jesus etc.)  is identified with the Buddhist  saviour (known as Sākyamuni(s) etc.). The great hero of the SDP is, of course, Sākyamunis, whose number is 932. The Lotus is his symbol. Since Emmanouźl was identified with this Lotus, we would expect that Jesus also was identified  with the Lotus, for Emmanouźl is one of the names of Jesus.

When we look closer at various passages of the NT, we shall find that our suspicions be  fully confirmed: During the Last Supper, Jesus refers to his body, Greek sōma, and to his blood, to haima mou. The sōma is 1041, and 1041 is also San. sūtram. And "the blood of mine", to haima mou, is 932, and 932 is Sākyamunis. The tźs diathźkźs, of the covenant, that follows (Matthew 26:28) contains a clear pun on San. Tathāgatasya, of the Tathāgata, i.e. of Sākyamuni(s), both pentasyllabic. Jesus thus identifies himself with Sākyamuni(s), the main Tathāgata of the SDP. Jesus is an embodiment of the SDP.

There is more to the very same effect: When we draw a circle that measures 888 for Jesus (Iźsous), the inscribed Lotus (the Star of David, the hexagram) measures 1470, but 1470 is the number of the Greek word for the  Lotus, viz. ho lōtos = 70+30+800+300+70+200 = 1470. So we see Jesus as the Lotus, the Star of David.
Did the authors of the SDP already have this drawing in mind - the drawing of the Lotus inscribed in a circle? The answer is: yes, they did: The psźphos of SDP was, as will be recalled, 2059 (or 2059.84) If one draws a Lotus (as the Buddhists often did) measuring 2059, the circle in which this hexagram  is inscribed measures ca. 1244.

To be quite precise: the inscribed hexagram measures 6 x 343.306666666...suggesting the number of man: 666. If we add 816, the number of Tathāgatas (above), we arrive at 2060 or 2059, which is the number of Saddharmapundarīkasūtram. This Buddhist drawing, therefore, also identifies Tathāgatas on the basis of a drawing of a hexagram showing us the stylized image of a Lotus.
Jesus, was, therefore, in several ways born from a Buddhist lotus.
A final point: In the SDP, the Lord Sākyamuni(s) encourages his disciples to spread the message in writing etc. His disciples are called Bodhisattvas, Mahāsattvas etc., and kula-putras, i.e. "family-sons" (often translated freely as "sons of good family").
The passage from the SDFP quoted above read: 

"Therefore, young men of good family, you should after the complete extinction of the Tathāgata, with reverence, keep, read, promulgate, cherish, worship it."
In other words: Once Sākyamuni(s) as passed away, it is up to the kula-putras to spread the SDP in various ways. The kula-putras is thus one of the many synonyms of a Buddhist missionary. The psźphos of San. kula-putras is 451+1081 = 1532. I have already pointed out, again and again, that Jesus is such a Buddhist missionary in disguise.

The truth of this observation can now be established from yet another point of view.
The number of Jesus is 888, and the number of Emmanouźl is 644. Thus Jesus Emmanouźl is 888 + 644 = 1532. But 1532 is also the number of kula-putras, a missionary of the Lotus. It was stated clearly, that the kula-putras was expected to become active AFTER the extinction of Sākyamunis.

Jesus Emmanouźl, therefore, was such a kula-putras, who propagated the message of the SDP - in disguise as the son of God, the son of David etc. etc. He was, indeed, born in or  from a lotus, for all Bodhisattvas are, as students of Buddhist art are aware,  born in a lotus.

Jesus was also known as Messias, and Messias is 40+5+200+200+10+1+200 = 656.
But, as we have seen, 656 is the diameter of the 2059 circle of the Saddharmaundarīkasūtram. Thus, Messias, alias Jesus Emmanouźl,  was also born from the Lotus. In various places, the NT would like to have us believe that Jesus is identical with the Messias mentioned in the OT.

We can now prove that this belief is, in a strange and unexpected way, quite true, for since the SDP circle is 2059, and since Jesus is 888, and since Messias is 656,and since 515 was also established above, it follows that:
Jesus is Messias - in Greek: Iźsous esti Messias = 888+515+656 = 2059.
Dr. Christian Lindtner
a.D. May 31, 2010.



The Rising of the Saints from the Tombs -

Buddhist  Lotus source of Matthew 27:51-53


When Jesus gave up his spirit, many odd phenomena occurred. One of these, obviously intended as a sort of evidence for the absurd Christian doctrine of physical resurrection, is mentioned by Matthew 27: 51-53: "...and the earth was shaken, and the rocks were rent, and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his  resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared to many."

The identity of the bodies of these saints who came out of their graves and went into the holy city, has always been somewhat of an embarrassment to even the most naive among modern theologians. One learned Danish theologian - Mogens Müller - suggests that the reference is to the prophets and righteous men of the OT. Another theologian, Donald A.  Hagner, admits "that the rising of the saints from the tombs in this passage is a piece of theology set forth as history."

One cannot but smile at the opposition or conflict  between theology and history that Hagner here  inadvertently expresses. For what he says is simply that Matthew is not speaking the truth. However, the rising of the saints from the tombs is not merely a case
of theology, or myth, but a manifest case of plagiary. We have already seen that "the best and the earliest" evidence for the physical resurrection of Jesus, and for Christians in general, has been copied by "Paul" from Buddhist sources- the "more than 500 brethren"
etc. (1 Cor. 15)

And when it comes to the saints rising from the tombs, we again have a Buddhist source, namely the celebrated  Lotus Sūtra - the Saddharmapundarīkasūtram, still available in Sanskrit as well as Chinese, Tibetan etc. Chapter xiv (in the Sanskrit edition, and English translation of H. Kern; chapter xv in te Chinese version of Kumārajīva; translated by W.E.Soothill) is entitled: "Issuing of the Bodhisattvas from the Gaps of the Earth".

Here are the main points:

The multitude of Bodhisattvas say to the Lord that they would like to read, write, worship and devote themselves to the Lotus. But the Lord replies that this is not necessary, for he already has an enormous number of Bodhisattvas able to do that.

"No sooner had the Lord uttered these words than the Saha-world burst open on every side, and from within the clefts arose many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Bodhisattvas with gold-coloured bodies...who had been staying in the element of ether underneath this great earth close to this Saha-world. These then on hearing the word of the Lord came up from below the earth...They cannot be numbered, counted, calculated, compared, known by occult science, the Bodhisattvas Mahāsattvas who emerged from the gaps of the earth to appear in the Saha-world. And after they had successively emerged they went up to the Stūpa of precious substances which stood in the sky, where the Lord Prabhūtaratna, the extinct Tathāgata, was seated along with the Lord Sākyamuni on the throne. Thereafter they saluted the feet of both Tathāgatas, etc., as well as the images of Tathāgatas produced by the Lord Sākyamuni from his own body..."

From the Chinese version of Kumārajīva:

" When the Buddha has thus spoken, the earth...trembles and quakes and from its midst there issue together innumerable thousands, myriads, kotis of Bodhisattva-Mahāsattvas...These Bodhisattvas, hearing the voice of Sākyamuni Buddha preaching, spring forth from below... When these Bodhisattvas have emerged from the earth, each goes up to the wonderful Stūpa of the Precious Even (jewels) in the sky, where are the
Tathāgata Abundant-Treasures and Sākyamuni Buddha."

Conclusion: The saints that issue from the earth are not exactly the prophets etc. of the OT, but the Bodhisattvas of the Lotus. The cry of Jesus up there on the cross, was the cry of the Lord up there in the Stūpa in the sky.

The holy city, to which they went, was the Stūpa up there in the sky. By comparing the original text of the Lotus, the reader will find many more parallels, all of them to the effect, that "Matthew" (who has his name from a famous Buddhist monk) and his consorts copied the Lotus when they fabricated the legend of Jesus, combining, of course, with bits and pieces taken from the OT etc.

In Chapter x of the Lotus, on the Buddhist preacher, the Lord endorses that after his Nirvāna, the Lotus be communicated "in secret or by stealth" (rahasi caurenāpi; San. ed. Kern, p., 227). This is, as we have now seen, indeed what happened, when "Matthew" plagiarized the legend of the Lotus about the Bodhisattvas that issued from the earth upon the Lord“s  cry from the Stūpa in the sky. In the old wooden church of Granhult in Småland (Sweden), there is a naive  painting showing the physical resurrection of the Bodhisattvas.

Christian readers will, in the interest of historical truth, be happy to know that all the alleged witnesses to the resurrection of Jesus, are , in fact Buddhist witnesses. Should they not be happy about that, there is some consolation to be had from yet another fact, namely that all the Buddhist witnesses are, themselves, also not fact but myth, or  fabrications of vivid Buddhist imagination.

Dr. Christian Lindtner
a.D. 2010, May 19.





Good for Pope Benedict XVI - the phony successor  of  the Buddhist (Sāri-) PuTRaS, alias PeTRoS -  that he did not (on  May 2, 2010) outright endorse the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, a manifest fake, as known by now. Instead, the Holy Father said something about the Shroud being a  "a photographic documentation of the darkest mystery of faith" - i.e., in plain words,  a simple hoax.
The legend, of course, goes back to the Gospels, Matthew  27:57-61 par.
Our Roman impostor  would be delighted to know  - perhaps -  that parts of the Christian  legend can be traced to a Buddhist source, viz. Mahāparinirvānasūtra (ed. Waldschmidt) 46-49, from which I will here draw attention to a few  points only:
1.The body of Bhagavān (Tathāgata) can only be removed once the gods  have given their permission.
Hence "the rich man from Arimathea", whose name was Joseph, first has to have the permission of Pilate.
This rich man - Greek  anthrōpos plousios - can be identified as  the brāhmanas Dhūmrasa-gotras, MPS 51:1-3. San. brāhmanas becomes Greek anthrōpos,.
 Mark and Luke prefer the translation bouleutźs., which gives the sense of brāhmanas quite well.  -
The Greek apo represents the San. -gotra ("from the family of"), and Gr. Arimathaias  retains all the consonants of San. Dhumrasa-
2. The body of Bhagavān is wrapped in vihataih karpāsair (instrumental plur., passim), i.e. cotton bandages  that are "not beaten".
Hence the body of Jesus is wrappen in sindoni (instrumental case of sindōn), meaning "Indian linen.
Matthew  adds that the Indian linen is "clean" -  obviously intended to correspond to the San. adjective avihatair
John 19:40 has the variant - also instrumental plural, as in Sanskrit: othoniois, from othonion (a loan word from Semitic), meaning linen bandages..
The motive of John is obvious: he fears the Indian association of sindōn, the Indian linen.
3. The body of Bhagavān is cremated, but the body of Jesus is not cremated - for how, if so , could it appear  intact a few  days later?
The body of Bhagavān is placed in a coffin with a lid.
The body of Jesus is placed in a grave with a stone serving as "lid".
Hence, the Buddhist source cannot be followed when it comes to cremation. Creamtion would render physical resurrection rather complicated.
The reader who takes the trouble to compare the Greek and the Sanskrit, word by word (while keeping the general context in mind) , will find more instances of the same sort, all of it to the effect that the Gospel has been copied from Buddhist " gospel", the sūtram (as if from su-uktam, well said).
I need not here repeat what has often been said, namely  that Matthew and his Buddhist friends often use the MPS as one of their major Buddhist sources for the incredible myths of the NT. The MPS is a part of the MSV, where we also have one of  the sources of the Crucifixion etc. etc.

There is a careful  comparative study of the MPS published by Ernst Waldschmidt as "Die Überlieferung vom Lebensende des Buddha,I-II", Berlin 1944-1948.- Waldschmidt, however, never refers to the New Testament.
Did Benedict XVI ever study the work of  Ernst Waldschimdt?  It is known that he supported the publication of a German translation of the Lotus-sūtra, another important source of the Gospels. If so, he must have wondered, for Benedict is a learned man.
It would make sense to speak of "the darkest mystery of faith" when we compare MPS with NT.
Christian Lindtner
a.D. 2010, May 8.





There are still theologians who claim that all that we read in the New Testament is "the word of God". Other theologians, more critical and sceptical , admit that perhaps not all that we read can be ascribed to God himself. Some things - especially silly things -  may be due to the evangelists. But who were the evangelists? Or more precisely: Who is responsible for the Greek text of the Gospel according to Matthew,  the Gospel according to Mark, etc.?

I here assume that the reader is familiar with modern discussions such as Burton L. Mack, Who wrote the New Testament?, San Francisco 1995; or Bruce M. Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament, Oxford 1987 (and later). None of these erudite theologians have come to any conclusion about the identity of Matthew or Mark - to whom I shall here confine my attention.

The reason they have failed to identify Matthew and Mark is extremely simple - they have been looking in the wrong place. If you want to pick apples or flowers, you do not go out in a boat and pick them on the ocean. Likewise, if you want to identify Matthew and Mark, you want to look for them in the Mūlasarvāstvādavinaya (MSV) - one of the main sources for the NT Gospels in general.

The MSV (p. 5) starts out thus: The Sākyas of Kapilavastu are staying in the assembly hall of  Kapilavastu. They would like to hear more about their own  origins, and invite the Lord to do so. The Lord, however, does not want to  praise himself, and asks his disciple, the Great Maudgalyāyanas to tell the story of their origins.  This Maudgalyāyanas is sitting in the assembly. He enters a state of trance, then raises up from that state, and follows the exhortation of the Lord. He then tells the story much like the one that we have now found in the Gospel of Matthew (p. 6).

What he narrates is a sūtram - as if from su-, meaning "good", and uktam", meaning "said, spken, statement". So, a sūtram can mean a good statement, a good message - a gospel. The Greek eu-aggelion is a synonym, it means: good eu-, and aggelion, message"
Theologians often claim that the euaggelion genre is unique, that there is nothing really  comparable in Greek or Hebrew. Sure, but there is something like it in Sanskrit and Pāli. The Greek simply  imitates the Sanskrit. As said, Maudgalyāyanas then narrates, and what he narrates can easily be traced in the NT Gospels.

I have already pointed out in my book Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus, how Matthew 9:9 is a direct translation of the Sanskrit found in MSV, p. 6. Matthew  9:9 runs: "Jesus left that place, and as he walked along he saw a tax collector, named Matthew, sitting in his office. He said to him, "Follow me, " and Matthew got up and followed him".

This is precisely what goes on in the Buddhist source: The venerable Maudgalyāyanas is sitting in the assembly.  The Lord, Bhagavān speaks to him and asks him to narrate the story of the origin of the Sākyas. Maudgalyāyanas  gets up  from trance (samādhi) , and follows the exhortation.

The "man named Matthew" is therefore no other than "the venrable Great Maudgalyāyanas". The story narrated by this Matthew  is, essentially, the story narrated by this Maudgalyāyanas. When the colophons of the Greek manuscripts  describe the text as the "Gospel according to Matthew", what they mean to say is that this text is based on a collection of sūtras - good saings - found in the MSV. The term ev-aggelion, therefore has the same sense as "scripture" graphź, the synonym used by Paul in 1 Cor. 15: 3 & 4.
We do not have to read many pages of the original Gospel according to Matthew - i.e. the MSV - before we meet a man, a very young man, who later became transformed into the evangelist Mark - or Markos (the Greek form). According to an old well-known Christian legend, poor Mark had a crooked finger - he was colobodaktulos, i.e. his finger, or fingers, were short, or maimed. In their usual irresponsible fashion, theologians have speculated what that is supposed to mean. Did he cut off  or shorten his fingers to avoid military service? Or does it perhaps  mean that his fingers were too short to finish the Gospel transmitted under his name?

The explanation is found on p. 57 of MSV. According to the legend, when the Buddha was still but a young prince, Sanskrit kumāras, he was extremely strong. Thus, there was a golden bowl, and it was so heavy that not even horses could pull it. But KuMāRaS only needed to bend  his finger , or fingers, forming them into a hook. With his fingers serving as a hook he was then able to snatch the heavy golden bowl and pull it away. The Sanskrit term for "with his fingers as a hook" is kutilāngulikayā, and it  is extremely rare, perhaps only found here. It is formed according to the rules of Sanskrit grammar, and there are in the Buddhist scriptures several other terms formed in the very same way (instrumental case). The compound is a "real" Sanskrit compound.

Likewise, the Greco-Latin term kolobo-daktulos. It, too, is extremely rare, found perhaps only here (and in later passages depending on this passage; for a discussion see e.g. Holger Mosbech, Nytestamentlig Isagogik, Copenhagen 1946, p. 178). The Latin form is colobo-dactylus. The Christian usage clearly depends directly on the Buddhist usage. The Greco-Latin form was fabricated by a person knowing Sanskrit. From KuMāRaS we get MaRKoS. Thus Mark  - at least here - was originally no other than Kumāras - the Buddha while still a young prince. This person cannot possibly be held responsible for having written the Greek gospel. We also hear that Mark was the interpreter of Peter. The origin of this legend is from the same passage in the MSV, still p. 57. It is said that the golden bowl was pulled by kumāras with his crooked finger(s). The Sanskrit for the bowl is here pātrī. This becomes Latin Petri (p-t-r). And when the Latin says that he was interpres , that again is a pun on the Sanskrit pātrī.

To conclude: Mark was the Buddha as a young prince, and Matthew was one of the disciples of the Buddha - the one who rose and followed the exhortation to tell this and many other legends. The general conclusion is, as always : The Christian gospels are pirate copies of the Buddhist gospels.

I started out by asking the question: Who is responsible for the Greek texts presented to us as the Gospels according to Matthew and Mark? We can be sure that the Greek texts were not written by Maudgalyāyanas or by Kumāras.(The same goes for the Sanskrit - it was not written by Maudgalyāyanas, but about Maudgalyāyanas and about Kumāras.)   And since the names of Matthew and Mark are directly derived from the Sanskrit, we can also conclude that these two gospels were not composed or written by these people.

There is also, as often, an element of hidden humour in all this: Sanskrit kutila means "crooked", but also "fishy" Thus the translation kolobo-daktulos suggest that there is something "crooked" or "fishy" about the figure of Mark. There can be no doubt that the "evagelists" enjoyed themselkves when they fabricated the "holy scripture"! They enjoyed themselves when they deceived their readers. One is reminded of Julian“s remark that the Christians were motivated by kakourgia - villainy.
According to an early Christian tradition, a certain Pantaenus went to India, where he found a copy of the Gospel according to Matthew (see the discussion in Metzger, op. cit., p. 129 f.). It is reported  to have been in Hebrew letters. It was said to have been brought there and left there - in India - by a certain Bar-tholomew. What are we to make of that?
The first piece of information is, as we have seen, quite true: The Gospel of Matthew has its home in India. But what about the second part - the legend of Bartholomew having brought it there?

The answer is simple - provided you know the Buddhist sources. Just like the disciples of Jesus often have more than one name, thus the disciples of Buddha also have more than one name. Maudgalyāyanas also has other names, and one of these is indeed one that can be translated as "son", bar, of thalama.

The early Christian tradition about Pantaenus going to India, where he found the Gospel of Matthew  said to have been brought there by Bartholomew, now becomes clear.
Matthew and Bartholomew are the same person - the Buddhist Maudgalyāyanas.
So what Pantaenus found was the Gosdpel of Maudgalyāyanas - i.e. the MSV, or parts of it. That should not come as a surprise by now.

When the Buddhist gospels were eventually translated into other Oriental languages, it was the MSV version that was regarded as "canonical". This was the Gospel according to Maudgalyāyanas. And this was what Pantaenus found in India.

Christian Lindtner
April 27, a. D. 2010



SIMEON AND ANNA, ZACHARIAS AND JOHN - Main Buddhist sources of Luke 1-3

It is a great  pity that theologians still can publish commentaries on Luke without any reference at all  to the Buddhist sources of the initial chapters of that gospel.

Buddhist sources for the Presentation of Jesus in the temple, Luke 2:22-40,  have been available and known for a very long time. They were discussed e.g. by Richard Garbe in 1914, and three of my learned friends have again drawn attention to them in more recent books: Kersten, Thundy, Derrett.

There would hardly be any need to draw attention to  this issue again  had it not been that the MSV contains important new materials that  have escaped the notice  of all previous scholars.

It will be recalled, that according to Luke, a man called Simeon (Sumeōn) , in the temple in Jerusalem, took up the child, to paidion, in his arms , and predicted that he - after his own passing away - would be a saviour and a light to his people etc.

 Also mentioned here is a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanouźl.

The boy "increased in wisdom". The Buddhist sources are found in MSV, I, pp. 46-57:

Asita, a rishi ("seer") and his sister-son (bhāgineya) Nālada live on a mountain. Here they see the light of the Muni, for when a Bodhisattva is born, the world becomes illuminated by such a light.

(This also explains the star seen by the wise men from the East, Matthew 2: a bodhisattva has been born.)

Later on they go to Kapilavastu, where Asita takes the Bodhisattva in his hands (not arms), and predicts that the light of the world will become a saviour etc., provided he leaves his home at an age of thirty in order to become a monk.

This is important - see below!

We read that the Bodhisattva is endowed with wisdom prajnā (p. 52).

The father of the Bodhisattva is one of the four kings of the Sākyas - he is a Sākya-rājas (nominative), Sākya-king.

With this in mind it is easy to see how the Buddhist source was "judaized", i.e. combined with extracts from the Old Testament:

Asita and Nālada are disguised as Jews: Simeon (Sumeōn)  and Anna, daughter of Phanouźl.

When Simeon took the child - to pai-di-on -  in his arms, it was originally Asita who took the bo-dhi-sat-tva in his hands.

Both of them then express themselves in verses, not in prose.

The rendering of Sanskrit bodhi-sattva(s) is nice: The bodhi becomes paidi, and the Greek to with the final on  means "being", which is also the meaning of the Sanskrit sattva.

(This "translation"  shows the prajnā of the translators, see below for the meaning of prajnā!)

The Sanskrit original, of course, knows nothing at all about a Jewish saviour and light of the world etc.

According to the Buddhist source (p. 54), the Bodhisattva would leave his home at an age of 29 years: ekānnatrimsatko vayasā grhān nirgamisyati.

That is very significant, for in Luke 3:23 we read that Jesus himself was beginning  at about thirty. The word for "was/is beginning", arkhomenos,  has caused problems. Some translators have left it out, or translated by "was", or by "he began teaching". But the Greek has nothing about teaching - or anything of that sort.

It has already been observed by theologians that this indication of his age being about thirty is incompatible with the indications given in Luke 1:5 and 2:2, q.v. - The paradox of time  is solved once we see that the paradox  is a result of combining entirely different sources. Also, it is clear that what Jesus "was beginning" is not to teach, but to leave his home - to become a monk. The Greek, then, means" starting out (from his home)".  But Luke was not at all  interested in Jesus becoming a Buddhist monk. So he just left his reader asking himself, what Jesus was starting out for.

Luke 2:52 ends by writing that the boy increased in wisdom , proekopte sophia.

That is also a very odd statement.

In Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6: 2 the pertinent question is cunningly raised: Where did he get this sophia from?

The answer, we now know, is that he got his sophia from the prajnā of the Bodhisattva.

This wisdom is a very special kind of wisdom, it is a prajnā that expresses itself in the analysis of words and syllables, we learn MSV, I. p. 52 (artha-pada-vyanjanam prajnayā  pratividhyati: by wisdom he understands meaning-word-syllable).

Now, what about John - the so-called Baptist, acc. to Luke 1 ?

Once again the MSV provides us with the answer:

When the Bodhisattva became a Buddha, the nasty rumour spread that he had died. His father, the Sākya-rāja, of course became very sad. But the rumour turned out to be false, and there was naturally a great relief and  joy , Sanskrit ānanda(s).

At this very moment, a son was born to another Sākya-rāja. What will be his name, people asked? Of course, his name would be Ānanda - Joy!

In Luke, Zacharias has a son. People suggest that he, too, be called Zacharias. But Zacharias and his wife, Elisabeth, insist that he be called Iōannźs, "John."

In other words: He could have been called Zacharias, but is calle Iōannźs.

The Buddhist source is obvious:

Ānandas (nominative) becomes  Iōannźs. The name Zacharias still  would make sense, for Ānandas could -  like his cousin, the Buddha (Sākya-munis) - have become a Sākya-rāja(s) himself.

One must know that Ānanda means joy, to appreciate the pun on "joy"  in Luke 1:14.  (Greek khara translates San. ānandas, joy.)

But Ānanda did not become a king. He was chosen to  become the personal servant of the Buddha - his upasthāyaka(s).

This technical term, upa-sthāyakas in Greek becomes apo-stolos

Much has, of course, been written about the use and meaning of the Greek apostolos. But it has not been noticed before that this noun in some cases is a direct, and very good, translation of the Sanskrit upa-sthāyakas.

What do we learn from all this?

A few buzz words, the general context, and our knowledge of the MSV as a source of the NT permit us to conclude that Luke has combined Buddhist and OT sources for writing the intial chapters of his gospel.

The purpose of the two initial chapters is quite obvious: Two of the greatest men in history have been born: Jesus and  John the Baptist , who would prepare the way for Jesus.

Luke changed the original names. The Buddhist prince and his servant obtained a new identity: King Jesus and John the Baptist. The Buddhist seers also changed their identity, and so did the original location: Asita and Nālada in the palace of  Kapilavastu became Simźon and Anna in the temple in Jerusalem.

Luke cannot be used as source of what actually took place, but these chapters erve as an excallent specimen of what the phrase "judaized Buddhism" actually means.

Christian Lindtner
February 27, a. D. 2010



Capernaum was Kapilavastu - Kingdom of Gods


Capernaum (Kapernaoum, Kapharnaoum) and the synagoge in that town plays exactly the same role in the legend of Jesus as Kapilavastu and the assembly hall in that town plays in the legend of the Buddha, i.e. Sākyamuni, the Tathāgata.

Capernaum is never mentioned in the Old Testament, and scholars do not agree about its exact location on the map. It is said to have been Jesus“ own city, idia polis, Matthew 9:1, and it is also described as having  been located "upon the sea-side", tźn parathalassian, Matthew 4:13.

The derivation of Kaper- or Kaphar- -naoum is uncertain. It seems to mean the town or place of Kaper, or Kaphar. But who was he?

In the MSV, p.5  - as always our main source along with the Lotus  -  we read that the Lord Buddha was staying in the Nyāgrodārāme in Kapilavastu. The inhabitants of Kapilavastu - the Sākyas -  are staying in the assembly hall (samsthāgāre) of Kapilavastu. From there they go to the Buddha in the Nyāgrodhārāme (locative case). He teaches them about their past etc.

At some point he goes to Kapilavastu, his home town (his father was king of Kapilavastu). People  lack faith, but he converts them by way of miracles.

In the MSV, p. 88, we read that Kapilavastu, the place, or town, vastu (= naoum) of the sage Kapila (= Kaper or Kaphar) was located on the bank of the Ganges river, on the slope of the Himalayas (anu-himavat-pārsve).

Thus the location on the banks of the Ganges on the slope of the Himalayas becomes that of Caernaum upon or along  the sea-side.

(It may be added that  Sanskrit compounds indicating locations with a preposition as first member are always carefully translated into Greek.)

No wonder scholars have problems locating Capernaum. They have - as so often - been looking at the wrong map!

The Buddha teaching in the assembly hall becomes Jesus teaching in the synagoge. The Greek "in the synagoge",  (en) sunagōgź, is a perfect rendering of Sanskrit samsthāgāre, in the assembly hall.

When it is said that Jesus moved from Nazara (Matthew 4:13) to Kapharnaoum, this was the Buddha who came from Nyāgrodha to Kapilavastu.. Here, Nazara (unusual spelling!) reflects the Sanskrit Nyagrodha.

From  Matthew 13:53-58 we learn that Jesus came to his own country  (more exactly: his paternal country, area) etc., and that he did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief (a-pistia).

This reflects the celebrated episode in the MSV, p.188,  where Buddha (Sākyamuni) came back to Kapilavstu -  his father“s town - where he at first was met with disbelief (Sanskrit a-prasāda). But then he converted them by some miracles (that are also in the NT - the miracles of water and fire)..

Matthew 13:58 is normally translated as a statement such as : " And he did not there work many miracles because of their unbelief."

Now that the Buddhist source has been identified, we can be sure that the phrase can also be translated as a rhetorical question: " And did ho not work many miracles there because of their unbelief?"

He surely did!

The centurion in Capernaum mentioned in Matthew 8:5-13 is easily identified as the father of Sākyamuni in Kapilavastu.

In the same pericope, we are informed that some of us shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

This is clearly based on MSV, p. 196, where the Lord teaches in the asembly hall of the gods - the kingdom of heaven. The gods are present: Brahmā, Sakra and Kuberas and others.

So the Indian god Brahmā becomes Abrahma, the Indian god Sakra becomes Isaac (Isaak) , and the Indian god Kuberas becomes Jacob, Greek Iakōbos.

The kingdom of god -  Sanskrit devas = Greek theos - was to be found in Kapilavastu.

The Greek term kingdom is perfect - it weas the kingdom of Kapilavstu - the father of the Buddha. His father is addressed "deva" - God! Hence Kapilavastu is the kingdom of that God!

The anonymous Buddhist missionaries behind these NT passages, we may safely conclude,  followed the "Jesuitic" rule prescribed for propaganda in the Lotus: Work secretly, by way of theft (rahasi caurenāpi).

One cannot say that they were not successful!

Christian Lindtner
February 15, a. D. 2010



TWO DROPS OF WATER WITH BLOOD - Buddhist source of Mark 15:21 etc. 


Here are three NT passages that, at first sight, have nothing at all in common:

According, first, to Mark 15:21 only, the otherwise unknown Simon of Cyrene, who was forced to carry the cross of Jesus, was the father of two sons, Alexander and Rufus.

According, second, to Luke 22:44, which is left out in several modern editions of the NT (but attested by many early fathers of the Church) , Jesus, in his great anguish, prayed even more fervently; his sweat was like drops of blood, falling to the ground.

According, third, to John 19:34, when Jesus was hanging on the cross, one soldier  plunged his spear into his side, and at once blood and water poured out.

As said, apparently these three accounts have nothing in common.

So why combine them here?

If one  is  familiar with the legend of the crucifixion of Gatama  in the MSV (p. 24-25), it is not difficult to recognize  that we are here dealing with three different versions of one and the same Buddhist source.

A simple observation with highly impoirtant consequences:

Gautama is hanging on the pole. He has been impaled for murdering a prostitute, Bhadrā,  even though - as it turns out later - he was innocent. The real murderer escaped in the crowd.

As he is hanging there in great anguish, his teacher, upādhyāya,  a certain Krsna-dvaipāyanas, turns up. They talk  together for a while. Gautama is about to pass away, but he has left no offspring. What can be done?

Then it starts to rain. The water is mixed with the blood from the innocent man (Gautama alias Jesus).  Two drops of water mixed with blood fall to the ground. Two eggs develop from the blood (which is in accordance with traditional Indian embryology.). The egg-shells break. The Sanskrit noun for egg-shells is kapalāni - which also means skulls. (Hence Golgotha is called the place of the Skulls).

Gautama passes away when the sun is more =  most fervent (bhāsuratarā) - hence the fervent in Luke 22:44. Krsna-dvaipāyana becomes the father, i.e. the foster father of the two sons that developed from the two eggs.

The Sanskrit for the two drops of water (semen) and blood is: dvau sukra-bindū sa-rudhire (p. 25, line 6), i.e.: two water-drops with-blood.

In Mark the two drops of water with blood become Alexandrou kai Rouphou - (the father) of Alexander and Rufus - two boys otherwise not known from early Christian sources. San. sa-rudhire becomes kai Rouphou; the sa- means kai, and; and rudhira means red, like Rufus. Alexandrou (genitive) is from sukra-bindū, with  the genitive in the Greek is as close to the dual Sanskrit  ending - ū as one can come.

It thus does make sense when Mark says that Simon of Cyrene was the father of Alexander and Rufus, for Krsnadvapāyana was indeed the foster father of the two boys that developed from the two drops of water (semen) with blood.

Sanskrit -dvaipāyana means "from an island". Krsna-dvaipāyana is thus the "Black-islander".

This man, then, in Martk, becomes Kurźnaios ap“ agrou - Krsna from the field.

In Luke 22:44 - which has always embarrassed interpreters - the sweat of Jesus, like drops of blood falling to the ground, is an accurate translation of the Sanskrit: sukra-bindū sa-rudhire. The San. verb is the same as the Greek. Moreover, the adjective, in comparative form is the rare  ektenesteron, Luke 22:44. It is an exact rendering of the San. comparative bhāsuratarā - even more intense, more fervent. It fits better with the rays of the sun than with the mode of prayer. The MSV makes best sense.

Finally, in John 19:34, blood and water pour out from the side of the man on the cross. This is due to the spear - an echo of the pole on which Gautama was impaled in the original Buddhist source.

It is thus, to conclude, clear that one and the same Sanskrit compound was translated and employed in three different manners by three different evangelists.

The evangelists knew the same story and they were, all of them,  very much interested in the Sanskrit compound: dvau sukra-bindū sa-rudhire - the two drops of semen (or water) that, mixed with blood,  fell to the ground.

The Sanskrit original is not entirely free from obscene connotations. But this is typical of classical Sanskrit literature.

In Mark, Luke and John there are no obscene connotations. This does not necessarily mean that they were motivated by prudishness.

In their version of the Buddhist legend there was no room for the hero to have children.

The unknown authors were very competent in Greek as well as Sanskrit. The three evangelists worked together, comparing their "translations".

It will be easy for the reader to identify the innocent man on the "cross",  the man who got away etc. The events took place near Potalas - becoming Pilatos (Peilatos) etc. etc.

Without a good knowledge of Sanskkrit - how can one understand NT Greek?

NB: This essay could not be published in any theological journal - where there is no room for original Sanskrit sources.

Christian Lindtner
February 11, a.D. 2010



WHY WAS JESUS SO RUDE TO PETER? - Buddhist source of Matthew 16:23 & Mark 8:33


When Jesus foretold his death and resurrection, Peter took him aside and rebuked him, saying: "God forbid, Lord, this must never happen to you!"

With these words Peter showed that he cared for his Lord, and thus we are surprised to learn how Jesus reacts: " Go behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle (scandal) to me, for you do not think of the (things?) of god, but of the (things?) of men."

Peter must have been puzzled, if not shocked, and so are we.

Why is Jesus so rude? Why is Jesus so obscure?

Why does Peter have to go behind (Greek opisō) Jesus, and what does that have to do with his not thinking of  the (things) of god but of men?

The answers are to be found in the Buddhist source, in this case MPS 35:2.

On that occasion - we read - the venerable Upamāna (in Pāli called Upavāna) was standing with a fan in front of the Lord. Then the Lord said to him:" Monk! do not stand in front of me!"

One of the other monks present, Ānanda, is surprised, for he has never in his long life  heard the Lord express himself so rudely  to anyone.

Why is the Lord so rude to the monk?

The Lord explains: When a Buddha is about to pass away - as Jesus foretold his death in Matthew and Mark - the gods (devatā)  gather from afar in order to witness the spectacular  event. When Upamāna is standing in front of him with his fan, he becomes an obstacle that prevents the gods from seeing what is going on. Hence the Lord commands the monk not to stand in front of him, but to go behind him. Then only  the gods can observe the event.

I have already given many examples of the MPS as a major source of the NT Gospels, and when it comes to the rude words of Jesus to his disciple, the source is once again the MPS.

In this case we have a Sanskrit version as well as a Pāli version, with minor variants. Both are to be found in the edition of Waldschmidt ( Berlin 1951 , p. 356).

The Greek (any modern edition) is:  hypage opisō mou, satana, and it translates a combination of the Pāli and the Sanskrit:

The Sanskrit is : bhikso, mā me purastāt tistha - Monk, no  (of) me in front stand!

The Pāli: apehi, bhikkhu, mā me purato atthāsi - Go away, monk, not me in front stand!

We may here  observe:

The Buddhist monk, in the vocative, becomes Satan, also in the vocative.

The Greek imperative hypage is a perfect rendering of Pāli apehi, also imperative.

The "not in front of me" in the original becomes "behind" in the Greek,which is opisō. The choice of opisō mou  is perfect, for not only does it render the original meaning correctly, but it also contains a pun on the name of the monk in question, viz. Upamānas (nominative form): the consonants p-s-m. Only the n is not represented in the Greek.

When it comes to the gods, the Greek says ta... theou, those (what?) of (the)  god. It is obscure. But the original mentions devatā, meaning divine being, divinity, or simply god.

The form of the abstract noun  deva-tā is from deva + tā. And so we understand the curious Greek ta... theou, those of god. The Greek ta reflects the Sanskrit -tā.

Peter was said to be a skandalon, and the original meaning of that noun in Greek is an stumbling-stone, an obstacle-stone (on the road).

The choice of this word, again, demonstrates the skill of the translators. In the orignal it was understood that the monk was an obstacle because he prevented the gods from seeing the spectacle  when he stood there in front with his fan.

This is quite clear.

On the other hand, it is unclear in the gospels why he is an obstacle. To understand the point of Peter being an obstacle we need the information about the gods as spectators. But this information is left out by Matthew and Mark.

Moreover, there is, in skandalon,  a hidden pun on the name of Peter - a pun on  petros, a stone, or petra, a rock.

Finally, the original of the "those of the men" - ta tōn anthrōpōn - is not to be found in MPS 35.

Conclusion: To get the complete picture we need the Buddhist source.

Again and again we come to this conclusion: Matthew and his colleagues deliberately leave out parts of the original story, so that the gospel version becomes obscure and puzzling. The purpose can only be to make the reader wonder and invoke his curiosity.

The use of puns, obscure and puzzling pohrases, parables  etc. is explicitly recommended in the Lotus Sūtra - another major source of the NT- for the purpose of attracting people to be converted.

Unfortunately, theologians, as a rule, mistake a deliberately obscure and absurd version of the Buddhist original as an expression of the profundness  of the mind of Jesus.

This was also this intention of Matthew and Mark.

Christian Lindtner
January 31, a.D. 2010



JESUS - VERY CRUEL AND VERY COMPASSIONATE - Buddhist source of Matthew  9:36 & Mark 6:34


Jesus was -  we are expected  to believe - not only very cruel to innocent animals ( the pigs, Matthew 8:32), but also to human beings, "enemies" ,  who would not subject themselves to  his royal authority , Luke 19:27: " Verumtamen inimicos meos illos, qui noluerunt me regnare super se, adducite huc: et interficite ante me!

Kill “em!

Sounds to me  like a command given by Lenin to his Bolshevik thugs!

But there is also a human touch, for, paradoxically, it is also said of Jesus: " As he saw the crowds, his heart was filled with pity for them".

Thus the  Greek of Matthew 9:36, above,  runs: idōn de tous okhlous, esplagkhnisthź peri autōn.

The Greek of Mark 6:34 runs:  kai exelthōn eiden Iźsous polun okhlon, kai esplagkhnisthź ep“ autous...

The paradox of Jesus being cruel as well as compassionate is solved once it is seen that we are here dealing with two different versions of the same Sanskrit phrase, found in MSV (ed. R. Gnoli, p. 130, line 5):

drstvā            ca   punar asya   sattvesu               mahākarunā         “vakrāntā:

"having seen -and-again- for him-to human beings- great compassion descended".

The idea simply is: The Lord sees how ignorant human beings are, and therefore feels compassion for them.The purpose of teaching is to remove suffering.

Matthew first took the six syllables of drstvā ca sattvesu, and rendered them in six syllables: idōn de tous okhlous.

Then he took the  eight syllables mahākarunā “vakrāntā, and rendered them in eight syllables: esplagkhnisthź peri autōn.

Mark took the six syllables drstvā ca “vakrāntā, and rendered them in six syllables: kai exelthōn eiden.

Then he took the seven syllables: punar asya sattvesu, and rendered them in seven syllables: Iźsous polun okhlon kai.

Finally, he  took the eight syllables: mahākarunā “vakrāntā, and , repeating the kai, rendered them in eight syllables: kai esphlagkhnisthź ep“ autous.

As a rule, Buddhist texts mention compassion in the context of teaching: The Lord observes that human beings suffer due to ignorance. Hence, moved by compassion, he starts to teach them the Dharma that removes ignorance and  thereby leads to liberation from suffering.

This fits the gospel context perfectly: Jesus is here presented as  a teacher and he sends out his disciples to teach others - about Righteousness,  dikaiosunź, i.e. Dharma.

But Jesus wants to remove suffering, not by knowledge, but by faith. That idea is also Buddhist - it is lifted from Mahāyāna, mainly the Saddharmapundarīkasūtram - the Lotus.

Jesus, we may conclude, borrowed his great compassion from the Buddha, but  that did not prevent him from being cruel to innocent  animals and to human beings.

After all, as the alleged son of Jahweh, he came of a very cruel stock. The paradox, in short,  comes from the combination of OT and Buddhist sources.

Christian Lindtner
January 26, a. D. 2010



THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS - Buddhist sources of Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12; Luke 4:1-13


Jesus was led to the desert by the wind - did he fly? - where he was tempted by the Devil - a strange character - who first asked him to turn stones to bread - an odd exercise - and then took  him to the holy city, setting him on the top of the temple - out there in the desert? - Finally, the Devil  took Jesus to a very high mountain, showing him all the kingdoms of the world - what a view from out there in the middle of nowhere! Here, he made him an offer: " All this I will give you - IF you will kneel down and worship me!" - But, no, Jesus rejects the offer, the Devil leaves, and angels come and help Jesus.
One must, of course  be very naive in order  to take these fables for true history, yet theologians still do so, asking for the exact location of the desert, the high mountain, the pinnacle of the temple etc. As usual, Matthew and his colleagues combine OT and Buddhist sources into a new whole. The OT sources have already been identified long ago, and I will not repeat them here.
The Buddhist sources are mostly found in the MSV, I, pp. 94-96:
Before the Bodhisattva goes to the hermitage - Sanskrit ā-sra-mam, hermitage,  (p. 96) becomes Greek e-rź-mon, desert - he entered the (holy)  city of Rāja-grham, where the king, Bimbisāra(s), is standing up there on the top of the palace.
The Sanskrit compound upari-prāsāda-tala-gatas is rendered very nicely  by Greek epi to pterugion tou hierou (Matthew 4:5; Luke 4:9): The upari becomes epi; the top of the palace becomes the top of the temple. The verb gatas, gone to,  represents Greek histźsin, placed.

The king approaches  the Bodhisattva and offers him   beautiful women etc., in these words: dadāmi te varān bhogān, "I will give you very good things", IF you will tell me your name and background. The Bodhisattva tells the king about his family etc., but is not at all interested in the kind offer.

The Devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world - a manifest absurdity, for who in the world has the power to do so? But the Indian king of Rājagrham in Magadha (Magadha turns up in Matthew 15:39), Bimbisāra(s) (v.l: Bimbasāra(s)), offers Bodhisattva a share in his kingdom - which makes sense.

The reasons given by Jesus for rejecting the kind - and absurd - offer remain obscure.
In the case of the Bodhisattva, the reason for his rejecting the perfectly rational offer, is clear: He, the Bodhisattva,  is interested in becoming an enlightened Buddha, not a worldly king. That decision was made long ago, before he met the king. The Devil who "tempted" Jesus, we conclude,  was,  in this case, the king of Magadha - the four syllables of Bim-bi-sā-ras thus becoming Di-a-bo-los.
The Greek offer of the Devil is (Matthew 4:9):
tauta soi panta dōsō  - these to you all I will give.
These four words translate the four Sanskrit words (MSV, I, p. 95) :
dadāmi te varān bhogān.
The San. dadāmi becomes Gr. dōsō, I will give. The San. te becomes Gr. soi, to you.
The San. accusative is varān bhogān, best enjoyments, good things, become Gr. accusative: tauta panta, these all. The Gr. has seven syllables, the San. eight, as required by San. prosody.
The notion  that Jesus was carried by the wind - suggesting that he was able to  fly - is abhorrent to most  theologians, who, therefore, normally translatre the Greek by "Jesus was led by the Spirit", or the like, thus obscuring the original hupo tou pneumatos - by the wind. But in Buddhist scriptures, Buddhas can fly, no problem  - and so could our imaginary friend , Jesus.
Christian Lindtner
January 18, a. D. 2010



BE IT FAR FROM THEE, LORD! - Buddhist source of Matthew 16:22


The NT gospels, are, by and large, literary mosaics, fabricated by lifting  words and phrases from Buddhist gospels, combining them with words and phrases from the OT. We are, therefore, not dealing with history, but with fiction.

One of the main Buddhist sources is the Lotus Sūtra - the Saddharmapundarīka (SDP). According to Matthew 16:22, Peter took the Lord aside and said to him:  hileōs soi, kurie; ou  mź estai touto: "Gracious for you,Lord,  may this not be!" This is taken from the Sanskrit of the SDP (p. 53). The Lord asked Sāri-Putras a question, and Sāri-Putra  answered - Sāri-putra āha: na hy etad Bhagavan; na hy etad Sugata: "Not surely this, Lord; not surely this, Good-gone!" The Greek hileōs means gracious, which suggests  that a "let God be", or "God is",  may be understood. The Vulgata, however, says:

Absit a te , Domine; non erit tibi hoc! "Be it far from thee, Lord; for this shall not be unto thee." The Vulgata, for the first word,  thus comes closer to the original (na hy, not surely) of the SDP.
Observations: The Buddhist disciple, PuTRaS becomes PeTRoS.- Perfect!
The Sanskrit Bhagavan,  Lord (vocative) becomes kurie, Lord (vocative).- Perfect!
There are two negations in the Sanskrit (na, na); likewiese in the Greek version (ou mź).-Perfect! The San. consists of  7 (6) plus 7 (6) syllables. (hy etad may be read as 3 or 2 syllables.) The Greek consists of 7 plus 6 syllables. - Perfect! Sanskrit etad becomes Greek touto, "this". - Perfect! In the San. the verb is understood (as normally). The verb understood is, for sure, asti/bhavati, "is", becoming estai in the Greek. What is - apparently -  missing in the Greek  is the Su-gata of the original.Sugata is, of course, one of the many names of Bhagavān (nominative form). Su-gata,  here in the vocative, may be understood as: (You) are well gone! But gata, in itself, has many meanings: "understood, disposed" etc. Su-gata may thus be taken as "well-disposed" - which is the interpretation behind the Greek: hileōs.

Conclusion: Sugatam! This patchwork was, as always, done with great care and attention  to all details in the original Sanskrit. This conclusion  is in accordance withe established fact that all syllables have been carefully by Matthew in the gospel (wrongly) ascribed to him.
Christian Lindtner
January 14, a.D. 2010



AND or OF? Buddhist source of Mark 2:16


When it comes to Comparative Gospel Studies (CGS), there is a rule that says - or ought to say -  that the Devil is to be found  in the philological detail, and that that Devil may in fact turn out to be a tiny god of revelation.
How so?

One of the characteristic features of the Sanskrit language (and Pāli as well) is the extensive employment of  compounds. Thus, for instance,  two nouns may be combined thus: brāhmana-grhapati, or sramana-brāhmana, or  bodhisattva-srāvaka, etc. These compounds are so-called dvandva-s, which means that an "and" is understood. That the "and" should be understood, and added when we translate, is clear not only from the Buddhist  context but also from subsequent translations into other "Buddhist languages" such as Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian, etc. In other words, brāhmana-grhapati should be translated as "priests AND householder(s)", sramana-brāhmana as "ascetics AND priests", bodhisattva-srāvaka as "bodhisattvas AND srāvakas" , etc.

We can, as said, be sure that the AND should be added from the context, but at the same time it is clear that in theory one could also translate, without violating the Sanskrit syntax, as "the householders OF the priests", "the priests OF the sramanas", or "the srāvakas OF  the bodhisattvas". All this is known to Sanskrit scholars.
When the authors of the NT gospels translated from the Sanskrit, they also imitated these Buddhist compounds. For that reason, we are constantly confronted with " the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matthew 16:1), with  "the chief priests and the Pharisees" (Matthew 27:62) etc. All such NT dvandva-s have a Buddhist source.  (For a fairly complete  list, with the Sanskrit equivalents,  my Geheimnisse, pp. 161-166,  or Hemligheten  om Kristus, pp. 156-160).
Now, in all these cases there can be no doubt that the "and" represents the original Sanskrit quite correctly.
One curious and utterly  revealing  exception to the rule  is provided by Mark 2:16, who speaks of "the grammarians OF the Phariseees". This odd expression has led some translators to violate the Greek text  Thus , for instance, the "Today“s English Version" of the American Bible Society translates: "Some  teachers of the Law, who were Pharisees..." The reader is thus left with the wrong impression that the text speaks of one group of people, not of two different groups. If one is familiar with the Buddhist original it is easy to see what happened. The original Sanskrit compound was a dvandva, i.e. an AND - not an OF -  had to be understood. We can see that Mark, without violating the Sanskrit syntax , translated the Sanskrit compound wrongly, i.e. deliberately wrongly. The Sanskrit, in other words, had a compound A-B. That compound could either be understood as A and B, or as B of A. Each of the two renderings would be in accordance with Sanskrit syntax, but only one of them would be in accordance with the sense originally intended.

To conclude: As a rule, all the NT compounds of the type "A and B",  with reference  to various groups of persons,  are correct renderings of the Sanskrit "A and B compounds".
Mark 2:16 is an exception to that rule. But this exception points back to the same Buddhist source. Mark cannot - as shown by the many "correct" renderings in that Gospel - have been unaware that the OF was a "wrong" rendering. But it was, as said,  correct from the point of view of Sanskrit syntax. Deliberately "wrong" versions of the original Sanskrit are not uncommon in the Greek of the NT.

Another example of the same sort - with focus on the firts part of the compound in the genitive case -  is provided by two different renderings of one and the same Sanskrit original. Sometimes the Greek speaks of the Kingdom of God, some times it speaks of the Kingdom of the Heavens. Here we are no longer dealing with dvandva-s, but with another sort of compound combining two different nouns. The first part of the compound defines the second part more closely. 

The Sanskrit original is, as a rule, deva-parisad - the "kingdom" of deva-. The first part of the compound tells us what kind of parisad ("congregation", "assembly") we are dealing with.  Sanskrit deva (nominative devas) corresponds to Greek theos, to Latin deus.
Here, deva- is the firsat part the Sanskrit compound. The Sanskrit says "the deva-kingdom". One cannot see whether the deva- should be understood as being in the singular or in the plural.From the point of view of Sanskrit syntax, both options are allowed. If we therefore take deva- in the genitive singular (devasya = theou), we get "of god". If we, alternatively, take it in the plural (devānām = ouranōn), we get "of the gods, of the heavens".

Thus the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of the Heavens are but two different - but equally correct - versions  of one and the same Sanskrit original. NT scholars have, as known,   been puzzled by the two synonymous phrases. But this is only because they have failed to study Sanskrit.  And a theologian of the NT  with no knowledge of Sanskrit - how can the Kingdom of the heavens be said to belong to him?
Further examples and references in my Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus, Suederbrarup (Leuhe-Verlag) 2005.
Christian Lindtner
January 10,a.D. 2010



MORE THAN 500 WITNESSES - ALL FALSE - Buddhist sources of 1 Corinthians 15: 1- 11


Absolutely fundamental to any sort of Christianity is the belief in the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the dead. If the dead are not raised and if Christ has not been raised, then the  Christian faith is a delusion and Christians are lost in their sins. Such is the view of Paul. Such is the faith of Christians. But as historians we must ask: What is the evidence or proof of the resurrection of Christ and of the dead?

The common opinion of Christian theologians and believers is that "the oldest and most reliable" evidence or proof of the resurrection of Christ is provided by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. There may be a few other witnesses, mainly women, but they cannot be considered very reliable. But how can we be sure that Paul is reliable, and that 1 Cor. 15:1-11 provides  the oldest and best evidence?

The mere fact that a given witness makes a claim does not make him reliable. One must ask for his sources. He may be wrong, he may be a liar.  Now  Paul does in fact refer to certain sources, for he says that he has his information from certain scriptures. Unfortunately,  these scriptures cannot be identified. All theologians agree that there are no scriptures in Greek or Hebrew that can be identified as the sources of Paul“s claims concerning resurrection.  At this point, therefore, we cannot decide the value or validity  of the testimony provided by Paul. Is he, as a witness,  reliable or is he not reliable? If we want to be honest, we cannot decide. The case must be left sub judice.

Now, fortunately, help is on its way - not to Paul, but to historians. In this case, as in so many other cases. the source of Paul can be traced back to the MPS, which is available in Sanskrit and in Pāli. Anyone familiar with the MPS can easily see that Paul has combined two chapter from that text, namely chapters 9 and 48 (in the edition of Waldschmidt, Berlin 1951, pp. 162-171 &  420-425).

Here are the main points:

MPS 9: In the village of Nādikā a large number of brothers and sisters have passed away. What will become of them? It is explicitly said that "more than 500 brothers have passed away". This sentence is  available in the Sanskrit (9:15)  and in the Pāli (Waldschmidt, p. 166). The Pāli has been translated into English, e.g. by Trevor  Ling: "More than five hundred devout men of Nadika who have died" (The Buddha“s Philosophy of Man,  London 1981, p. 159) This accounts for the " more than five hundred brothers...of whom some have died", in 1 Cor. 15:6, a statement that has always caused the greatest embarrassment to theologians. The more than 500 brothers are never mentioned in any other ancient Christian sources - with one exception, a Coptic source that says that the more than 500 were Indian priests (see R. Garbe, Indien und das Christentum, Süderbrarup 2004, p. 292). There is, as we have just seen, some truth in this. There was an Indian source for the 500.

The Buddhist ext then explains that some of those who have passed away will never return again, whereas others will return "once", Sanskrit sakrd. This accounts for the Greek ephapax, "at once" in 1 Cor 15:6. Greek ephapax simply translates the Sanskrit synonym sakrd - once, at once. Immediately before  he mentions the "more than five hundred brothers, Paul mentions Kźphas and "all twelve" (some translators add "apostles", but the Greek does not mention apostles at all). The twelve were not "apostles" at all - they were Buddhists:  Again, Paul follows the MPS,  which, as said, has been transmitted to us in several versions. One of these, now  only in Chinese, explicitly speaks of exactly 12 brothers who have been reborn among the gods (this is the Dīrghāgama, translated by Waldschmidt, Ūberlieferung...Göttingen 1944, p. 71).
Other versions give different numbers here (one Chinese version gives the number 10), and it is quite remarkable that the Latin Vulgata speaks of eleven, not twelve, 1 Cor. 15:6.

Paul also mentions Kźphas and Iakōbos, and here one must pay attention to the spelling: There are three consonants in both cases: k-b(ph)-s. Both names translate the Sanskri name of Kāsyapa(s) - k-p-s. Chapter 48 of the same MPS  provides us with the second source of Paul. Here we meet Kāsyapas who, along with five hundred monks,  finally arrive and become witnesses to the cremation of the physical body of the Lord. His "jewel body" goes up to the world of Brahmm, i.e. in flames. The Sanskrit verb for "went up", agaman, MPS 49:23, corresponds to the Greek for "raised".

To summarize: Paul refers to scriptures that are not available in Greek or Hebrew. But they are available in Sanskrit and Pāli. These scriptures are, therefore, Buddhist scriptures.

It is quite true, as Paul says, that  more than five hundred brothers, along with Kāsyapas, were witnesses to the "resurrection", i.e. cremation of the Lord. The Lord was a ksatriyas, a nobleman, and Sanskrit ksatriyas becomes Greek ho Khristos, in the usual way. Hence, Paul is careful  not to speak of Jesus, but of Khristos. When Paul combines two different chapters, and two different episodes in the Buddhist original, he does so not entirely  at random but according to certain rules. According to rabbinical hermeneutics, it is allowed to combine two otherwise different scriptural passages provided they have a significant number in common. This rule, in Hebrew,  is called Neged, "corresponding significant number". An example is provided by OT, when Numbers 13:25 mentions 40 days, and Numbers 14:34 mentions 40 years. The two otherwise unrelated passages have a correspondig significant number, viz.  40. In exactly the same way , Paul combines two passages in the same Buddhist text, the MPS, where one chapter mentions more than 500 brothers, and another mentions 500 monks.

All this means, of course, that the "proof" or "evidence" provided in support of the faith in the historical resurrection of Christ, and the dead in general, is purely fictitious. Paul refers to scriptures, i.e. Buddhist scriptures, that describe some events that took place - or did not take place -  far away in Magadha a long time ago. (Magadha, it will be recalled, was mentioned by Matthew 15:39 only.) He, Paul,  then combined events from that Buddhist text into a new unit. He then transferred this piece of literary fiction to another place, to another time, to another person.  How can, for example, events said to have taken place in India centuries ago, prove the historicity of events said to have taken place in, say,  New York quite recently! Paul cannot have been unaware of what he was doing. Paul cannot have been unaware that he was a falsifier of history. Paul cannot have been unaware that he was himself a false witness.Once we recognize this to be so, we also understand why Paul compares himself to a "miscarriage", an ektrōma, as it were, in 1 Cor. 15:8. Paul justifies himself by stating that he is what he is - that is: a false witness - thanks to the grace of God.

What is that supposed to mean? What does "grace of God" mean in this context?
It can only mean that deliberate deceit is a good thing provided it can bring about some desirable result. There is no evidence at all to suggest that Jesus existed or had been raised from the dead, but if people could feel happy  when fooled into believing so - fine and good. The same fundamental attitude is reflected well in Romans 3:7, which in plain words simply says that untruth is fully acceptable provided it serves the greater glory of God. Such a  Jesuitic  attitude is also typical Buddhist. In the Lotus Sūtra, Buddhist muissionaries are advised to employ  tricks, lies etc. for the greater glory of the Buddhas.

If people like to be deceived -let them be deceived! And in our modern world we speak of propaganda, or, to use an euphemism, mass communication. Thus, Paul, when it come to the evidence for resurrection of Christ and of the dead, proves to be a prominent false witness. That he himself, however, may have believed in the resurrection of the dead, need not be doubted.

This belief is typical Buddhist. Due to their bad karma, people may go down to the dead in the hells. After some time, they may come back to this world. The "dead" in the hells are not really dead. They can come back to normal life and suffering.
They have thus been raised from the world of the dead.

The Buddhist background of Paul is thus clear. When he presents himself as a Christian, however, and fails to acknowledge his Buddhist sources explicitly, he then can be descibed as, well, an ektrōma (to use his own term).
Christian Lindtner
Dec. 29th, a.D. 2009




If one claims that Jesus was a historical person able to  talk and to write, and that he  also was  the author of the celebrated parable of the ten virgins - known to us only from Matthew 25:1-13 - then one is also compelled to admit that Jesus was indeed a Sanskrit scholar - the most famous of all Sanskrit scholars , surely. How so?

As I have shown in my book and in several essays, the MSV, which includes the MPS, is one of the main sources of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There is hardly a chapter in the MPS that has not left traces in the NT gospels.

The direct source of Matthew 25:1-13 is to be found in MPS, Chapter 4. This chapter is available not only in Sanskrit, but also in Pāli, as well as in several old Chinese versions from now lost Sanskrit originals.  (There are also Tibetan and Mongolian versions, to be sure.) When one compares these various versions, there are interesting variants, but the basic story is the same:

Tathāgata (Buddha) delivers a sermon  on pramādas and apramādas. Sanskrit PRaMāDaS means negligence, carelessness. Sanskrit aPRaMāDaS means the opposite, i.e. carefulness, heedful attention, vigilance. There are five disadvantages associated with PRaMāDaS, e.g. after passing away an immoral person  goes to Hell. Likewise, there are five advantages associated with aPRaMāDaS, e.g. after passing away, a good person  goes to Heaven (svarga). Stupid people engage in PRaMāDaS, whereas wise people are very concerned about  aPRaMāDaS. The sermon is delivered to brahmans and householders from the town  of Pātali.
The purpose of the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25:1-13, is clearly to make the point that one must be ready and prepared for the coming of the Lord, in other words, for heaven (mentioned in the first verse). Vigilance is in the focus. This was also the purpose of the Buddhist sermon on vigilance. The Sanskrit word for the world of  heaven is svarga-loka (verse MPS 4:17). There are five wise virgins, and there are five foolish virgins. All ten virgins have lamps, but five of the ten forget about the oil. They are like a man, we may say,  wanting to go for a ride in  his car, but forgetting  all about oil and gas.
Comparing the Buddhist and the Christian textual units, we cannot fail to see that they are related. But how, quite precisely? How did the "translations" take place?
In the usual fashion: In the Greek version the focus is on the ten virgins and on the ten lamps. The Greek for virgin is PaRTheNoS, and the Greek for lamps, in the accusative plural is LaMPaDaS. The Sanskrit original had five kinds of aPRaMāDaS, and five kinds of PRaMāDaS, as mentioned above. It is thus clear that the Greek P-R-T(h)-N-S and L-M-P-D-S are but two fifferent versions of the five Sanskrit consonants found in aPRaMāDaS as well as PRaMāDaS, i.e. P-R-M-D-S.

I need not remind the reader that in the ancient Jewish scripts the vowels were left out, and that in Sanskrit r and l often interchange (e.g. lājā, king, for rājā etc.). The consonants d and t are both dentals, and m and n are nasals. What an odd way of translating! - the moderrn reader may exclaim. But if the modern reader finds it hard to believe that anyone would translate in this way, this just betrays his ignorance of ancient rabbinical hermeneutics. For it goes without saying that those who translated these Buddhist texts were also familiar with the Old Testament and thus also with rabbinical hermeneutics (without a knowledge of which OT and NT are completely unintelligible).

If two words have the same set of consonants they also have the same numerical value, for each consonant has a numerical value of its own. For example 3+4+5 is the same as 5+4+3. Thus a "bag" and a "bug" are in a sense the same - for the number based on the consonants are the same. (One can easily imagine the fun :  bar and beer, bear and rib etc. etc.)

To repeat: The five kinds of disadvantage associated with carelessness becomes five stupid virgins with five lamps without oil. The five kinds of advantage associated with vigilance become the five wise virgins with five lamps with oil. It is a common Buddhist dogma that carefulness,  vigiliance , is  conducive to rebirth in hreaven. (This is not typical Christian, where the emphasis is on grace.) The Buddhist source explicitly says that carelessness is the cause of an immoral person going to hell efter his passing away. This reference to hell is left out in Matthew. When one compares many other words in Matthew 25:1-13 with the Sanskrit (and Pāli), one will be able to identify many other Greek words in the Sanskrit - the cry, the wise, the foolish etc.

The conclusion is that the Buddhist text gives the "full picture". Much is left out in the Christian copy - with the result that reader is puzzled.  To leave the reader puzzled - and the commentators busy - is a deliberate trick on the part of Matthew , Mark, Luke and John. People are and have always been  attracted by mysterious sayings, puzzles and riddles. This is also a common Buddhist trick - to atract people by entertaining and fooling them. It is, at the same time, a typical rabbinical trick (see e.g. Hermann L. Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, New York 1959, pp. 93-98).
But there is more

The Dutch theologian Smit Sibinga - who weas completely unaware of the Sanskrit source (as he kindly informed me in a personal communication) - has made a numerical analysis of Matthew 25:1-13, and pointed out that "Matthew" carefully counted the number of syllables and arranged the verses in a such a way that there is a clear center with "circles" of the same number of syllables around that center.
This fine observation proves, in itself, that "Matthew" counted syllables. That he counted syllables also means that he paid attention to each syllable - i.e. to the spelling of each word. The man who is responsible for Matthew 25:1-13 knew Sanskrit as well as Greek.
The general view of scholars is, by now, that the Greek text of Matthew was not translated from some "Aramaic original" - giving the words of Jesus in "his own tongue".

The Greek text of Matthew - at least for this parable - must have been translated directly from some Sanskrit original coming very close to the MPS (ed. Ernst Waldschmidt, Berlin 1951). The consonants would have been lost had the transtion not been direct.  (There is also an old Pāli version of MPS. It has often been translated into modern languages. An English version by Trevor Ling is available in Everyman“s Library as "The Buddha“s Philosophy of Man", London 1981. The Pāli text of the 2 x 5 etc.  is found in the Mahāvagga of the Vinayapitaka. For all the references, see Ernst Waldschmidt, Die Überlieferung vom Lebensende des Buddha, Göttingen 1944, p.52.).

To conclude:  If it is claimed that Jesus is the author of the parable of the ten virgins, it also follows that this Jesus knew Sanskrit - and Greek, of course -  and that he counted syllables and words, i.e. that he was a mathematician of some sort.

To avoid this dangerous conclusion, one may argue that "Matthew" has not represented Jesus correctly. This may, again, either mean that Jesus never expressed this parable at all - which makes Matthew totally unreliable. Or it may mean that Jesus was indeed, responsible for this parable - but in another form. But even so, not only is this pure speculation, but it is impossible to conceive of the ten virgins, the ten lamps, the imprtance of vigilance for rebirth in heaven etc. isolated from the Buddhist context, which is coherent and logical. So: either Jesus is responsible for a good and "faithful"  version of the Sanskrit - as in Matthew 25:1-13. Or else he is responssible for a bad and totally confused  version.

In any case, Jesus must have a been a Sanskrit scholar, and since Jesus still is such a famous man , we can say: Jesus was a famous Sanskrit scholar. About the relative chronology there can, to be sure, be no doubt. The Pāli version of the parable is found in the Vinaya, which belongs to the earliest strata of Buddhist literature. Moreover, the dogma of vigilance leading to heaven only makes sense in the context of a theory of karma, retribution - which is not exactly typical for Christianity! Who would claim that the Buddhist doctrine of karma and rebirth is derived from Jesus called Khristos?

The only way to avaoid this conclusion is to accept that Jesus is not a historical person at all. And that is a conclusion we often come to.  And it is a safe one, too. But the Sanskrit scholar behind the parable remains.
Christian Lindtner
Dec. 21th, a.D. 2009





The main Buddhist sources for the legend of the Passover and the Traitor,  are , as usual, to be found in the MSV. Thus, in MPS 26 (last part of MSV) we read about how the Lord and the monks had their  last (Sanskrit pascimam) meal in the home of a certain Cundas, the son of a smith, San skrit karmāras. The Christian version, a copy,  is mainly found in Matthew 26:17-25; Mark 14:12-21; Luke 22:7-13, and John 26:20-25.

We are on the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread - a curious expression, rendering in, fact, San. pūrvāhne, or pubbanhasamayam (Pāli), MPS 26:14, i.e. early in the morning. The Greek asumōn reflects the San. samayam. The San. word for "last" is pas-ci-mam, which becomes Greek to pas-kha, the passover.In both sources there is the last meal taken with all the monks/disciples, but only in NT is the last meal combined with the last words. I shall come back to this.

In Matthew, the disciples are instructed to prepare the last meal in the house of " a certain man", Greek:  ton deina - not very helpful! The Greek ton deina, as will be obvious in a moment, is a pun on Cun-dam - tha accusative form of Cundas. Mark and Luke are a bit  more helpful, for they describe the unknown host as bearing a pitcher of water. Poor disciples, for what if there were several unknown men in that town bearing pitchers of water?  The person in question is the Buddhist Cundas, said to be the son, putras, of a smith, karmāras, MPS 26:14. The Buddha and the monks had their last meal together at Cundas“ place.

The son of a karmāras becomes man carrying a pitcher, keramion, of water. San. karmāras (accusative: karmāram)  becomes Greek keramion. As they are sitting there together, one evil monk steals a golden bowl ( other versions say it was of copper) and hides it in his sleeve. Only Cundas and the Lord notice this case of theft, whereby the evil monk obviously  betrays the Buddhist "path".

In the Christian version, the man who puts his hand in the bowl is defined as the traitor, and his name is Joudas. John adds that he, Joudas, is the son of  Simōn Iskariotźs. The sense of that name is obscure, but here probably intended as a translation of the San. karmāra-putras. In Matthew 26:26 and the parallels, Jesus says: "Take (this, and) eat (it), for this is my body" The Sanskrit original is to be found  a little later in the same Buddhist source, viz. MPS 42:10. Here, Tathāgata is surrounded by the monks, and he says to them: "Behold , monks,  my body." " See, monks, my body!" These are explicitly described as his last words to the monks, MPS 42:11.

The point of his words, I assume from the context,   is to make the monks aware of his physical decreptitude that will soon end in his passing away. Not only does the Greek retain the two imperative forms of the verb, addressed to the same group of disciples/monks, but the tou-to gar es-ti - "for this is" -  also renders the five syllables  ta-thā-ga-tas-ya quite nicely. The disciples of Jesus are, in other words,  invited to take and eat the body of Tathāgata - i.e. to become Buddhists. This becomes more esy to understand, when one recalls that the Tathāgata is an embodiment of the Buddhist Dharma. The bread, Greek artos, that Jesus  took, reflects the Sanskrit dharmas.

Since the bread is the dharma, it follows that the bread-body is originally the dharma-kāya, familiary to all Buddhists. And this is what numerous Christians have been doing and still are doing  - on many a Sunday. The purpose and sense of taking part in the Eucharist then, is to have a share in the body of the Tathāgata, the dharma-body. What elseis the Lord“s Supper?
After these incidents, Matthew 26:30 reports that they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives. What hymn, exactly, did they sing? Matthew does not say. (Personal views of modern theologians are irrelevant.) The hymn they sang, or rather the hymn that the Lord sang, can be identified as Sutta-Nipāta, verses 83-90. These verses  describe four kinds of monks, ending with the one who betrays the Path of Buddhism,i.e.  by being a thief.

These verses are not just incorporated in the MPS, but , as said,  are also available in the old text Sutta-Nipāta, in Pāli and other versions. I am not aware of any Buddhist scholar prepared to question  that Sutta-Nipāta belongs to the earliest strata of Buddhist literature. They are, in other words, pre-Christian.These verses are, therefore, the hymn to which Matthew alludes, 26:30.

Now someone may argue: Yes, it cannot be denied that Matthew and the other evangelists have words, phrases, motives  etc. in common with MSV/MPS. But could it not be that the Buddhists copied from the NT? Answer: In that case the Buddhists would also have copied verses found in the old pre-Christian Sutta-Nipāta from some Christian source. But there is no such Christian source.

But could the Sutta-Nipāta not have belonged to some old, now lost Christian source, from which the Buddhists then copied? Answer: Perhaps, hypothetically, but in that case that early Christian source would have had to be in some Indian language (Pāli? Sanskrit?), and the contents would have been Buddhist, for it speaks of four kinds of Buddhist monks. That early Christian hymn would, in other words, have to  be Buddhist!

Conclusion: Tathāgata had his last meal with the monks at Cundas“ place. His last words, later, in another place,  to the monks were: Behold my body! See my body!
The Christians made a new legend out of this. Cundas becames J(o)udas, and J(o)udas became the name of the traitor, who was in fact the evil monk who stole a precious bowl. The thief was not identical with Cundas, but present at his house and observed by Cundas.

The Lord“s Supper first took place in the house of Cundas, which is said to have been in a village (grāmaka)  called Pāpā, or - if we prefer the Pāli form - Pāvā, MPS 26:2.The second part, with the body of Tathāgata in the focus,  took place later, in Kusinagarī, MPS 42:11.

The evangelists combined the last meal and the last words into a new unit.
All this, therefore is fiction, not history.

Christian Lindtner
December 14th., a. D. 2009




Mary, Martha and Āmra - Buddhist sources of Luke 10:38-42


All the many women called Maria (or Mariam)  in the NT can be traced back to either  Māyā, the mother of Sākyamuni, or to Āmra-pālī, the famous courtesan, ganikā. The main Buddhist source is, as usual, MSV, including MPS.

Any reader familiar with the MPS will be able to trace the Lord“s visit to Martha and Mary - reported by Luke 10:38-42 only -  back to MPS 10 -12. In 10, Āmrapālī, the famous courtesan of the village Vaisālī, comes to pay her respect to Tathāgata who is surrounded by  the usual  group of monks. She, too, is surrounded by a group  of - attractive  prostitutes. The monks are unable to control their minds, and therefore ask the Lord to teach them how to "pray", so that they can avoid falling into temptation.

This accounts for the fact that Jesus, in Luke 11:4, teaches his "monks"  how to pray so as to avoid falling into temptation. Even today, pious Christians thus pray, unknowingly,  that they be not tempted by the beautiful Indian courtesan and her prostitutes.-
Let us now take a closer look at Luke 10:38-42! As always, there is gematria, or textual geometry, involved: Verse 38 consists of 23 words, or 46 syllables, the ratio being thus nicely  1:2. Verse 39 consists of 18 words.Verses 40-42 add up to 57 words. The unit as a whole thus consists of 98 words, or 100 words,  if tź-de in v.  38, and hź-tis in v. 42 be counted as two words. It will be seen that Martha utters 18 words, corresponding to the number of words in v. 39. Jesus utters 23 words, corresponding to the number of words in v. 38. Finally, the narrator is responsible for 57 words, corresponding to the number of words in verses 40-42. Verse 38 consists , as said, of 46 syllables. These 46 syllables, forming a unit,  correspond to exactly 46 syllables, likewise forming a unit in the original Sanskrit, which is MPS 10:3 = 11:1 = 15:4 ( ed. Waldschmidt, Berlin 1953, p. 172; my Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus, p. 111).

By comparing the Greek with the Sanskrit , we can make these interesting observations:

1. Luke speaks of "a certain village". The name of that village, we now know, is Vaisālī. - Vaisālī is, of course, not mentioned in the NT or elsewhere in early Christian documents. Nevertheless, Vaisālī is known to Christians as a holy place in France,namely Vézelay,  still associated with the legend of Mary Magdalene, see http://www.vezelay.cef.fr

2. The woman called Mariam sits down at the feet of Jesus, and listens to his word, logos. This is exactly what Āmrapālī (or - pālir) does. She sits down at the feet of Bhagavān, and listens as he talks, as usual, about Dharma.

3. When Jesus says that Maria chose "the good part", Greek:  tźn agathźn (merida), the authors made a typical pun on Tathāgatam (accusative form). She was the first to choose to invite  Tathāgata for a meal and listen to him. When Luke then says that it cannot be taken from her, this refers to the incident in MPS 11:23-24, where the Licchavis of Vaisālī invite  Bhagavān to enjoy a meal with them. He declines their offer, for he has already accepted the invitation of Āmrapālī, and that cannot be taken from her. At the same time it refers to certain dharmas that "cannot be taken away".

4. But who is this Martha? In verse 38, Luke describes her as "a certain woman", gunź de tis, which is a free translation of Sanskrit gani-kā, courtesan. The San. - kā has been treated (as common in Rabbinical hermeneutics) as if it were an independent pronoun, which  is not so  in the original Sanskrit. Still, the "translation" is not bad: a certain prostitute becomes a certain woman.
MPS 12:1 is introduced by: atha Āmra-pālīs..." Then Āmra....". The two words are contracted to athāmra...This gives us the consonants th-m-r, and from those three consonants the name of  a newForside - CBS e-Campus woman is born, the sister of Āmra, aka  Maria - namely MaRTha.
In verse 39, Martha is said to have a sister CALLED Mariam. That is true - it is only something she is called. To conclude: Maria (or Mariam) and Martha are both derived from Āmra, the famous  Indian ganikā. Before she finally sits down at his feet and listens to his sermon on Dharma, Āmra is busy preparing and serving food. This is still Martha at work. MPS, in other words, presents Āmra in two different roles. This, in the NT, becomes two different women, but still in the same roles, in the same place, under the same circumstances etc. The  food being served by her to the Lord  is described as sucinā pranītena, fine (and) exquisite, MPS 12:4 (and often elsewhere). This stock phrase - seven syllables in the instumental case - is also know to the Buddhists who wrote the Gospels:

If we turn to the Anointing at Bethany, Matthew 26:7, a woman brings an alabaster jar filled with "expensive perfume", Greek:  murou barutimou. In Mark 14:3, it is descibed as pistikźs polutelous, "genuine" (and) "expensive". In John 12:3 it is  said to be pistikźs polutimou, where polutimou = polutelous. We are thus quite obviously dealing with three different translations of one and the same Sanskrit phrase - an asyndeton - sucinā pranītena. The "and" (San. ca, Greek kai) is left out. This proves the common Buddhist source.

According to John 12: 1, the episode took  place at Bethany where Lazaros lived, and it is Maria who takes the perfume described above. So the Buddhist food has become Christian perfume. Lazaros is said to be the brother of Maria and Martha, just as Maria was said to be the sister of Martha.

All this took place, as said, in Vaisālī, the home of the Licchavis.
There can, therefore, hardly be any doubt that Lazaros has derived his identity from Laicchavis.

There are several other observations to be made - puns on Āmra etc.-  but I think these examples show very well, how Luke, Matthew, Mark and John used their Buddhists sources. They fabricated new persons and events by  recycling words and phrases from the Buddhist sūtras in Sanskrit. They also counted words and syllables, as did the Buddhists before them.
Theologians often claim that the genre of the NT gospels is "unique".
This is true - but only if the Buddhist sūtra genre is left out of consideration.
Luke 10:38 provides a  small and excellent example of how NT may  imitate the sūtra genre.

It is not just Jesus who proves to be a Buddha in disguise - the same goes for all those women called Mary. They are Māyā and Āmra in disguise. The idea that the Buddha disguises himself in different ways is an old one with the Buddhists - see MPS 23:4.

There is a common Buddhist saying that all things are just names.
That must also be kept in mind when we deal with names of persons and places in the NT.

Christian Lindtner
December 7th, a.D. 2009




THE CROOKS ON THE CROSSES -  Buddhist sources of Luke 23:39-43


As the three men are hanging there, crucified, they find time for a brief chat. A chat about the future - what will it bring?  One of the criminals  asks Jesus to remember him when Jesus comes in his kingdom, and Jesus - who can hardly be expected to know the man at all -  replies: "I tell you this: today you will be in Paradise with me" - in the Greek: amźn legō soi, sźmeron met“ emou esź en tō paradeisō - Lat.: Amen dico tibi, hodie mecum  eris in paradiso. It is only Luke 23:39-43, who reports the curious  incident, and we have no idea what his source may have been.Who told him?
Or perhaps we do. We shall see.

There is some disagreement as to the proper translation of  the ten  Greek words. Some would place the comma after sźmeron, giving us thus  the translation:"Today I tell you this: you will be in Paradise with me." According to this understanding - that of   a Witness of Jehovah  - the criminal will be with Jesus at some future date, not already  today. There is a Buddhist source for this episode, and since it has been overlooked by scholars, it will not be superfluous to call attention to that source - not just  because it enables us to decide where the comma in the Greek has to be placed. The source for the promise of Jesus to one of the malefactors is - as so often - the Mahāparinirvānasūtram (MPS), a part of the MSV. The Lord, Bhagavān, is spending his last hours between two sāla-trees (yamaka-sāla, MPS 32:6,7,9), surrounded by two disciples, first  Ānanda and, a little later, Subhadra,  an old ascetic (MPS 40: 1-62). Subhadra is the last person to be converted and ordained. Once he has been ordained, he expresses the wish that he may pass away before the Lord, for he cannot bear the thought of surviving the Lord. The Lord grants him this wish.

But there is a problem!

Normally, in Buddhism, good deeds lead to rebirth in heaven, whereas evil actions lead to rebirth in the hells. Normally, it takes quite some time to accumulate good or bad karma.
But here we are introduced to some exceptions to that golden  rule of karma. Without being aware of these exceptions to the rule, we cannot understand the background of the words of Jesus quoted by Luke 23:43: "Today you will be in Paradise with me". There are two cases, we readin MPS 40,  in which a pious Buddhist goes directly to paradise (svarga). If he dies during pilgrimage to one of the four holy places (pradesas): where the Lord  was born, where He was enlightened, where He delivered  his first sermon, or where He finally  passed into Nirvāna. Moreover, a pious Buddhist will go directly to heaven (svarga), if he dies in the very  presence of the Buddha.

It is for this reason that Subhadra goes directly - on the same day -  to paradise or heaven. He is a pious Buddhist who dies in the presence of the Buddha who is about to "die", or pass away  into Nirvāna here between the two trees and the  two monks.
It is for exactly the same reason that the pious malefactor (kakourgos, Luke 23:39) on the cross, according to the promise of Jesus, can expect to go with Jesus to paradise on the same day.(That Jesus does not keep the promise is another story - see below!)
When one compares the Sanskrit words with the corresponding Greek words, one cannot fail to observe how closely Luke follows the original Buddhist source: The San. has āman-trayate, he says (the subject of the verb being the Lord, Bhagavān), which  becomse amźn legō soi, amen I say to you.(Only Jesus uses this phrase!) The San. PRaDeSaS, (holy) spot, becomes PaRaDeiSoS (nominative form), a synonym of the San. svargas (nom.), heaven.

In the San. of the MPS there are two trees and two persons, with the Lord in the middle . In Luke this image is transformed into the image of two persons ON two trees, or crosses (stakes). The Lord is still surrounded by two "trees" with "criminals" hanging on them.
In Luke, one crook rebukes the other. Likewise, in the Buddhist original, Ānanda rebukes Subhadra for disturbing the Lord who, understandably,  is old and tired.
The two "crooks" next to Jesus , needless to add, were the two Buddhist monks , Ānanda and Subhadra.

In both sources, the primary and the secondary, the topic of discussion is the same: The possibility of going directly to heaven with the Lord. A pious believer can do so, if he dies in the presence of the Lord. Even the verb "remember me" used by the false Subhara is in the San., where it is said that the four places of pilgrimage are to be remembered (anusmaranīyā, MPS  41:5) by a  pious Buddhist. When we for a moment confine ourselves to Buddhist sources, we can observe that even here it is not unusual  to take up an old theme and introduce certain variants. Thus, as I have pointed out elsewhere, in the MSV we have the episode of Gautama being impaled on a place of sculls. Here there are two eggs or sculls, one on each side of the stake. While hanging on the stake this Gautama is engaged in a conversation with his former teacher. They, too, talk about the future. This episode has also left some wonderful  traces in Luke. I shall come back to these later.

The San. noun for stake is shūlam, which becomes Greek xulon, as in Acts 5:30. Here, the Greek epi xulou is often translated as "to a cross", but , as the San. shows, it should be "on a stake". Luke often uses MPS - a part of the MSV - as his source. So did his learned colleagues, Matthew, Mark and John - not to speak of Paul. In some cases Luke has an episode not found in Matthew or Mark. This shows that Luke  used MPS/MSV independently. In a few cases the same goes for Mark. The longest direct loan that I am aware of consists of 46 syllables. This is Luke 10:38.(See my Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus, p. 111 for the San. source.) To conclude the episode of the two - or three - crooks on the crosses, it may be observed that Luke goes on to tell his incredible tale of how, at twelve o“clock, the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country until three o“clock... The source is, again, Buddhist, viz MPS.

The identification of the Buddhist source of the episode of the crooks on the crosses not only proves - if proof were needed - that what Luke reports has nothing to do with actual history somewhere  in Jerusalem. The episode is mythical, as is the original.
Perhaps more important, the identification shows that Luke had a great sense of humor - typical Buddhist, in fact - that may, however, not be duly appreciated by all Christians, more pious than the alleged founder of their religion. Luke must have had great fun turning the two Buddhist monks into two crooks to be impaled, and later on, in sending Jesus to hell - not to Paradise! -  for a couple of days. For he was resurrected "from the dead" - the Buddhist term for "from hell".

In other words: If the criminal actually did go to Paradise, as Jesus promised - Jesus would not be there with him! Or, alternatively, if we construe the "today" with the verb "I say to you", then it could be that the two would meet at some future date - not today - in Paradise - and that would be  some spot  (pradesas) in India! The episode only makes  good sense once one knows the source. But then it also makes wonderful sense - Aristophanes could not do better!
Christian Lindtner
December 6th. a. D. 2009





In a communication given to Biblical scholars at Louvain in 1970, the Dutch theologian J. Smit Sibinga, discussing the literary technique of Matthew, observed that the author of the First Gospel, consciously and consistently "arranged his text in such a way, that the size of the individual sections is fixed by a determined number of syllables. The individual parts of a sentence, the sentences themselves, sections of a smaller and larger size, they are, all of them, characterized in a purely quantitative way by their number of syllables" (Menken, p. 21).

And how did the scholars present in Louvain  react to this observation? According to a personal communication from one who was present, (Prof. Birger Gerhardsson, Lund University), "they giggled", and according to my own experience, scholars as well as non-scholars still tend to giggle, when they hear that Matthew - and the same goes for the other authors of the NT, I may add from my own research  - always counted the number of syllables - and words  of a sentence or a part of a sentence.

But only the insipid laugh when confronted with facts that are new to them. Serious scholars try to understand facts, no matter how odd they may appear at  first glance.
In his important doctoral dissertation from 1985, Numerical literary techniques in John, M.J.J. Menken, a student of Smit Sibinga, carried on this sort of NT research (based on the Greek, of course).

One of his most important observations was (p. 272):

"The sum total of syllables or words for a passage is equal to the numerical value of an important name or title occurring in that passage."

Examples of this rule:

1. John 1:19 - 2:11 has a size of 1550 syllables, which number is the numerical value of ho khristos ("the Christ") - the main person in that passage.

2. John 17:1b - 26 contains 486 words, which number is the numerical value of the vocative pater (father!) , which is found six times in the text.

3. John 1:1-18 consists of exactly 496 syllables, which is the numerical value of monogenźs, ("only begotten"), an important qualification of Jesus. It occurs in John 1:14 & 18, and 3:16 & 18; and 1 John 4:9).
To take just one more example, first pointed out by Smit Sibinga ( cited by Menken, p. 23):
Peter“s speech in Acts 2:14b - 36 is made up of two equal halves: 444 syllables in 2:14b-24, and again 444 syllables in 2:25-36. Their sum, 888, is the numerical value of the name Iźsous (= 10+8+200+70+400+200 = 888; C.L.) - a number which was famous in this quality in the second century, witness Irenaeus“ Adversus haereses 1,15,2.
Moreover, if we look upon Acts 2:1-47, a numerical analysis shows that this chapter as a whole consists of exctly 1776, or 2 x 888 syllables.
These are just a few striking examples, and subsequent research by Smit Sibinga and myself  has shown that their number can easily be increased, and that the rule, therefore, is correct: The authors of the NT texts counted numbers of syllables and words.
Quite unexpectedly, the rule that the authors of the Gospels counted syllables and words, has, through my own research, received support from another corner of the world: Certain Buddhist canonical Sanskrit  texts - sūtra-s - have, as a numerical analysis reveals - also been composed by authors who counted syllables and words, yes, in some cases even letters.

Since these very sūtra-s can be shown to have influenced the NT in other ways (parables etc.), it is clear that  we here have yet another independent indication  of Buddhist influence in the NT.
WHY these authors  did so is another question that future research is obliged to account for. THAT they counted words and syllables is, to repeat, a fact that cannot be denied and that must be respected - even by those who now merely giggle.
Fools may laugh at hard cold facts - scholars wonder, and try to explain.
Christian Lindtner
November 27th, a.D. 2009.


Chr. Lindtner; Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus, Suederbrarup (Leuhe-Verlag) 2005.
M. J.J.Menken; Numerical literary techniques in John, Leiden (E.J.Brill) 1985.
J. Smit Sibinga; Literair handwerk in Handelingen, Leiden (E.J.Brill) 1970.


The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ


In her most recent essay, The Origins of Christianity and the Quest for the Historical Jesus, the American scholar Acharya S /D.M.Murdock argues, forcefully and boldly, in favour of the thesis that Jesus was not at all a historical person, but rather - as so many other sons of God in those days of old - a personification of the Sun.

In support of this point of view - one that she is not the first to advocate, but for which she deserves credit in graciously attending the advocacy - she adduces Christian as well as non-Christian sources, primary as well as secondary. Unremittingly, she reminds her readers of the fact that nearly everything that is said or written about the Jesus called Christ, had already at an earlier date been reported about the Buddha - or the Buddhas (too many to count), about Krishna, about Horus, about Prometheus, and, indeed, about numerous other now less known mythical figures.

That this is actually the case, no scholar familiar with Hellenistic religion and syncretism will be able to deny. Should he venture to deny, as some still do, then his colleagues can only deplore his ignorance of the relevant sources. Should anyone, moreover, wish to claim that Jesus - as opposed to so many other sons of God - is a historical person, then that defender of the old faith has a very heavy burden of proof resting upon his shoulders.

Our theologians, as a rule, simply postulate that there is no reason to doubt that Jesus was or is a historical person. There may be doubt, they admit, about the nature of that person, about the credibility of the evangelists in certain details etc., but about his existence, no, no, there can be no doubt.

Such a stand is apologetic and anything but scientific. An appeal to mere faith is an appeal to sheer ignorance.

Under such circumstances, our professional historians of religion would be expected to raise a storm of protest. They do, as a rule, fail to protest, and their failure is nothing short of a disgrace. Educated historians ought to enlighten and warn the public that there is neither solid external or internal evidence in support of the claim that Jesus was in any way a historical person.

Did Jesus really exist? - the question is not a new one. The great German theologian, Adolf Harnack once (back in 1909, before he became von Harnack) called it "the embarrassing question", i.e. embarrassing for those who raised it (viz. Kalthoff, Jensen, Drews). We must now say that von Harnack got it wrong. The question is now embarrassing - and even more so now than then - for those who fail to account for the lack of external and internal evidence, and for the parallels that are now much more numerous and close than they were in 1909. (Adolf Harnack, "Hat Jesus gelebt?" in: Aus Wissenschaft und Leben, Zweiter Band, Giessen 1911, pp. 167-175.). Above all, new Buddhist sources, in Sanskrit, have provided numerous literal parallels, i.e. direct loans.

The reason for clinging to the myth of Jesus as a historical person is, I assume, double: First of all, it is not easy to rid oneself of old and inveterate misconceptions. Such struggle not only requires freedom of mind but also personal courage - both are rare at a time where a higher Classical education and civilization with emphasis on human character have been banned from our universities and now are but remnants of brighter days.

Then there is the fear of loss of livelihood. If the story of Jesus is merely a solar myth - then our priesthood will have lost all its credibility. Who can make a living by talking about the Sun?

The edifice of Christianity - in any form it may be - rests on a ground of nonsense neatly summarized in the Apostles' Creed - that the mother of Jesus, who went to hell, was a virgin etc. etc.

If the thesis that Jesus is a mere solar myth is correct - and who is there to rebuke its validity on solid scholarly grounds? - then this must have serious consequences not just for conscientious Christian individuals, but also for a society that considers itself to be Christian in this or that respect.

The Danish church - not unlike other Lutheran or reformed churches - considers itself to be fairly "open and broad, " I am told. But is it "open and broad" enough to give room for the view that Jesus never existed, and for infidels taking that stand?

In Denmark (and elsewhere) we recognize and allow other religions, provided they do not violate certain rules or standards of decency and decorum - reflecting a Classical, and not at all a Christian tradition, I may add. The concept of decency or decorum may not be altogether clear to a modern mind, but no matter how we agree about definitions, it would be hard to leave out honesty and truthfulness from that definition. How can we have decency without honesty?

If, thus, honesty and truthfulness be recognized as natural and essential parts of decency and decorum, it follows, surely, that our professional professors of theology, along with our bishops and our priests find themselves facing a difficult dilemma: Either they must, openly and boldly, step forward to defend their honour and refute the thesis that Jesus be merely a solar myth, or they must, should they choose to remain silent, fear the disgraceful charge that their lack of honesty - not to speak of "Lutheran boldness" - makes them violate the standards of decorum and decency.

In other words: If our professional theologians do not respond and come up with strong arguments against the thesis of Jesus as a solar myth, then they will, day by day, transform the church and Christian society that for centuries have provided them with even more than their daily bread into institutions the nature of which is increasingly infested by dishonesty and lack of decency - until the day of the final and total collapse of the ancient myth.

Christian Lindtner, PhD
November 22nd, a.D. 2009.



New book expanding on the work done by Dr. Christian Lindtner

Buddha's Big Foot, by Robert Korczynski.

This controversial new book investigates history, religion, linguistics, and numerology to conclude that all of the Christian teachings of Jesus were sourced from Buddhism.

Robert Korczynski holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan with Majors in Psychology and Sociology, and Minors in Philosophy and Comparative Religions.  He is an avowed Agnostic.

Expanding on the revolutionary work done by the Danish linguist Christian Lindtner (CL), Buddha's Big Foot is an academic investigation into the influence of  King Ashoka's Buddhist Missionaries within the religions of the ancient world; called the, "Dharma Mahamatras," CL translates their name as, "Officers of the Law."  Over generations, their influence within the Hebrew groups produced the Nazarenes and the Essenes, and they are the apparent creators of Mandaeaism, the believers in John the Baptist.


The conference has been postponed!  

Conference Announcement December 2008

Did Jesus Really Exist?
New Testament Source Criticism

Speakers on the panel include:

Kenneth Humphreys, esq.,UK,
author of Jesus Never Existed.

Prof. Dr. Christian Lindtner, Denmark,
author of Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus etc.

Dr. Robert M. Price, USA,
author of Jesus is Dead, etc.

Dr. Zacharias Thundy, USA,
author of Buddha and Christ etc.

Opponent defending the historicity of Jesus,
Danish theologian: Dr. Braveheart.


Date: December 15, 2008, 17:00 through 22:30.

Venue: Havarthigaarden, Room C, near Holte S-station,
bus 193 (5 minutes, or 15 minutes by foot).
Very easy to reach from Copenhagen Central Station.

Entrance: 150,00 DKK.

Registration required no later than December 14, 2008.




New books by Christian Lindtner



Geheimnisse um Jesus Christus

This is a revised and expanded version of the Swedish book Hemligheten om Kristus.

The new book reveals numerous Buddhist sources of the New Testament. Based on a careful study of Greek and Sanskrit newly discovered sources now presented to the public for the first time.  Will appear January 2006. Place your order now: luehe-verlag@t-online.de



A Garland of Light. Kambala`s Alokamala

A new edition and translation of a Buddhist philosophical classic with Sanskrit and Tibetan texts by CL.

Order your own copy directly from Asian Humanities Press www.jainpub.com
Reviewed by Dr.Dr. Klaus Mylius in Acta Orientalia Vol. 64 (2003), pp. 273-277



Indien und das Christentum. Eine Untersuchung der religionsgeschichtlichen Zusammenhänge

A 2004 reprint of the old 1914 classic by the German indologist Richard Garbe. With a new Foreword by Christian Lindtner in which it is pointed out that the nine syllables of Revelation 13:18 are a direct “translation” of one of the most important sources of the New Testament, namely Sad-dhar-ma-pun-da-rī-ka-sū-tram.

If you wish to read the Foreword, follow this link http://www.jesusisbuddha.com/vorwort.html

Place your order now: luehe-verlag@t-online.de


Books by other authors

Katolska kyrkans djupa hemlighet  Av Bert Löfgren

I 2000 år har teologer och andra forskare talat om den historiske Jesus utan att ha kunnat uppvisa minsta bevis för hans existens.


Den danske historikern och sanskritexperten Christian Lindtner hävdar nu sedan några år tillbaka från egna översättningar av buddistiska originaltexter, att Nya Testamentet är ett plagiat av Buddhas Testamente och att Jesus, hans lärjungar och många andra gestalter i Nya Testamentet är enbart sagofigurer.


Författaren, läkare och ”amatörteolog”, har tillämpat Lindtners tankegångar på några texter ur och med anknytning till Nya Testamentet och kan påvisa flera starka indikationer på släktskap med den buddistiska läran, Mahāyāna: frälsningsbegreppet är detsamma, Uppenbarelseboken bygger på tydliga buddistiska källor och Daniels bok innehåller inte bara tydliga inslag av shamanism (vanliga i buddismen) utan också ett entydigt bevis för buddistiskt ursprung, när den explicit beskriver den buddistiske bodhisattvas, vars likhet med Kristi frälsarroll är slående. Våra teologer har aldrig höjt blicken bortom det forna Persien och har därför aldrig förstått att Indien skulle kunna förklara kristendomens ursprung. De har nu stor anledning att tänka om! 






Biblical Religion. The Great Lie. By Michael Kalopoulos


This book grew out of the comparison of the Biblical texts with the strikingly similar parallel tales of Greek-Mediterranean Mythology. It sheds new light on the cunning, deceitful and authoritarian nature of Biblical religion.









Jesus Never Existed. By Kenneth Humphreys


An uncompromising exposure of the counterfeit origins of Christianity and of the evil it has brought to the world.







Den Jesus som aldrig funnits. By Roger Viklund


A critical examination of the Biblical Jesus and the origins of Christianity. In Swedish!








Der Ursprung des Judentums im Lichte alttestamentlicher Zahlensymbolik und weitere Beiträge zur orientalischen und griechischen Zahlensymbolik. By Oskar Fischer


Reprint of a collection of extremely important papers by German Prof. Oskar Fischer from 1911-1920.







  The Christ Conspiracy. The Greatest Story Ever Sold.


Both by Archarya S. Two great gifts from a great girl. 






One can read the four Gospels of the New Testament, in the original Greek or in a modern translation, and one can study carefully word for word one or more of the numerous modern Gospel commentaries, without ever coming across the term Gematria - and yet without an understanding of Gematria, there can be no real understanding of the true meaning of the fundamental scripturers of Christianity - the 27 books of the New Testament.
An additional obstacle facing the student of the New (as well as the Old) Testament stems from the fact that Gematria is seldom adequately defined in the relevant books of reference. In many standard dictionaries and encyclopedias there is not even an entry for Gematria. (On the other hand there is now no lack of references to Gematria and related matters online.)
The term Gematria is from the Hebrew gymtry´, which, again, is derived from the Greek geômetria, a noun already attested in the Herodotus, in the sense of geometry. Some scholars have, to be sure, suggested a derivation from Greek grammateia, meaning “the office of a scribe”, that of a grammateus, Latin scriba. That derivation, however, is historically wrong, even though it can be argued that it to some extent makes good sense. We can, in fact, by way of Gematria, make sense of grammateia:
Gematria is a method of interpretation or translation. What counts is not so much the sense of words and sentences, but rather the form, i.e. the letters of the word and the sentence with its specific number of syllables.
Now, in Greek as well as in Hebrew, each letter has a numerical value assigned to it: a = 1; b = 2; g = 3; d = 4 ; e = 5 etc. Any grammar of Greek or Hebrew will provide a table showing the numerical value of each letter. This means that the distinction between letters and numbers is not necessarily sharp and clear. Words and sentences not only make sense (or no sense), but they also make numbers. And sometimes these numbers correspond to geometrical figures.
In Gematria, therefore, letters, numbers and geometrical figures are closely related. Gematria means that there is a close connection, even a natural relationship, between language and geometry.
In Hebrew, only the consonants are indicated in writing, whereas the vowels must be supplied by the reader or speaker. This fact, of course, opens up for ambiguities and for confusion - the more so if several languages are involved at the same time. Take, for example, the consonants p-t-r-s. What sense we make out of these four consonants depends not only on the vowels we insert, but also on the language in question. Behind the p-t-r-s we may find the Latin patris, “father´s”. We may also find the Greek name Petros, the modern proper name “Peter”. We may also find the Sanskrit putras, “son”. Or why not the English “pirates”? If we consider that the Aramaic bar means “son” (corresponding to Hebrew bên), we may even say that bar is equivalent to p-t-r-s.
Each consonant has, as said, a given numerical value, in this case 680, i.e. p + t + r + s = 80 + 300 + 100 + 200, giving us the total 680. If we add the vowels, as in Petros, the numerical value is different: 80 + 5 + 300 + 100 + 70 + 200 = 755. Obviously, it makes no difference if the order of the letters is changed. The total sum remains the same in case of such metathesis. In a sense, i.e. in a purely numerical sense, counting the value of the consonants only, Latin pastor or patris is the same as Greek Petros, which again is the same as English pirates, or Sanskrit putras. They are the same in the sense that their numerical value is identical.
From this small example it will be understood, as said, that there is not always a sharp distinction between numbers, figures and letters. We may laugh, shake our heads and find Gematria to be puerile. But we should not forget that Gematria can, as I shall show by some examples, be extremely sophisticated.
Historically speaking, Gematria has played an enormous role - as it certainly still does (cf., for a start, the great number of homepages found online). Also, even if Gematria leads to the most absurd and confused results, this does not mean that those who practice Gematria are themselves confused in their minds. In fact, one must make a sharp distinction between those who know the secrets of Gematria, and the “victims”, who lack the esoteric knowledge required for not becoming dumbfounded. Perhaps, really to create confusion in other minds, one should not be confused at all in one´s own mind. Gemtria, I fear, must be taken serious, very serious.

About the identity of the four evangelists we know next to nothing. They are mere names to us, with some legends - all of them Buddhist, in fact - attached to them. They can only be defined by their work. To judge from the four Gospels transmitted under their names, we can be quite sure that they - or the team behind the names - were profoundly learned and anything but naive savants. We can be sure that they were multilingual. They knew, of course, Greek. They also knew Hebrew and Aramaic. They would have known some Latin, too. This is generally admitted by all scholars.
What is new and certainly not - yet - admitted by scholarly consensus is the fact that they, Matthew etc., also knew Sanskrit. And not only did they know Sanskrit - they knew Sanskrit extremely well.
My thesis - and this is new - is that the Gospels are translations , in the sense of imitations , made directly from the Sanskrit of the Buddhist gospels. What I mean to say is simply what emerges from a close comparative study of the Sanskrit and the Greek texts in question. My thesis is no mere theory or hypothesis; it is a fact that can be observed, controlled, checked and verified. The Greek text of the Gospels imitates the sounds, the sense, the figures and the general structure of their Buddhist source.
The veracity of this thesis, I repeat, can be verified by any scholar who takes the trouble to compare word for word, sentence for sentence the Sanskrit and the Greek sources. It will not do to compare modern translations of the Buddhist texts in question with a modern version of the Greek text. The reason for this has been given above, and it can be summarized in one word: Gematria. One has to pay close attention to each and every consonant, its nature and its number. This is lost in a modern translation.
I am, to be sure, not launching a new theory, or some sensational hypothesis: I am presenting some pieces of a discovery - something that can be verified - or rejected - by other scholars, provided they are willing and prepared to follow in my tracks.
A brief but very clear outline of my thesis has been provided by Julia Messerschmitt in VffG 6 (4) 2002, S. 484-486.
The abbreviations used in connection with the following examples are :

Mt = Matthew; Mk = Mark; Lk = Luke; Jh = John.
The Greek text is easily available, for instance, and most conveniently, in The NIV interlinear Greek-English New Testament, by Alfred Marshall, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1976. Excellent dictionaries , concordances and indices etc. for the study of the New Testament are easily available. Personally, I still prefer the old Lexicon Graeco-latinum in Libros Novi Testamenti, Lipsiae mdccclxxix, auctore Carolo Ludv. Wilibaldo Grimm. A Synopse der drei ersten Evangelien, such as the one by Albert Huck and Hans Lietzmann, Tübingen 1950 (and later), is indispensable.-The original Sanskrit texts are not that easily available, some of them have not even been translated into any modern language, and I will have to refer the interested reader to my forthcoming Sanskrit-Greek Reader for references to the primary Buddhist sources. The Sanskrit-Wörterbuch der buddhistischen Texte aus den Turfan-Funden, Göttingen 1973- proves helpful for a start.

1. Peter as a rock etc.

Jh 1:42 has Jesus say to Simôn, the son of John,: “ You are called Kêphas, which is translated Petros”.
Mt 16:17 has Jesus identify the same Petros with a rock, Greek petra, on which he will build his church.
A few words later, Mt 16:17, Jesus identifies Simôn as Bar-iôna, “son of Jona”.

A commentary is called for!
None of all this is fully intelligible unless one knows Gematria.
The numerical value - the Greek term is psêphos, “pebble for counting”, of Kêphas is 20+8+500+1+200 = 729.
Now 729 is an extremely interesting figure. One may start by taking 729 little cubes. Then place 81 cubes in a square that measures 9 x 9.
Now place 8 similar squares, each of which is made up from 9 x 9 cubes, on the top of this. The result is a cube that measures 9 x 9 x 9 = 729: This cube may be taken as a foundation stone.
Then go on to petra in Mt 16:17. The numerical value of petra, “rock” is 80+5+300+100+1 = 486.
Now 486 is also an extremely interesting figure in relation to 729, for the number of squares to be seen on the surface of the cube mentioned above is 9 x 9 x 6 = 486.

This means that when John coined the name Kêphas, he was thinking of a cube, and when Matthew chose the word petra, he, too, was thinking of the same cube. This is Gematria in the sense that names, letters and numbers are directly related to geometrical figures. One sees, without difficulty, that Gematria has its foundation in Greek geômetria.
When it comes to the name of Simôn Petros it is a different story.
Simôn Petros is the name of the first (protos!)disciple of Jesus. The name of the first disciple of the Buddha - often called Tathâgatas - is âyuSMâN (Sâri-) PuTRaS.
So it easy to see, that the name SiMôN PeTRoS has come about by imitating the Sanskrit âyuSMâN PuTRaS. More precisely, the consonants have been imitated in their original order. Who can deny that s-m-n-p-t-r-s = s-m-n-p-t-r-s?
The name of the first disciple of Buddha and Jesus has exactly the same numerical value in Greek as well as Sanskrit.
The Sanskrit putras means “son”. It has nothing to do with the sense “rock” mentioned above. But in the vocative case the Sanskrit putras (nominative) becomes putra, which has exactly the same consonants - and ending - as petra.
What happened is that the evangelists first made Putras into Petros. From Petros - otherwise an extremely rare name in Greek - they got petra, meaning “rock”. From this meaning they invented a new name, the Aramaic “Kêphas”. Quite clearly, the name was designed in order to attain a numerical value corresponding to a geometrical figure.
This means that John is confusing his reader. It is not Kêphas that is translated as Petros, but Petros that is translated as Kêphas. The Petros, as shown, must have come before the Kêphas. Had he had any parents they would hardly have known!
We then learn that Petros was the “son of Jôna”. No other source provides this piece of information - which is even contradicted by Jh 1:42, who makes him the son of Iôannês, not of Iôna.

To solve this puzzle we must again consult the Sanskrit original, which actually makes âyuSMâN (Sâri-) Putras the “son of Jina”. The Sanskrit is Jina-putras. Here, Jina is one of the many synonyms of Tathâgatas, and putras is still “son”.
The noun bar is Aramaic for “son”. And so we can easily see how bar-jôna was invented: The bar translates the sense of putras, and the jôna imitates the sound of Jina. The translation, or imitation, is a hybrid made up by combining sound and sense in one compound.
So Bar-jôna was simply jina-putras, a mode of address used by Tathâgatas in speaking to âyuSMâN (Sâri-) PuTRaS.
Let me end by answering some of my friends who have no problems in identifying âyuSMâN PuTRaS behind SiMôN PeTRoS. But what about the Sâri of the original, they ask. How are we to account for the Sâri?
Consulting the Greek, the answer is simple. In Mt 16:16, Simôn Petros first says, or asks: “You are”, or why not: “Are you” - the Greek is su ei, Latin tu es.
In Sanskrit, the r in Sâri can be considered a semivowel, and as such, be left out. So the su ei contains a pun on Sâri.
Then Jesus replies: “Blessed you are”, makarios ei. Here is yet another pun on Sâri - the -rios in maka- rios. The s-r is equivalent to the s-r.
But there is no end to the puns. In the original, Sâri-Putras is also considered a kumâras, a young prince, the son of Jina. So makarios , “blessed”, also contains a pun on Sanskrit kumâras (k-m-r-s = m-k-r-s). The numerical value of the two words, counting the consonants only, is the same in both languages.
Another name for Sâri-Putras is Upatisyas.
In Sanskrit the second person singular of the verb for “be” is , in the indicative, asi, in the optative syâh, or, depending on the following consonant, syâs. Therefore, the Greek su ei also contains a pun on the Sanskrit for “you are”, asi, and even for “you may be”, syâh/syâs. But that is not all: In the Greek of Mt 16: 18, Jesus says to him, “that you are Petros”, hoti su ei Petros. Here we have a pun not merely on Putras but also on Upatisyas, which itself contains a pun on Sâri-Putras. Also, when Jesus says hoti sarx in Mt 16:17, it is difficult not to hear yet another pun on Upatisyas.

The name Upatisyas has, to sum up, been split up into -syas and -ti- and upa-.
When we ask ourselves why Matthew would want to have “Jesus” make all these puns, the answer is, of course, that this was because that was the way the original source wanted things to be. And Matthew, as said, did his utmost to imitate the Sanskrit original.
In this way we have accounted for âyuSMâN, for Sâri-, for Putras, and for Upatisyas.
The student of the NT Gospels must ask himself the question: Why is it the case that the same people so often are mentioned under so many different names? The answer is always the same: This is due to the fact that the Buddhist sources do so.
Why this is so does not concern us here. What concerns us here is to demonstrate that the Greek imitates the Sanskrit.
We may now pass on to yet another person celebrated under many different names:

2. The name(s) of Jesus

The Greek form of his name is ´ Iêsous. The general opinion, to be found in any dictionary, is that ´Iêsous is the Greek “form”, or the Greek “equivalent” of the Hebrew Joshua (yehôshua).
But actually, ´Iêsous is a rather irregular form.
When we look closer at the irregular form ´Iêsous, the irregularity must also be accounted for.
We cannot, when so doing, fail to note that the numerical value of ´Iêsous is 10+8+200+70+400+200 = 888.
Jesus is also known as “Lord”, Greek kyrios.
The numerical value of kurios is 20+400+100+10+70+200, which is exactly 800.
Jesus, as we shall see, is also called “king”, Greek basileus.
The numerical value of basileus is 2+1+200+10+30+5+400+200 = 848.
Mt 3:10 mentions a “dove”, Greek peristera, which is somehow a symbol of the descent of Jesus or the Christ.
The numerical value of peristera is 80+5+100+10+200+300+5+100+1 = 801.
In Mt 11:14 and 16:14, Jesus, or the Christ, is identified with ´Êlias, a name in which the contemporary Greek reader would hear the noun for “Sun”, Greek Hêlios. The numerical value of Hêlios is 8+30+10+70+200 = 318.
These presence of the figures: 888, 800, 848, 801 and 318 referring, in various ways with various connotations, to one and the same person, suggests that the nouns have been designed for their numerical value.
If more examples of the same nature can be adduced to the same effect, we can be sure that these figures are not a matter of sheer coincidence.
In esoteric circles familiar with Gematria, each of these figures is loaded with arcane meaning, having to do, in the final analysis, with the physical figures such as the disk of the Sun etc., i.e. with geometry. Further details do not have to detain us here.
This fact suggests, as said, that the names ´Iêsous and Kyrios etc. have been designed in order to attain a specific and significant numerical value - exactly as in the case of the various names of Putras-Petros. But the evangelists not only paid attention to the numerical value of each significant word having to do with the main actor, the dramatis persona, in the Gospels.
They also paid strict attention to the numerical value of a larger unit of prose wherein that person played the main role.
A beautiful example is provided by Jh 1:19-2:11. It was first pointed out, it seems, by M.J.J.Menken in his book Numerical Literary Techniques in John, Leiden 1985, pp. 43-96.
Jh 1:19-2:11 has the size of exactly 1550 syllables, which is also the numerical value of ho khristos = 70 + 600 + 100 + 10 + 200 + 300 + 70 + + 200 = 1550. The ho khristos is mentioned as such in Jh 1:20 & 1:25. The Christ plays the main role in this unit.
This means that there is a close connection between the numerical value of the most meaningful technical term and the total number of syllables. Form and content are related by a numerical bond.

Another example:
One of the epithets of the Christ is the obscure mono-genês, which occurs in Jh 1:14 & 1:18. It is often translated as “ the only (son)”. The Latin of the Vulgata, is uni-genitus (filius). Luther wrote: “der eingeborene (Sohn)”.
(What the original sense of that obscure and much disputed term is, can only be decided on the basis of the Sanskrit original, which has only recently been identified. I shall come back to this identification on a later occasion in due course.)
Now, what cannot be disputed, is that the numerical value of the Greek monogenês is 40+70+50+70+3+5+50+8+200 = 496. And, again, 496 is not just some odd, or rather: even, number, it is a highly significant figure. It is the “triangular” number of 31, which means that 1+2+3+4+5 etc.+ 31 = 496. Moreover, it is the third known “perfect” number, which means that it is equal to the sum of its divisors:
1+2+4+8+16+31+62+124+248 = 496. It is a triangle.
When John, therefore, chose the obscure term monogenês, there can be no doubt that he did so deliberately, and that he did not do so without at the same time being very much aware of the significant numerical value of that word.
There are many other similar examples to the same effect. It was therefore quite true when another Dutch theologian, Smit Sibinga, already in 1970 wrote, speaking about Matthew in particular, that he, “...arranged his text in such a way, that the size of the individual sections is fixed by a determined number of syllables. The individual parts of a sentence, the sentences themselves, sections of a smaller and larger size, they are, all of them, characterized in a purely quantitative way by their number of syllables” (cited from Menken, op. cit., p. 21). Subsequent research has shown beyond any doubt that Smit Sibinga´s remarkable observation also applies to all the other books in the New Testament.

3. Jesus Christ

It is certainly the common and undisputed opinion that Khristos is the Greek translation of Messiah (mâshîah; Aram. meshîhâ´), meaning “anointed (as king)”.
Nevertheless, this view, found in any work of reference, is invalid and highly misleading :
First of all, we never hear about Jesus having been anointed as king. So how can he be regarded as having been anointed as king? Who did it? When? Where? - We are never told.
Also, it is a great paradox that Jesus was considered a king - the king of the Jews or of Israel - even though, as said, he had never been anointed as such. And how could he, moreover, be a king, how could he inherit a kingdom, if his father was no king and his mother no queen? Second, while it is true that Greek khristos translates the sense of messiah, “anointed”, the form messiah utterly fails to account for the
form khristos. The two words are not at all spelled in the same way.
The Sanskrit original, a famous Buddhist text, gives the solution to the puzzle.
To repeat myself: How do we account for the form, the spelling of khristos - the kh-r-s-t-s? And how do we account for the fact that a ho , “the”, is sometimes added, sometimes omitted?
The story of Jesus, from his birth to his death, is, from beginning to end, in all respects a clear imitation of the legend of the Tathâgatas from his birth to his death.
Now, Tathâgatas was born as a ksatriyas, a nobleman, he was the son of a king, his mother was a queen, and he was, for some time, expected to become king himself. He was even anointed (abhisiktas), exactly as his predecessors, one of whom, Gautamas, is reported to have died under exactly the same circumstances that Jesus, the king of the Jews, and of Israel, is reported to have died.
Very often, as known, Jesus is not called khristos, but ho khristos, “the Christ”.
(The same goes for the name of Jesus: Sometimes he is called “the Jesus”, sometimes merely “Jesus”.) Sometimes two syllables, sometimes three syllables. In modern translations of the New Testament, the distinction is usually lost.
Looking at the consonants in ksatriyas, it is not difficult to see that khristos is a direct imitation of the Sanskrit: k-s-t-r-s = kh-r-s-t-s. The imitation is absolutely perfect. By adding the ho in Greek, the total number of syllables is 3, as in the Sanskrit original: ksa-tri-yas. The khristos accounts for the sense and for the consonants; the expanded form ho khristos accounts for the number of syllables. Once we see that khristos as well as ho khristos are simply perfect imitations of the sound and the sense of the Sanskrit ksatriyas, many other old puzzles find a simple solution.
A very famous passage, Mt 16:13-20, ends with the words: “ Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ”. We must ask ourselves, why he so much wanted his identity to be kept a secret?

This so-called “secret of Messiah” has always puzzled its interpreters. No unanimity has been reached about why in the world Jesus would want to keep his identity as “the Christ” a secret.
The solution is a simple as can be: That the Greek ho khristos was the same as the Sanskrit ksatriyas had to be kept secret.
Otherwise people would understand that the Gospel was translated from the Sanskrit, and that the Khristos, the ho Khristos was simply the Buddhist ksatriyas.
It goes without saying that the Buddhist ksatriyas was born under the same circumstances as the Jewish impersonator, the ho Khristos was, much later on.
Who, then, would, if this were not kept a secret, believe Jesus to be the king of Israel, or the king of the Jews? Who would believe him to be a new Moses? Some readers may ask whether the unknown authors of the Gospels would really be up to such tricks?

The answer is simple: The Tathâgatas himself is presented as saying that he appears in various forms of disguise, and that he accomodates his language and his external appearance to those familiar to his audience. To noblemen he appears disguised as a nobleman. To demons disguised as a demon etc. etc. The Tathâgatas, in brief, assimilates himself and his teachings, his Dharma, to local and prevailing circumstances etc. The Jews, to whom Matthew is primariliy addressed expected a Messiah. What they got, was the Buddhist ksatriyas disguised as ho Khristos.

4. Son of God etc

Jesus is a often addressed as the son of God, or as the son of David.
The epithets are, in both cases, highly confusing:
How can he be the son of God and the son of David at the same time?
A plain physical and a chronological impossibility!
If he is the son of God, how can he be the son of David, who is not God?
How can he, at the same time, have several fathers - Josef, the so-called Holy Spirit (whatever that is), or even Abraham (Mt 1:1). - i.e. in addition to God and David? At least five different farthers at the same time! If we add that he was also “the son of Man” - whoever that “man” may have been - then he has at least six different fathers!
These and similar absurdities are instantly solved in the light of the original Sanskrit.
A ksatriyas is commonly addressed as a deva, “god”, or deva-putra, “son of god”.
Since Jesus , as ho khristos, was also originally a ksatriyas, one would expect the evangelists to use deva and deva-putra as modes of address also.

And they did.
Sanskrit deva-putras becomes “son of god”. Sanskrit deva is “god”, putras is “son”.
Sanskrit deva-putras also becomes “son of David”. Here the deva- becomes Davi(d). By merely adding a -d, a Sanskrit noun has been assimilated to the proper name of the celebrated Jewish king David.
Since, for the Jews, David was the king, and since Sanskrit deva(s) also means “king”, - the god as king - there is a double pun: Sanskrit deva covers the sound as well as the sense of David, as a proper name and as the king, at the same time. It is a name and a title at the same time. The ambiguity is deliberate, and very typical of Matthew.

In the original there is, of course, not merely one deva-putras. There are as many as there are gods and kings.
This fact permits us to solve yet another old puzzle in the New Testament:
In Mt 5:8, Jesus speaks of many “ sons of God”.
But how can that be, if Jesus is supposed to be the (only) son of God? Apparently, God can have many sons? What, then, is so unique about the Jesus?

The solution is, of course, that there can be many “sons of God”, because there are many deva-putras in the original source. The Greek is only intelligible if one understands the Sanskrit behind the Greek.
Mt 5:9, as it stands, makes but little sense: “ Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God”.
What sort of peace do these people make? Who were actually called “sons of God”. Why would one be “blessed” merely by being “called” by a strange title that is , as said, never actually attested, in the plural, in the Gospels? Is Jesus making fun of his disciples? Is it mere mockery? How can poor fishermen, seriously speaking, be expected to be called “sons of God”? Later on ,to be sure, he calls them “evil”, Mt 7:11.

All this is highly confusing.
But not so in the light of the original Sanskrit.
I started out by pointing out the patent absurdity that Jesus is supposed to have had at least six different fathers at the same time!
By identifying the deva-putras behind the “son of God” and the “son of David”, it has been possible to reduce the number of his suspected fathers to four.
Let us be patient and see what further research may have to report about the true identity of the remaining four suspects of fatherhood! Looking at the sense of Mt 5:9, the point was that under certain circumstances the disciples would be called “sons of god”. What these circumstances really were, can only be ascertained in the light of the original. It is a fundamental doctrine of the Buddhists that by doing good karma one may be reborn as a god among other sons of god in heaven, or as a king.
In other words, Mt 5:9 only makes sense in the light of the Buddhist doctrine of rebirth. By doing good karma they will become reborn as gods, sons of god(s), or kings.
But Matthew fails to let Jesus provide the missing link.

5. Tathâgatas

It is also a fundamental doctrine of Buddhist preachers and missionaries that one should “take” the Tathâgatas (accusative : Tathâgatam), and not “reject” the Tathâgatam.
The idea that mere faith in the Tathâgata is sufficient for bringing about salvation, is a fundamental persuasion of Mahâyâna Buddhism - as opposed to early Buddhism (“Hînayâna”), where the emphasis is on knowledge and understanding.
The evangelists follow Mahâyâna.
From what we now know about the evangelists we would not be surprised to discover many puns on the sense, the sound and the numerical value of the word Tathâgatas (or Tathâgatam etc.).
First of all, the numerical value of Tathâgatas is, according to the Greek mode of alphabetical calculation: 300+1+9+1+3+1+300+1+200 = 816. Hardly surprising, 816 turns out - just as the figures or numbers associated with Jesus, kurios etc. - to be a significant number indeed. 816 is exactly 2/3 of 1224, and 1224 is intimately connected with one of the roles played by Jesus in John.
Without getting ourselves lost in the astonishing details (apparently first pointed out by John Michell in his book City of Revelation, London 1972), we may say that “the fishes” and “the net” mentioned in Jh 21:1-14 are somehow symbolical of Jesus. The same goes for the 153 great fishes in Jh 21:11.
The Greek for “the fishes” is ikhthues, and the numerical value of ikhthues is 10+600+9+400+5+200 = 1224.
The Greek for “the net” is to diktuon. The numerical value of to diktuon is 300+70+4+10+20+300+400+70+50 = 1224.
The figure 153 is rationally related to 1224, for 8 x 153 = 1224.
Or, 153 is 1/8 of 1224.
Moreover, 153 is the sum of 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10+11+12+13+14+15+16+17 = 153. A triangle, again.

Likewise, when we go back to the Buddhist source, where the numerical value of the main person, the Tathâgatas, also turns out to be rationally related to the figure 1224. The numerical value of Tathâgatas is, as said, 816 , which is exactly 2/3 of 1224. The age of Tathâgatas is calculated, in the Buddhist source, as 30 years minus 1 plus 50, i.e. 3-1-5: the same as 1-5-3, the number of great fishes, indicating Jesus. According to Gematria 1+5+3 = 3+1+5 etc., just as a+b = b+a etc.
Similar figures are given for the age of Jesus, but in a very confused manner. Jh 8:57 says that he is not yet 50 years old. Lk 3:23 says that he is almost 30 - which would mean that he is still 29. So, combining these two figures we arrive at exactly the same age as the one given for Tathâgatas.
John and Luke are totally confusing if one does not have the original Sanskrit at hand.
But that is by no means all.
The Buddhist source gives the number of disciples of the Tathâgatas as 1200 , but also as 72 koti-niyuta - an astronomical figure, where niyuta is a myriad, and koti is ten millions . Jesus has 12 disciples, but according to Lk 10:17, he also has 72 (with the variant reading: 70).
Lk 12:1 has a nice pun on niyuta as well as koti - a fact that proves that the astronomical figure, and thereby also the Buddhist source, was not at all unknown to him.
For obvious reasons, the evangelists chose to reduce the original figures, simply by removing the decimals.
According to Gematria the numerical value of 12 is the same as the numerical value of 1200 (1+2 = 1+2+0+0 etc.). The decimal does not count. In the Buddhist source, these 72 ten millions myriads are said “not to return”; in Luke they are said “to return”.
The number of disciples is, in both sources and in both cases, also chosen with an eye on the basic significant figure: 1224, for 17x 72 = 1224, and 102 x 12 = 1224.
All this means that the evangelists imitate the Buddhist sources.
The numerical values associated with Jesus and with Tathâgatas, and with their disciples, are, in other words, intimately asociated with the figure 1224.
There is much more to be said about the figure 1224. Suffice it here to repeat that 1/8 of 1224 is related to the age of Tathâgatas; 1/17 as well as 1/102 is related to the number of his disciples; and 2/3 is related to the numerical value of his title: Tathâgatas.
All these numerical speculations may seem puerile, as said. Whether such a judgement is true or false, I shall not say. But what can be said for certain - and experience shows that it neeeds to be said - is that it is most puerile to deny that the concerns of Gematria has formed the shape and form of the words and sentences in the Buddhist as well as the Christian gospels.

The evangelists also had a lot of fun, puerile perhaps, punning on the word Tathâgatam. Here are but a few examples among many, and they prove once again that the Buddhist source is also the primary source.

Mt 23:10: Jesus is to be addressed as the only kathêgetês, the rare noun meaning didaskalos, “teacher”. The Buddha is also to be addressed as the only Tathâgatas, one of the many meanings of which is “teacher”.

ho agathos is a pun on tath-âgatas. And Tathâgatas is, indeed, the only good man.

Mt 20:15: For I am good, hoti egô agathos eimi - for I am Tathâgatas (t-th-g-t-s = t-g-g-th-s)

Mt 17:24: They receive the didrachmae, ta didrakhma - they receive tathâgatam (t-th-g-t-m = t-d-d-kh-m). And Tathâgatas is, indeed, valuable.

Mt 25:28: He has the ten talents, ta deka talanta - he has the Tathâgatam (t-th-g-t-m = t-d-k-t-n). He is , again, valuable.

Mt 27:65: You have a guard, koustôdian - they have Tathâgatam , or Tathâgatas (t-th-g-t-m = k-s-t-d-n; for n is a dental like t(h)). And Tathâgatas is, indeed, a guard. In the Buddhist sources, Tathâgatas is often called a guardian or protector.

. Mt 14:19: He takes the two fishes, tous duo ikhthuas - Tathâgatas offers himself as an object, Tathâgatam, as in Mt 26:26-29 (t-th-g-t-m = t-d-s- kh-th-s). The two fishes are, moreover, a common symbol of Tathâgatas and of the Christ. Moreover, in Gematria, the figure 1224 is intimately related to the fishes.

Mt 7: 11: They know to give good gifts, domata agatha - they know to give Tathâgatam (t-th-g-t-m = d-m-t-g-th).

Mt 4:20 - 21 : The first disciples left the nets, ta diktua, but they also prepared the nets - first the five disciples left Tathâgatas, but then they received him again (t-th-g-t = t-d-k-t). At the same time, the net is a symbol of Jesus as well as of Tathâgatas, as pointed out above.

Mt 26:63: He adjures Jesus “by God”, kata tou theou - i.e. as Tathâgata (vocative case of Tathâgatas), and wants to known whether he is ho khristos - Sanskrit: ksatriyas - and “son of God” - Sanskrit : deva-putras. Jesus confirms that he is right.

Mt 22:21: One must render the (what?) of Caesar to Caesar, and the (what?) of the god to the god, ta Kaisaros Kaisari kai ta tou theou tô theô - yes, one must render homage etc. to the ksatriyas and to tathâgatas.

Mt 17:11-12: Playing the role of Elias = Helios, He is the one who will come, and, at the same time, the one who already has come - no wonder, for tathâ plus âgatas means “the one who has come”, and tathâ plus a-gatas means “the one who has not come but who will come.”

Lk 10:42 : For Mary chose the good part, tên agathên merida - yes, for she chose to listen to the Tathâgatam (t-th-g-t-m = t-n-g-th-n; n again being a dental replacing t), when he paid her a visit in Vaisâlî. Here she listened to his Dharma - the “part”, Greek merida (dh-r-m = m-r-d).

So, to conclude: It is all a matter of listening to (the word) Tathâgatam/s.
The Buddhist source in question (Q=SDP) confirms that by merely repeating or listening to the word Tathâgatas, one will, eventually, obtain salvation.
It was this belief that made the evangelists repeat the name of Tathâgatas.
For centuries pious Christians have been repeating the name of Tathâgatas - without knowing it.
Whether they have reached salvation or not - that is another question.
According to Mahâyâna, one is saved merely by reciting the name of Tathâgatas - or one of his numerous other names and titles.
With this in mind we shall also understand the following:

6. The New Testament

The New Testament is, needless to say, the title of a body of individual books, 27 in all. But why the New Testament is called the New Testament, and why it comprises exactly 27 different writings within its body, is another question to which scholars have not yet provided any satisfactory answers.
In the Introduction to his learned, but also traditionally naive standard work, The Canon of the New Testament. Its Origin, Development, and Significance, Oxford 1987, Bruce M. Metzger observes: “ The recognition of the canonical status of the several books of the New Testament was the result of a long and gradual process, in the course of which certain writings, regarded as authoritative, were separated from a much larger body of early Christian literature. Although this was one of the most important developments in the thought and practice of the early Church, history is virtually silent as to how, when, and by whom it was brought about. Nothing is more amazing in the annals of the Christian Church than the absence of detailed accounts of so significant a process.”
This is true and this is remarkable, and, in itself, a real problem. When its comes to the early formation of the New Testament - often considered the very Word of God, nothing less - it is worth repeating, that we are left in the dark as to how, when, and by whom it was brought about.
If the New Testament really is the Word of God - how, then, can it be that God made up his mind to leave posterity in deep ignorance as to how, when and by whom it was brought about?
Was God simply incapable of doing so, or did he have his reasons for keeping the origins of the New Testament a profound secret? And, if so, why? -
Such are some of the questions we are obliged to ask.
To this day, theologians have been unable to solve the puzzle.
First, I will take up the question of the title: The New Testament, in Greek hê kainê diathêkê.
There can be no doubt that the title of the New Testament somehow has to be traced back to the words of Jesus during the The Last Supper:

Mt 26: 28: touto gar estin to haima mou tês diathêkês, “for this is the blood , of mine, of the covenant”.
These obscure words are repeated by the second evangelist, Mark, leaving out only the gar, “for”:
Mk 14:24 : touto estin to haima mou tês diathêkês, “this is the blood, of mine, of the covenant.”

The words of Jesus as reported by the third evangelist are quite different:
Lk 22:20: touto to potêrion hê kainê diathêkê en tô haimati mou, “ This cup (is) the new covenant in the blood of mine”.
These no less obscure words, with the mou, “of mine”, in the odd position, are supported by Paul:
1 Cor 11:25: touto to potêrion hê kainê diathêkê estin en tô emô haimati, “ This cup is the new covenant in my blood”.
These words are familiar to all who attend services in church, and there is no end to the speculations and resulting controversies that their obscurity have given rise to for almost two millennia. Heretical views as to their proper meaning have incited bloodshed beyond measure - as if in ominous fulfilment of the the immediately following words about the blood, “which is poured out for many” .

Familiarity with the Sanskrit language and with the Buddhist sources could have saved pious souls from confusion and cruelty without end. The Buddhist source is , again, the Mahâparinirvânasûtra, quite precisely Mps 42:10, which reports the words of Tathâgatas to his disciples during his last reported supper.
The Sanskrit for “last supper” is pascimam pindapâtam, Mps 29:6. The Sanskrit pascimam means “last”. Very nicely, its first two syllables are assimlated to those of the Greek paskha, “easter, passover”. The phrase in Mt 26:17 is the odd phagein to paskha, “to eat the passover”. In Mt 26:18 Jesus says, pros se poiô to paskha, “ In front of you, I will do the passover”. The passover is also the final meal; the to pasha, in 3 syllables renders Sanskrit pascimam.
During the final supper in the Mps, Tathâgatas first invites his disciples, the monks, “to look at, to behold” the body of the Tathâgatas. In Matthew, the original invitation “to look at, to behold” becomes an invitation “to eat , to drink”. As in the original, there is no “and”. It is the same group of disciples that are invited to so, under the same circumstances, and at the same point , in the same place, in the same gradual course of events.
If we take the trouble to count the number of words and the number of syllables in both sources, we arrive at interesting results: First the Buddhist source: Mps 42:10 evidently belongs to a unit formed by Mps 42:9-12. The introduction are the words of the redactor. The number of words from the mouth of Tathâgatas is exactly 30. The number of syllables is exactly 99, which is the significant Buddhist number 108 minus 9 = 99.

See more about the number 108, infra, under 8.
Then the NT source: Exactly as Mps, Matthew has counted the words and the syllables having to do with the Last Supper. The total number of words put into the mouth of Jesus, beginning with labete in Mt 26:26, ending with mou in Mt 26:29 is 54. The total number of syllables is 108 - the Buddhist number.
Quite clearly, the unknown editor of the Mps considered not only the number of words and syllables, but also their mutual ratio. And exactly the same observation applies to the unknown editor that we call Matthew: He not only counted the number of words and syllables as well as their mutual ratio - but he also did this in the light of the Buddhist source. He not only imitatated the numerical pattern of the original. He also imitated the individual words, their sounds and their sense, as well as the structure of the unit in question - the Last Supper . Moreover, he even imitated the position of that celebrated episode in the body of the text as a whole - the Last days of Tathâgatas.

Let us now that we have identified the Sanskrit source, come back to the origin of the title of The New Testament - the hê kainê diathêkê!

In Mps 42:10 the focus is, for sure, on the body of Tathâgatas - the Sanskrit is Tathâgatasya kâyam, the body (kâyam) of (the) Tathâgatas.
The tathâgata-sya is the genitive form (-sya). The kâyam is the object in the sentence. Being the direct object of the two transitive verbs avalokayata, “look at”, and vyavalokayata, “behold”, it is, of course, in the accusative case. The number of syllables of these two imperative forms is 2 x 6, corresponding to the number of syllables in the two Greek imperatives labete, “take”, and phagete, “eat”, 2 x 3 syllables.

There is a ratio 1:2, exactly as there is in Matthew, as pointed out, the same 1:2 ratio between the number of words and syllables in the mouth of Jesus, namely 54:108.
The Sanskrit text, Mps 42:11, adds yet another imperative, likewise second person plural: bhavata. This form, bha-va-ta, “be you”, is also imitated by the la-be-te and the pha-ge-te.
With these two words - tathâgatasya kâyam - in mind, it is not difficult to see that the tês diathêkês in Matthew is to be identified as a direct imitation of 1) the sound, 2) the sense, 3) the case, 4) the number of syllables, and 5) the position of Sanskrit tathâgatasya. So, to be quite sure, the Greek tês diathêkês translates, or imitates, the Sanskrit tathâgatasya as follows:

1) The sound is imitated by Matthew, for tês diathêkês consists of the consonants t-s-d-th-k-s, where the original Sanskrit consists of the consonants t-th-g-t-s. Needless to say, t, th, and d are dentals, whereas k and g are gutturals, and s - of which Matthew has one extra - is a sibilant. - The fact that tathâgatasya is here imitated is independently supported by the imitations of tathâgatas/m pointed out supra, under 5.

2) The sense is also imitated: The Sanskrit compound tathâgatas/m is open to several interpretations. There is absolutely nothing to prevent us from taking tathâ, meaning “thus”, along with gatam, “gone”, in the sense of “understood”, or âgatam, as “arrived at”. The compound as a whole, therefore also means “ thus agreed upon”, i.e., as a substantive, an agreement, a covenant. This, then, smoothly accounts for the sense of hê diathêkê, “the agreement, the covenant”.

3) The case is the same, namely genitive.

4) The number of syllables is the same in Sanskrit and in Greek, namely 5.

5) The position of tathâgatasya is the same as that of tês diathêkês, namely subordinate to kâyam, just as tês diathêkês is subordinate to to haima, “the blood”.

This brings us to the next step - namely to account for the fact that the to haima of Matthew and Mark is replaced by hê kainâ diathêkê in Luke and Paul.
Now that we have identified the original source, a simple explanation offers itself:
The Greek haima, “blood”, and the Greek kainê, “new”, are but two different versions of one and the same Sanskrit word, namely kâyam.
How so?
Among the Jews, to whom Matthew addressed his gospel, “blood” was a simple synonym of “body”. This is well-known, and the expression “ the blood of the covenant” is therefore but a translation of the Sanskrit tathâgatasya kâyam, “the body of Tathâgatas”.
The Greek kainê, said of the covenant in Luke and Paul, is yet another version of the Sanskrit kâyam. Here, it must be kept in mind that in Sanskrit y is a semivowel. As such, it can be taken either as a vowel or as a consonant. Taken as a vowel it need not be indicated in writing. The n in the Greek kainê is a nasal, exactly as the m in the Sanskrit kâyam, “body”, is a nasal. So the n of the Greek represents the m of the Sanskrit . Both words consist of two syllables only. Both words say something about the covenant.
Clearly, therefore, hê kainê diathêkê is a variant version of the original Sanskrit: tathâgatasya kâyam. It has the same number of syllables, namely 7.

We can say that haima and kainê are interpretations of the same kâyam, “body”.
That this is so is further supported, in plain words, by Mt 26:26, where Jesus says: touto estin to sôma mou, “This is my body”. The same identification is found in Mk 14: 22, and in Lk 22:19.
Here the sôma, body” is a simple synonym of Sanskrit kâyam, “body”.
Now we also understand the touto estin to, in 5 syllables: It contains a pun on tathâgatasya of the original, also 5 syllables in the same position.
Luke and Paul, it will be recalled, introduced a cup - touto to potêrion, “this the cup”. The to potêrion in itself consists of 5 syllables, forming a pun on the 5 syllables of tathâgatasya. Adding the touto we get 7 syllables, forming a pun on the entire original phrase: tathâgatasya kâyam, also 7 syllables.
And the pun in the Greek is not merely a pun on the words, the syllables and the rythm of the original.
The cup also contains the body of Tathâgatas.
Jesus identifies himself with the body of the Tathâgatas.
The name of Tathâgatas, the Dharma of Tathâgatas are now to be found in the body of the New Testament.

Therefore - and this is the answer to the initial question about the obscure origin of the body of the New Testament -
The New Testament is the Body of the Tathâgatas.

In the Buddhist sources, the Body of the Tathâgatas is often identified with the Body of his Dharma.
The New Testament contains the name and the Dharma of the Tathâgatas, and Jesus even identifies himself with the Body of Tathâgatas.
No title for the body of the 27 books could, therefore, be more appropriate than - hë kainê diathêkê:
It is new in the sense that the body of the Tathâgatas is a true innovation, something entirely new, in the Jewish context into which it was smuggled.

This is a historical truth, but also a truth that simply had to be hidden , but without being denied.
For this purpose the use of Gematria proved serviceable.
Its historical origin had, at all costs, to be kept secret.
It was - to this day. Those who were initiated, knew what those, who were not, did not.

One final observation, now that we are speaking of Gematria, and in order to conclude these observations on the true identity of Jesus etc. in a nice orderly or geometrical fashion:
The numerical value of tathâgatas is - no harm repeating: 300+1+9+1+3+1+300+1+200 = 816.
The numerical value of kâyam, also according to the Greek calculation, is : 20+1+10+1+40 = 72.
When we add 816 + 72 we arrive at 888.
As I have just shown, Jesus identified himself with tathâgatas, or with the body of Tathâgatas - which is much the same thing.
And when we now recall that the numerical value of ´Iêsous is 10+8+200+70+400+200 = 888,
then we have a new and independent proof that the Jesus is not different from tathâgatas and his body.
Those who may want to deny this identification will also be inclined to deny that the sum of 816 plus 72 is 888, or that 888 is identical with 888.

PS: When I had concluded these observations, I had not yet been able to account fully for the very strange Greek phrase shared by Matthew and Mark: to haima mou, “the blood mine”. All Greek scholars will admit that the mou, “(of) mine” is most disturbing and awkward in this position. There must be a special reason for Matthew having written it, and for Mark having endorsed it ( - for Mark came after, not before, Matthew). The mou kept me sleepless.

The solution, I suspected, could perhaps be found in Gematria.
Considering the numerical value of the phrase to haima mou we get: 300 + 70 + 1 + 10 + 40 + 1 + 40 + 70 + 400 = 932.
What is so special about the number 932?
Does it, perhaps, refer to one of the many synonyms of the Tathâgatas - a reasonable question to ask, considering the context?
One of the most frequently mentioned names or titles of the ksatriyas or Tathâgatas is Sâkya-munis.
There are quite a few puns on Sâkya-munis in the Gospels - the happiest is probably Mt 21:19: sukên mian, and monon (the accusative of -munis is munim) - the source of which is also Q = Mps, where Tathâgtas is compared to a fig tree.
The numerical value of Sâkya-munis is : 200+1+20+10+1+40+400+50+10+200 = 932 - exactly the same as the numerical value of to haima mou.

To repeat:
The numerical value of to haima mou is 932.
The numerical value of Sâkya-munis is 932.
This identification, it goes without saying, is in perfect harmony with the fact that the numerical value of tathâgatas plus kâyam = 888, which, as said, was also the numerical value of ´Iêsous = 888.

So, what Matthew and Mark are saying is that:
Tathâgatas is Sâkyamunis, Tathâgatas. At the same time they are identifying Jesus with the Body of Tathâgatas, as already pointed out.
The awkwark mou was, in other words, inserted for the sake of the numerical value of Sâkyamunis - according to the Greek mode of alphabetical calculation.
They started out with Tathâgatas, with Sâkyamunis and with Tathâgatasya kâyam, then they determined the numerical value of these basic terms. The next step was to find Greek words having the same numerical value.
The result was: Tathâgatas is Sâkyamunis, the Body of Tathâgatas.
This is what the enigmatic Greek sentence touto (gar) estin to haima mou tês diathêkês really means - if one knows Gematria.

7. Ten virgins

Mt 25:1-13 - the parable of the ten virgins - undoubtedly forms a unit in its own right. The parable only occurs in Matthew. There is nothing corresponding in Mark, Luke or John.
What interests us here is the external form and structure of the passage - not the interpretation of the parable as such. Philology first, theology second.
Without really knowing what to make of it, other scholars - beginning with Smit Sibinga, a Dutch theologian - have already drawn attention to the striking structure of the passage as a whole:
There are 13 verses. The total number of syllables in 1-12 amounts to exactly 350 (= 5x 70). The final verse, Mt 25:13, consists of exactly 20 syllables.
Clearly, Matthew counted the syllables.
But there is more: Verse 7, from the point of view of sense and of position, forms the center of the narrative: “ Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps”. The number of syllables is 27.
Verse 1 consists of 47 syllables, and corresponds to verse 12, which also consists of 47 syallbles. Verses 2 and 3 consist of 40 syllables, and correspond to verses 10, which also consists of 40 syllables. Verses 4 and 5 consist of 45 syllables, and correspond to verse 9, which also consists of 45 syllables.. Verse 6 has 27 syllables, whereas verse 8 has 32 syllables. In the middle, as said, we have verse 7, consisting of 27 syllables.
This means that the story as a whole is arranged geometrically, with a unit of 27 entities in the center. One must be prejudiced not to admit this fact.
Behind the numbers we are entitled to see a sort of concentric pattern, with the significant figure 27 in the focus.
This is a good example of what Gematria means.

The fact that the parable of the ten virgins is also an imitation of a celebrated Buddhist parable, has escaped all previous researchers. Matthew does not imitate the size of the original, but he imitates the sound and the sense of the basic concept, which is (a)pramâdas, as well as the key terms attested in the original source - the celebrated Mahâparinirvânasûtra, Chapter 4. This sûtra - one of the synonyms of evangelium, “good message” - is also the source of many other incidents related in the Gospels.
During a visit to Pâtaliputra - the ta Pali(m)bothra of the ancient historians (Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy, Arrianus), the present Patna - Tathâgatas delivers a sermon on Dharma, “the Law”. The audience consists of brâhmanas, “priests”, and grha-patis, “house-holders”. An initial distinction is made between pramâdas, “inattention”, and a-pramâdas, “attention”.
Five kinds of disaster (âdînavas) are associated with pramâdas (Mps 4:6-11), and five kinds of benefits (ânusamsâ) are, likewise, mutatis mutandis, associated with a-pramâdas (Mps 4:12-17). There is an Introduction (Mps 4: 1-5), as well as a Conclusion (Mps 4:18-20, or - 5:1) First of all we note that the Buddhist original also displays a concentrical structure, just like Matthew. The pattern is exactly the same. It first deals with the five kinds of disaster associated with pramâdas, and, having reached the middle, or center, it goes on with the five kinds of benefit associated with a-pramâdas.
Moreover, the basic topic is exactly the same: One has to “keep watch”, one must be attentive - otherwise... Both sources advise us to be attentive.
Matthew speaks of the ten virgins, parthenois (the instrumental = dative form).
Here the apramâdas as well as the pramâdas - 5+5 = 10 cases in the original - have become the ten parthenois (p-r-m-d-s = p-r-m-d-s = p-r-th-n-s).
Five prudent virgins and five foolish virgins take their lampadas, “lamps”.
Here the apramâdas as well as pramâdas - 5+5 = 10 cases in the original - become lampadas in the Greek (p-r-m-d-s = p-r-m-d-s = l-m-p-d-s). (The r in the original has become l in the Greek - a frequent phenomenon, as when râjâ is spelled lâjâ, “king”; r is replaced by an equivalent l.)

So, to be sure, behind the 5+5 parthenois, and behind the 5+5 lampadas we have, in both cases the 5+5 pramâdas and a-pramâdas.
Five of them are described as “prudent”, phronimoi, from phronimos. The sense and the sound of phronimos (in verse 10 we have the form phronimois) is directly based on the Sanskrit brâhmanas, “a priest” - generally considered “wise, prudent”.
Choosing phronimos, it is quite impossible to suggest a happier rendering of brâhmanas (b-r-h-m-n-s = ph-r-n-m-s).
Then we have the bridegoom, who is late, the numphios. He, too, is a sort of respectable person.
In Indian dialects related to Sanskrit, an r is often lost, or replaced by another “semivowel”, e.g. l, as above.
With this fact in mind, it is easy to see that numphios is also based on the brâhmanas of the original (b-h-m-n-s = n-m-ph-s).
So, the pattern is exactly the same as above: just as parthenois and lampadas are but variant versions of apramâdas/pramâdas, thus phronimos and numphios are but variant renderings of brâhmanas.
In the original, to be sure, the Tathâgatas is often described as a true brâhmanas.
In verse 9, the prudent ones ask the stupid ones to go “to those selling”, pros tous pôlountas. The Greek text omits the direct object of the verb for selling. It does not tell us what they are selling. Of course, it is understood that they are selling oil, but the text does ot explicitly say so. We must account for this irregularity, of course.
As said, the episode originally took place in the city Pâtaliputras, 5 syllables.
And so it is easy to see, or hear, that pros tous pôlountas is intended to provide a pun on Pâtaliputras: When they are asked to go pros tous pôlountas, they are in fact asked to go to Pâtaliputras, also 5 syllables.
The pun on Pâtaliputras in Matthew is good, but not perfect. More happy are the puns on Pâtaliputras found in Mk 13:1: potapoi lithoi, “what great stones” and, again, Mk 13:2: lithos epi lithon, “stone on stone”. The original, which is Mps 5:12, offers similar puns. At the time of the visit of Tathâgatas the place was still a village, under construction for fortification. Hence the many stones, turning the old village into a polis, or an oppidum.
There are several other Greek puns on the original Sanskrit in this parable, but I think these examples are sufficient to demonstate the method of imitation employed by Matthew.
If we know the Sanskrit original we can, without too much difficulty, make good sense of the parable of the ten virgins. If we do not know the Sanskrit original, the parable is open to numerous interpretations - even obscene ones.
Let us, let the wise men in the proverb, fear to tread where fools rush in!

8. The number 108 etc

For reasons that need not detain us here, the figure 108 is one of the most significant ones in Buddhism.
On the other hand, the figure 108 is never mentioned explicitly in the Old Testament. Nor is it mentioned explicitly in the New Testament. When we start counting words and syllables in the Gospels, we shall, however, find that the number 108 - and its divisors etc. - is one of the most significant figures in the New Testament as well.
This suggests that 108 is not a “Jewish” figure, but rather a Buddhist, and an Indian one, too.
Let us see! And let us not forget that the New Testament is the Body of Tathâgatas.
The New Testament, as a whole, consists of exactly 27 books. We have no exact idea about where, when and by whom this figure was chosen. But we have a good idea about why it was chosen.
Quite a few Buddhist scriptures (sûtra) consist of 27 chapters. This also goes for one of the main sources of the Gospels, namely the Saddharmapundarîkasûtra - the famous Lotus Sûtra. I have not here in this brief communication pointed out the numerous allusions to that crucial text in the New Testament. (For the proof, which is irrelevant in the present context, I must ask the reader to consult the book Hemligheten om Kristus.)

In the New Testament many different numbers are explicitly mentioned, but 27 is not among them. The same, as said, goes for the number 108. The figure 108 is rationally related to another highly significant figure in the gospels, namely, as already pointed out supra: 1224. The numerical value of tathâgatas was 816, which is exactly 2/3 of 1224. There were 12 disciples, and there were also 72 disciples. When we multiply 108 x 12, we get 1296, and when we subtract 72 - the 72 who “came back” - from 1296, we again arrive at 1224. The figure 72 is exactly 2/3 of 108, just as 816 is 2/3 of 1224.
We may go on: If we multiply 12 x 72 , we arrive at 864.
And 864 is also the number we arrive at when we multiply 108 x 8 = 864.
When we subtract 816, the numerical value of tathâgatas, from 864, the numerical value arrived at by multiplication of the number of the two groups of disciples - in both sources - we arrive at 864 minus 816 = 48.
And 48 is 4 x12.
And 108 is 9 x 12.
One of the noteworthy things about the figure 48 is, that like 816, 108 and 27, it is not one of the figures explicitly mentioned in the New Testament.
But below the surface they are most certainly at work.
When we go back to 864 = 12 x 72 = 8 x 108, and then add 2 x 12 = 24, then we arrive at 888.
And 888 was, as will be recalled, the numerical value not only of ´Iêsous but also of tathâgatas (816) plus kâyam (72).
Now, kâyam, as said, means “body” (here in the accusative). In Sanskrit it is often used in the sense of “a body of people” (as in jana-kâyah, or jana-kâyas ,where jana-, from janah/janas, means “people, folk”). The numerical value of kâyam is, as said, 72.
During the Last Supper , Tathâgatas, as well as Jesus, was surrounded by the body of his monks, or disciples. There were 12 of them, and 6x12 makes 72, which, as said, was also the number of disciples in another context.
This observation opens up for yet another interpretation of the phrase discussed above: Tathâgatasya kâyam, Mps 42:10. Now kâyam refers to the body of diciples, in Sanskrit as well as Greek. They form his body, his kâyam - be their number 12 or 72.

27 is exactly 1/4 of 108.
27 was also the number of syllables in Mt 25:7, which, as seen, formed the center in the body of the parable of the ten virgins, Mt 25: 12(13) : tote êgerthêsan pasai hai parthenoi ekeinai kai ekosmêsan tas lampadas heautôn - 27 syllables.
27 x 27 = 729, which was the number of Kêphas: 20+8+500+1+200 = 729. From the name of the first disciple we derive the cube that measures 9x9x9 = 729. Or rather: from the figure 729 we design a name that has precisely that numerical value, namely Kêphas.
3 x 27 = 81. If we read this figure as 801 (8+1 = 8+0+1), we get two symbols of the Christ, the ksatriyas, viz. the dove, peristera in Mt 3:16 = 80+5+100+10+200+300+5+100+1 = 801; and the A and the Ô, the Alpha and Omega = 1+800 = 801.

Let us now search for 4 x 27 = 108 within the body of the text of the New Testament!
Mt 16:16-20 is a crucial passage, the answer of Jesus to Simôn Petros. It consists of exactly 108 words (counting the kagô in 18 as two words).
It is partly based on a famous Buddhist passage of confession. Often repeated, it consists of exactly 108 syllables. (It is the formula of confession beginning with idam asmâkam...ending with devamanusyesu; it consists of two units, 58 + 50 syllables = 108; see e.g Waldschmidt´s edition of the Mps, p. 468, n. 3 for the Sanskrit. - Matthew is also fond of the figure 50 for individual units, as pointed out by Smit Sibinga.)

Let us then go to -
Mt 16:24-28. The passage as a whole consists of exactly 115 words, or 225 syllables. The initial 7 words, however, are evidently those of the redactor, not the ipsissima verba of Jesus. This means that the total number of words ascribed to Jesus is 115 minus 7, which leaves us with exactly 108 words.
This passage is essentially - namely for the words ascribed to Jesus in 16:24 - based on a celebrated Buddhist passage that forms a unit in its own right, and that consists of exactly 36 syllables = 1/3 of 108 syllables. Normally the 36 syllables are repeated 2,3 or 4 times in the unit as a whole:, giving us: 2 x 36 = 72; 3 x 36 = 108; 4 x 36 = 144 syllables. . (The Sanskrit formula of initiation begins with kesasmarsrv avatârya...ending with pravrajemeti, see e.g. Waldschmidt´s edition of the Catusparisatsûtra 19-20.)

Third, as already pointed out supra, the total number of words put into the mouth of Jesus, beginning with labete in Mt 26:26, ending with mou in Mt 26:29 is 54. The total number of syllables is 108 - the Buddhist number.
Needless to add: 2 x 27 = 54, and 4 x 27 = 2 x 54 = 108.
These examples, taken from three crucial passages in Matthew, are, together with the other examples of Gematria mentioned above, sufficient to prove that Matthew paid great attention to the figure 108 and its main divisors: 27, 36 and 54.
The reason for this is also clear: It is the usual reason:
Matthew wants to imitate his source as precisely as possible.
Those who were responsible for including the 27 books - neither less nor more - in the Body of the Tathâgatas - can hardly have been unaware of the deeper significance of the figure 27.

No wonder that he is identified as a “the toll collector”, hô telônês, Mt 10:3 - the main task of the toll collector being, needless to say, to count and to collect.


By means of a number of examples that could easily be increased, and that also will be increased, I have pointed out that the form and the deeper sense of crucial passages in the New Testament can only be properly understood in the light of the Sanskrit original of which even the title of the New Testament is an imitation.
The main key, or link, is provided by Gematria - the fact that letters also have numerical values, and that these numerical values, in the ultimate analysis, correspond, in a rational and verifiable fashion, to geometrical figures, circles, squares, cubes etc.


[04-04-2003] REVIEW by Christian Lindtner - first published in the Quarterly SUHRULLEKHA

Ulrich Luz/ Axel Michaels: Jesus oder Buddha. Leben und Lehre im Vergleich.

The book is a sort of dialogue between a historian of religion (Michaels) and a New Testament scholar (Luz, known for his learned commentary on Matthew etc.). Their purpose is not apologetic, but rather “phenomenological”, they merely wish to compare and point out similarities and differences in the life and teaching of Jesus and Buddha. This, again, means that the book is primarily neither historical nor philological. The texts are taken more or less at their face value. And this makes a big difference.

The possibility of any historical relationship between Jesus and Buddha is rejected, not, unfortunately, by serious arguments of any sort , but merely by quoting Richard Garbe from 1914: “Die Ähnlichkeiten zwischen buddhistischen und neutestamentlichen Erzählungen haben einen Tummelplatz des Dilettantismus geschaffen, auf dem seit langer Zeit ein fröhliches Leben herrscht”. (“The similarities between Buddhist and New Testament stories have created a playground for dilettantism, on which a joyful life has unfolded itself for long.”)

This is partly true, but it is also partly wrong, and very much so. Both authors seem blind to the fact that much serious work has been done recently in the comparative field (see e.g. my review article of Derrett´s The Bible and the Buddhists, BSR 18/, pp. 229-242.) As if nothing had happened in the field of “Comparative Gospel Studies” since Garbe published his Indien und das Christentum in 1914!
The two authors are, of course, not the first to compare Jesus and Buddha. One of the many important titles missing in their bibliography is the beautifully produced book by J. Duncan M. Derrett, Two Masters. The Buddha and Jesus, published by Pilkington Press in 1995. Derrett concludes his comparative survey, intended especially for teachers of religious education and comparative religion, that, if mythology and conventional verbiage are stripped away, “the Two Masters are found teaching much the same”.

Any serious comparison between the life and teaching of Buddha and Jesus must start out by carefully comparing the original Greek and the Sanskrit. Philologia must be the ancilla comparationis! The authors neglect to do so, and the result is that their “phenomenological” approach is tantamount to a naive and superficial approach. The plain rejection of a philologically based comparison of parallels is nothing, frankly speaking, but phenomenological ignorance and arrogance.

Very naive is also the assumption that Jesus - and the same goes for the Buddha, for that matter - was a “historical person”. There is not one proof - not one - that Jesus was more historical than, say, Heracles or Apollo. The authors of the four canonical gospels are anonymous. Where is the proof that they provide serious and historically reliable testimony? There is none! That Matthew, Mark and Luke tell more or less the same story about Jesus proves nothing about their historical credibility. Why should they not have made it all up? Verbal similarities etc. prove beyond any doubt that they did not work independently. After all, does Paul not write: “But if through my falsehood God's truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?” (Romans 3:7). In order words: It is quite OK to lie about holy matters as long as the result is “a good story”. Theologians have always had problems with this crucial passage in Paul. It is typical Mahâyâna “skill in means” (upâya-kausalyam).

When we compare the Greek text of the gospels with the corresponding Sanskrit text, it soon becomes clear that the Greek is a translation assimilated to familiar Jewish notions and expectations. The number of examples in support of my contention is great and it grows every day. Where a mere “phenomenological approach” sees differences, a less superficial approach sees little or no difference. In this brief review I shall confine myself to seven sets of such examples, corresponding to each of the seven angles from which the comparison between Jesus and Buddha is tackled by the two authors. All these examples have escaped the naive and superficial approach of our learned German colleagues.

I. The two founders. Jesus is called Son of God and Son of David etc. In both cases the original Sanskrit is deva-putra, “Son of Deva”, where deva becomes “god” or “David”. In Sanskrit the bodhi-sattva lives in a world of deva-putras, from which he descends. There are many deva-putras, which is also the case in Mt 5:9.

In Luke we find puns on bodhi-sattva, viz. Greek to paidi-on, “young boy”. The bodhi becomes paidi, and the to on translates San. sattva. Such puns, anything but serious, are typical of Buddhist scriptures, and they prove the Buddhist source. Now and then Jesus is identified with John the Baptist. Apparently a strange identification! But not so when we see that ho bap-ti-tês is supposed to contain a pun on bo-dhi-sat-tvas. Here the bo-dhi becomes bap-ti, and the ho and tês “translates” sattvas. The Greek abstract suffix - tês, with ho, replaces the san. -tva(s).

Puns on tathâgata(s) are frequent, e.g. the synonym and homonym kathêgêtês, Mt 23:10; or the katheudete in Lk 22:46; or the tês diathêkês, Mt 26:28. The direct source is MPS 42:10. The New Testament, in other words, is simply Tathâgatasya kâyam. I first pointed this out at the Hesbjerg Seminar on New Testament Revisionism in 2001.
The Greek ho Khristos is an excellent rendering of San. ksatriyas. The genitive is ksatriyasya, which in Mt 1:1 becomes ´Iêsou Khristou. Excellent!

II. Jesus preaches the Kingdom of God, hê basileia tou theou.

So did the Buddha. There are several Sanskrit originals, one of which is deva-parisad. Here the deva- (= devasya or devânâm) correctly becomes tou theou, and the parisat becomes basileia. The learned Luz claims (p. 47) that basileia translates the Hebrew-Aramaic malkut - and thereby reveals his historical naivite. The truth is that basileia translates parisat and is assimilated to malkut, familiar to the Jews. The plural devânâm becomes ouranôn, in the Kingdom of the Heavens. It has always puzzled theologians why Mark and Luke prefer the phrase hê basileia tou theou as opposed to Matthew, who prefers hê basileia tôn ouranôn (see e.g. Paul Feine, Theologie des neuen Testaments, Berlin 1953, p. 69, with numerous references). The Sanskrit gives the simple answer: two different versions of deva-parisat (devasya or devânâm). The PaRiSaT becomes BaSiLeia Tou (p-r-s-t = b-s-l-t).

The odd ta tou theou in Mt 15:23, translates San. deva-tâ. The -tâ becomes Greek ta, and the deva- is taken as devasya = tou theou.

III. Ethics, love etc. The Buddha did not teach love to the same extent that Jesus did so, it is often claimed.
One thereby overlooks the fact that Buddhists are expected to preach the Dharma sattvasattvahitâya etc.
Then we have the obscure word of Jesus about saying raka and môre, Mt 5:22 (quoted p. 81). One has to consult the source, the section on Pârâjika in the Prâtimoksa, to understand their sense: Behind the Greek eipê môre we find Sanskrit mrsâ-vâda etc. (see e.g. W. Pachow, A Comparative Study of the Prâtimoksa, Delhi 2000, pp. 71-75). The samgha is assimilated to the obscure synedrion, and the bhiksu of the original invariably becomes an adelphos. These are fine examples of what the Chinese called “ concept-matching” (ko-i). The stange Greek expression to de perisson, Mt 5:37, is a direct translation of the Sanskrit tata uttaram (to-de imitates ta-ta). It makes sense in the original (e.g. Georg von Simson (ed.), Prâtimoksasûtra der Sarvâstivâdins, Göttingen 2000, p. 184), but nok in Matthew. In Mt 5:40 the khitôna translates Sanskrit kathina; in 5:41, the one and the two “miles” reflect the tri-yojana of the Sanskrit original (von Simson, pp. 341 and 347 for the ref.), etc.

Interestingly, the Buddhists themselves had no claer idea of the historical background of kathina = khitôna, Latin tunica.

IV. Suffering, crucifixion.
The disciples of Jesus are asked to take their “cross”, Greek stavron - which is absurd. Imagine all his disciples running around as “crucifers”, or clad in crosses! The Buddha expects his disciples to put on vastrâni - which makes sense. So VaSTRaNi translates STaVRoN (v-s-t-r-n = s-t-v-r-n).

The crucifixion of Jesus is totally dependent on Buddhist sources. In the Mûlasarvâstivâdavinaya (ed. Gnoli, Roma 1977, pp. 21-26 ) one can read how the innocent Gautama was crucified on a sûla, and the details about the sculls, etc. are also there. Most of the remaining details about the two robbers, the supernatural phenomena etc. are to be found at the end of the Mahâparinirvânasûtra and the Saddharmapundarîkasûtra. One merely has to compare the Sanskrit and the Greek carefully. A phenomenological comparison based on mere translations is bound to lead to a scientific parinirvâna. There is hardly anything in the gospels that cannot be traced back to these Buddhist sources.

V. Christology. Here the title “Son of Man” is absolutely crucial. The double nature of Jesus - or Jesus and Christ - is as Buddhist as can be. A Tathâgata appears to be mortal, but is in fact immortal. This is the fundamental doctrine of the MPS,SDP etc. - and the fundamental doctrine of the NT.
The secrets of the term “Son of Man” I shall reveal on a later occasion. As a rule, the title that Jesus uses to refer to himself, simply translates the San. Tathâgata, that the Buddha employs in the same manner, i.e. in the third person singular. According to the confused account of the gospels, Jesus was a devaputra born of a parthenos, of wind (ek pneumatos); he was the son of anthrôpos; as a babe he was in a phatne, manger, etc. According to our Buddhist sources, a bodhisattva (to paidi-on)comes from and even travels in a lotus, Sanskrit padma, padmini, pundarîka (playfully as if from pundar- plus i-ka). So a bodhisattva is the son of a pundar-. It is now easy to see that being born from (i.e. the son of) a parthenos is the same as being the son of anthrôpos, for p-r-th-n-s = n-th-r-p-s. The “from” is ek, and means that he is a son. And so it is clear that to be a son of man is the same as being born of a virgin, which again is the same as being born from (ek) or in a pundarîka- (p-n-d-r-k-s, as an adj.). To be born from pneumatos hagiou again leads us back to the lotus. The baby in the phat-ne is the bodhisattva in the pad-me etc. When Jesus travels “in wind”, pneumati (from padmini), the bodhisattva originally travelled through the air in a lotus.

So, not being aware of the Lotus, one cannot understand how Jesus was born.
The gospels surely confirm the lotus origin of the son of man!
The Greek ho huios tou anthrôpou is also an imitation/translation of the seven syllables of the term Saddharmapundarîka, i.e. the Tathâgata as a lotus of the true dharma etc.

VI. Prayer and meditation. This includes the Paternoster, the main sources of which are to be found in the Catusparisatsûtra, and the Mahâparinirvânasûtra. For instance, the mê...eis peirasmon, Mt 6:13, is a direct translation of the a-sam-pramosâya, MPS 10:10, where it makes perfect sense. The a- correctly becomes mê, and the sam-pramosâya correctly becomes eis peirasmon (s-m-p-r-m-s = s-p-r-s-m-n).

VII. The Church. The word ekklêsia only occurs twice in the Gospels. The opinio communis of theologians is (with a few exceptions) that the crucial passage, Mt 16:18, cannot possibly be an authentic word of Jesus.

But the rejection of this passage merely shows the subjectivity of theologians. It is as “authentic” - i.e. Buddhist - as any other passage. A philologist familiar with the Sanskrit text of the SDP can easily point out the original passage (SDP, ed. Kern, p. 69) . The Lord reveals his secret to Sâri-putra(s), and this means that he has now again, for the second time, put in motion this (idam) supreme wheel (cakram) of the Dharma. Likewise, Jesus reveals his secret to Petros (p-t-r-s = p-t-r-s), and thereby he will build his ekklêsian (accusative). So, behind the six syllables of mou tên ekklêsian of Mt 16:18 we find the six syllables of idam dharma-cakram. Note the odd mou, which is explained by the desire to represent the idam of the original.

Sâri-putras, to be sure, is called Jina-putra, which explains the mysterious Bar-Jôna in Mt 16:17. Bar, “son”, translates putras, and Jôna is a homonym of Jina. The Sankrit âyuSMâN, of course. becomes SiMôN (s-m-n = s-m-n). It is, at the same time, a homonym and a synonym. These examples - they could easily be multiplied almost ad infinitum - show how absurd and superficial it is to compare Jesus and Buddha, their life , their teachings, their disciples etc. etc. - without first comparing the original Sanskrit and Greek. (In the beginning was the word, if I may be forgiven for saying so!)

The authors have, arrogantly, failed to do so. No wonder therefore, that the result is rather similar to a gandharvanagara, so to speak. Or, with Nâgârjuna, one may compare their dialogue with one taking place between a teacher, who, by way of magic, creates a magical form, and this magical form forms again another magical form...

And so, a less superficial book would prefer the title: Buddha als Jesus, or “Jesus” oder Buddha - preferably adding a ?. Most of the apparent differences, turn out, in the eyes of a philologist, to be merely “phenomenological”.

Most readers will probably - as experience shows - have problems with accepting all these puns. But such puns were extremely common not only in the Indian sources but also in the ancient Jewish scriptures, OT etc. The New Testament gospels were “translated” into Greek from the Sanskrit exactly as one would have expected. First one, therefore, has to compare the translation against the original, and only then can one compare how and why the translation differs from the original.

These are just a few examples among many. More will be found in my book Hemligheten om Kristus, and in my paper “Gematria in the Gospels” soon to appear in Acta Orientalia.


[01-11-2001] A Report On The First International Seminar On New Testament Revisionism

Dr. Christian Lindtner and NEW TESTAMENT REVISIONISM

With the participation of Danish, German, Polish and Italian scholars of ancient Greek and/or Sanskrit, The First International Seminar on the recently discovered Buddhist sources of the New Testament Gospels was held at Hesbjerg Castle, near Odense, Denmark, on October 26-27, 2001.
The main purpose of the seminar - the first ever of its kind - was to present and discuss the newly discovered Buddhist Sanskrit sources of the celebrated Passion Narrative, as found in the Gospel of Matthew, chapters 26-28, with the parallel accounts in the Gospels of Mark, Luke and John.
Many professors of the New Testament were invited, but as a rule they declined the invitation , usually on the ground “that they did not know Sanskrit”.


For more than a century, i.e. ever since the Buddhist scriptures first became available in Europe in the 19th century,, scholars have discussed the possibility of the New Testament being to a smaller or lesser degree dependent upon Buddhist sources. Opinions have differed widely. Some scholars have been prepared to admit a large degree of Buddhist influence in the Gospels, others have denied any historical influence at all. Some have taken an intermediate stand.
In a recent book, The Bible and the Buddhists, the British Sanskritist and theologian, John Duncan M. Derrett (born 1922) has drawn attention to many parallels between the New Testament and Buddhist classics. Buddhist missions were long senior to the first Christian missionaries, who could learn techniques from the former. Entrepreneurs in the same line of business, working in the same fields, Derrett argues, they examined each other’s stock, and “put their heads together”.
Accordingly, Derrett points out eleven cases where the New Testament may have gained from Buddhist models. In almost twenty cases we may assume that Buddhists have adopted New Testament material. In many cases the literatures may have gained reciprocally, or it may be impossible to claim that either influenced the other.
Several other books published in recent decades, including E.R. Gruber and H. Kersten, The Original Jesus, Shaftesbury, Dorset 1995 and Zacharias Thundy, Buddha and Christ, Leiden 1993, also advance numerous arguments in support of the thesis that the New Testament has borrowed from Buddhist or other ancient Indian sources. The numerous parallels of ideas or motives “set up a case to be answered” as Derrett correctly observes (p. 17), and his book is the most recent - and the most serious and scholarly - attempt to answer it.
The first scholar to point out not mere parallels of ideas and motives but direct loans in terms of words and phrases was the Danish Sanskritist and Classical philologist, Christian Lindtner (born 1949). His comparative work on the Greek and Sanskrit sources was done on a much broader textual basis than attempted by any previous scholars, including the ones mentioned above.
Many years of careful textual study finally, in 1998, lead him to the conclusion that the New Testament Gospels were “artificial or funny translations done, by unknown authors, directly from the Sanskrit into Greek”.
His views were first presented to the public in the introduction to two volumes of Indian Buddhist texts translated into Danish directly from Sanskrit, Pâli, Tibetan and Chinese. These two volumes appeared in September 1998, and soon raised a storm of controversy in Denmark. No less than 23 Danish scholars demanded from the publisher, Spektrum of Copenhagen, that the two volumes be withdrawn from circulation, and burned. The international response to the books of Lindtner, however, was very positive and favourable. Several reviewers found the thesis of Lindtner highly interesting and probable, and even recommended that his books be translated into German and English. Since these reviewers included some of the most distinguished Sanskritists and Buddhologists in the world, the open opposition in Denmark, where none of Lindtner´s opponents knew Sanskrit, soon became silent.
On November 7th 1998, Lindtner, as a guest of the Indian government, presented his thesis about the New Testament Gospels as being “Judaized Buddhism” to a huge international audience in India. The thesis was, more precisely, announced in the form of the inaugural speech on “Future World Order”, at the Bauddha Mahotsav, in Sarnath - at the very place where the Buddha, long ago, had first delivered his celebrated Sermon of Benares- the so-called Dharmacakrapravartanam. His inaugural speech was published, in an expanded form, as an article with the title Buddhism in Relation to Science and World Religions. It was published by Ananda Buddha Vihara Trust, Buddhanagar, Tukaram Gate, North Lallaguda, Secunderabad - 500 017. A.P. India.
In Denmark, as said, the opposition to the novel thesis that the Gospels were “artificial and funny translations done directly from the Sanskrit into Greek”, met with violent opposition. Not one single counter-argument, however, was provided. Since none of the opponents knew Sanskrit, and therefore could not meet him on scholarly grounds or in an open debate, the opponents resorted to calumny. The Danish Council of Research which had for many years supported the Sanskrit studies of Lindtner, was forced to discontinue its financial support. Publishers were put under pressure so as not to print the books on the Buddhist sources of the New Testament prepared by Lindtner.
There was even an international pressure. Because of his revisionist views, Lindtner was, for instance, denied participation in The XIIth. Conference of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, held at Lausanne, August 23-28, 1999. A registered letter, dated February 1, 1999, read:

“Dr. Lindtner, Taking into account serious problems and reservations connected with your planned participation in the forthcoming congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies (Aug. 23-28, 1999, Lausanne), the Congress Organizing Committee, with the support of the Board of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, has decided that your presence at the congress is unacceptable. Please note that you will not be allowed to register for this congress or participate in it in any way.”

The letter was signed by a certain Tom J.F. Tillemans, President of the Congress Organizing Committee, and Vice-dean of the Faculty of Letters, and by Oskar v. Hinüber, a German Professor, and General Secretary of the International Association of Buddhist Studies.
The latter subsequently confessed to a German colleague that he had been put under pressure to give his signature, and that Lindtner would have been arrested by Swiss police had he appeared at the conference. Many scholars learning about all this protested privately about the unprecedented decision. Copies of the letter were sent to various individuals, including Prof. Colette Caillat, Paris, President of the International Association of Buddhist Studies.
She, too, accepted the exclusion of Lindtner without any protest. Lindtner, then, was not to be found among the two hundred scholars from various countries who read their papers at the Lausanne conference in August 1999. There were also attempts to exclude Lindtner from using public libraries, and he was, of course, excluded from presenting his discoveries in any of the Danish universities.
The conclusion, therefore, is clear: The public, who pays for such conferences, and for the running of the universities, cannot expect purely scientific interests to be served well by such unreliable bodies. In certain fields of research political, or religious correctness, counts much more than scientific or scholarly correctness.
Eventually, Lindtner´s work found supporters in and outside Denmark, men and women who cared and were concerned about the freedom of research and speech. Thus he could continue his research into the Sanskrit sources of the New Testament Gospels.

The Hesbjerg Seminar

The host of this seminar was the liberal theologian and the owner of Hesbjerg Castle near Odense, Jørgen Laursen Vig. As opposed to virtually all other Danish theologians and historians of religion who had been informed and invited to participate, Laursen Vig found no objections to comparative Christian-Buddhist studies on a historical and philological basis.
Thus it proved feasible, in spite of great odds, to assemble a body of Danish and other scholars most of whom knew Sanskrit and/or Greek.
The first presentation was by Professor Bangert, from Germany. He spoke about the translations of Buddhist texts into German by Karl Eugen Neumann, born in 1865. Neumann, who had studied with great scholars such as Weber, Oldenberg and Deussen, had, in the notes to his translations, pointed out many New Testament parallels to Buddhist texts. It was, however, not all that clear whether these parallels were valid. many seemed spurious. Nevertheless the work of Neumann should not be ignored, as more recent scholars have tended to do. Clearly, Neumann lacked some clearly articulated principles to guide him when comparing the parallels and deciding upon their historical relationship.
The main purpose of the seminar was, as said, simply to provide Lindtner with the opportunity to present to the public the Sanskrit sources of the Greek text of the Passion Narrative as found in the two final chapters of Matthew’s Gospel.
Lindtner pointed out how virtually each word and sentence found in the Greek text could be traced back to two independent texts belonging to the same corpus of Buddhist scripture, namely the Mûlasarvâstivinaya. One text provides the legend of Gautama, the eponymous progenitor of Gautama the Buddha. The other text is the Mahâparinirvânasûtra, first edited in Sanskrit, Pâli, Tibetan with a translation from the Chinese, by the late German scholar Ernst Waldschmidt.
It could then be shown how “Matthew” first had cut these two sources to little pieces and then pasted them together anew. In this way he had preserved nearly all the original words but created a new whole, a collage, a mosaic. The result therefore, was purely fictitious. “Matthew” displays a most artificial way of “translating” - a fact that has lead to much confusion. Sometimes he translated the sense of the words or sentences, sometimes he translated the sound of words and sentences, and sometimes he tried to combine the sound and sense of the original Sanskrit in the Greek. Nearly all the motives had been taken over from the two Sanskrit sources - e.g. the crucifixion and the Eucharist - but combined anew.
Lindtner also pointed out how the names of the four evangelists could be traced back to the original Sanskrit. For instance, the evangelist Mark is in Greek called Markos. The Sanskrit word is Kumâras, a name for the Buddha as a child. As can easily be seen, the consonants are the same in both languages, namely m-r-k-s. Each of these four consonants has a given numerical value, in this case 40+100+20+200. The numerical value, of course, remains the same, even if the original order of the individual consonants is changed. This rule is technically known as gematria, and gematria was extremely common in ancient Hebrew writings. Gematria also allows the use of anagramas, of course. And thus it can easily bee seen that San. Kumâras has the same value as Greek Markos, namely 360. Hence it is formally perfectly correct to “translate” Sanskrit Kumâras by Greek Markos.
Such examples are extremely numerous, providing us with cumulative evidence to establish the direct historical relationship. For instance, the first disciple of the Buddha is called Putras. In Greek this person becomes the first disciple of “Jesus”, namely Petros. Here, as often, not only are the original consonants retained, but their original order is likewise retained. Nearly all personal names and names of places in the Gospels can be accounted for in this way. Many such examples were provided during Lindtner´s presentation.
As know, Hebrew writing only indicated the consonants. The reader must know the vowels by himself. Thus, for example, p-t-r can be read as Peter or as pater, depending on the reader himself. Playing anagram one may also read p-t-r as pirate. So, if only the same consonants as in Sanskrit were to be found in Greek, the “translation” was considered “faithful” to the original. Since each letter also has a specific numerical value, the evangelists also paid careful attention to the number of consonants and syllables of the original Sanskrit. This means that if a sentence in the original has e.g. 42 syllables, then the corresponding Greek also has 42 syllables.
Lindtner also called attention to a few hidden puns, i.e. cases where the Sanskrit has the same sound but not the same sense as a Hebrew word understood but not explicitly mentioned in the Greek text of the gospels. Such instances serve to illustrate the extremely artificial nature of the gospels.
Some of these numerical techniques are not quite unknown to traditional theologians. It must be recalled that since each letter also has a certain numerical value, a firm distinction between sounds and numbers cannot always be made. For instance, the Gospel of John 1:19-2:11 deals mainly with Christ. It has a size of exactly 1550 syllables. The Greek for the Christ is ho Khristos. The numerical value of ho Khristos, counting also the vowels, is 70+600+100+10+200+300+70+200 = 1550.Such examples of numerical literary techniques are so frequent that they cannot possibly be considered a matter of mere chance. They are deliberate, and their manifest presence proves beyond any doubt that the evangelists most carefully counted consonants and syllables.
The Buddha is often called Tathâgatas, or the (only) teacher. In Matthew 23:10, Jesus is called kathêgêtês, or the (only) teacher. The two words are thus not only synonyms, they have the same meaning; they are also homonyms, they have the same number of syllables and nearly the same consonants. In Matthew 26:28, the San. Tathâgatas, in the genitive case Tathâgatasya, suddenly is translated by Greek tês diathêkês, meaning “of the covenant”. Here the sound and the number of syllables is retained nicely, but the sense is violently distorted.
The full Sanskrit phrase says: Tathâgatasya kâyam, the body (kâyam)of the Buddha. This in Matthew becomes “the blood of the covenant”. Luke 22:20 has a different version of the same Sanskrit phrase, namely “The New Testament”, Greek hê kainê diathêkê. Here Greek kainê translates Sanskrit kâyam. Here, to be sure, one must know that m and n are both nasals and thus numerically equivalent. Also San. y is a semivowel having the same value as Greek i. Thus kâyam = kainê.
Thus the “real” or hidden meaning of “The New Testament” is “The body of the Buddha”.
Such “translations” surely strike us as funny or artificial. Perhaps we can hardly believe that the evangelists translated from the Sanskrit into Greek in this irresponsible and unserious fashion.
But the fact is that such funny and artificial translations were quite common not only among the ancient Jews but also among the Indian Buddhists. So seen in a historical perspective, the four Gospels have been “translated” according to the rules common in those days. Good parallels to this curious way of “translating” can still be found among the remaining fragments of the Greek version (Septuaginta) of the Hebrew Bible done by Aquila who lived during the reign of emperor Hadrian (117-138). Aquila aimed to be faitful to the syllables and the letters of the Hebrew even if the Greek translation became meaningless. For instance, making use of homophony, he rendered the Hebrew ´elôn, meaning “holm oak” by the Greek aulôn, meaning “hollow, ditch, gully”. Aquila´s “translation” was very much in favour with the rabbis! One must, in other words, know the original in order not to misunderstand the translation. (For more such examples, see N.F. Marcos, The Septuagint in Context. Introduction to the Greek Versions of the Bible, Leiden 2000, pp. 115-118.)
Lindtner also pointed out that the strange procedure of combining different words and phrases from different sources was even to be seen in the way the gospels combined various Old Testament passages into a new whole. Later on, authors such as Tatian would combine passages from the gospels in the same way. A few words taken from e.g. Matthew would be combined with words taken from Luke etc. The result would be a “funny or artificial translation”, entirely fictitious in the literal sense of that term.
Nor does it come as a surprise that the Gospels are anonymous. We only know the first names of the authors. It is the same with the Buddhist scriptures.
At the seminar several participants expressed their curiosity about the motive for making such funny translations. And in what kind of historical milieu could such translations have originated?
For scholars familiar with Buddhist sources the answer to such questions is not difficult.
In Mahâyâna there is a very important concept called “skill in means” (upâya-kausalya). According to this principle the Buddhist missionary is allowed to avail himself of any means with the single purpose of “presenting the body of the Buddha” to even the most ignorant people - yes, even to animals and demons. From the point of view of Mahâyâna it is considered very meritorious to mention the word Tathâgata, or to make an image of Tathâgata. The idea is that common ignorant people will not be able to understand the philosophical principles of Buddhism. For them it is enough to have faith in Tathâgata. It is therefore, quite irrelevant whether the New Testament makes any sense at all. Paradoxes are welcome as long as one hears the word of Tathâgata. The important thing is that people believe, even in a purely fictitious Buddha or Bodhisattva - such as “Jesus”. Some of the Buddhist scriptures used by the evangelists claim that one can become liberated merely by mentioning the name or by “seeing” the body of one of the many purely fictitious Buddhas in which many Buddhists believe.
This fact not only accounts for the many puns on Buddhist names in the gospels but also, as said, for the very title: The New Testament - The Body of the Buddha (to those knowing the pun).
The celebrated idea of the secret of the Messiah could also be traced directly back to the Buddhist sources. This puzzle has remained a puzzle to theologians to this day - exactly as it was intended to.
History shows that the Buddhist missionaries were highly successful.
Thus the New Testament Gospels can be characterized as crypto- Buddhism, or, since its authors and audience were undoubtedly Jews, “Judaized Buddhism”.


At the seminar, where many other similar translations were presented and discussed, Lindtner came up with two challenges, one to theologians in general, and one to Christian priest in general.
The challenge to the theologians is that the Gospels, and other writings in the New Testament, cannot be properly understood without knowledge of the original Sanskrit sources. Theologians who ignore the Sanskrit sources, cannot be considered critical of their sources. They are, in other words, not real historians.
As for the Christian priests, at least the Lutheran ones, they have given the oath to preach the Gospels as they truly are without falsification of any kind. Since the Greek texts, taken at their face value, present a false, untrue and highly misleading picture of the original sense - as shown by some of the examples given above - this means, that the priests, if they want to be considered honest, must present the Gospels in the light of the Sanskrit originals. Modern translations, always based on the Greek, are, of course, even more unreliable than the Greek. Otherwise, if the ignore the Sanskrit, they break their oath.
The term “revisionism” may be taken to mean to revise the sources. In this sense, when speaking of the text of the New Testament, the time has come to revise the Greek in the light of the Sanskrit. No serious historian would base his views about past events on the basis of a highly misleading “artificial and funny translation” of the original. One would think that this goes without saying. And yet this is what theologians, priest and common Christians have been doing for about two millennia.
Lindtner concluded by saying that he had asked several theologians for one proof - just one proof - serving to demonstrate that the New Testament gospels must be considered serious scriptures. It is not enough merely to state that they are “the word of God”. A mere statement proves nothing. If it did, the opposite statement would also be true. But both statements cannot possibly be true at the same time - at least not without violating a fundamental principle of logic (the law of contradiction).
If nearly all the words, all the sentences, all the ideas found in the Passion Narrative can be traced back to Buddhists sources still available in the Sanskrit language, how, then, can one seriously claim that the gospels are “the word of God”!
To this day no theologian had been able to provided Lindtner with that proof.



The journey to the Holy Land that Pope Paul John II undertook March 2000 was not merely an ordinary journey. Widely publicized as nothing less than a pilgrimage in the footsteps of Jesus, the itinerary first brought Saint Peter's successor No. 264 to Bethlehem, thus providing a world-wide audience with an opportunity to observe His Holiness genuflecting in the Church of the Nativity, where it is believed that Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ. After a stay in Jerusalem, includingh a visit to the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem, His (so-called) Holiness continued to Galilee, to the mountain, or rather hill, where Jesus is said (by Matthew only) to have delivered the celebrated Sermon on the Mount. On Saturday, March 25th, the Polish Pope visited Nazareth, the village in which Jesus, according to our only source, the New Testament Gospels, is supposed to have grown up to manhood. The by now eighty year old Pope concluded his pilgrimage in Jerusalem, in the outskirts of which Jesus ended his life on earth - at least for the time being.

One of the many things that must puzzle a critical reader of the four Gospels is the curious and almost systematical vagueness and uncertainty with regard to chronological and topographical indications. Some researchers are convinced that the story about the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem is nothing more than a myth. Where and even whether Jesus actually delivered his Sermon on the Mount, is also open to doubt. Mark does not even mention it, and Luke locates it in a different form to a level place. And where the old Nazareth - or Nazara, another reading - actually was situated, we do not really know. Moreover, it is doubtful whether it was not Capernaum, rather than Nazareth, that was the paternal town of Jesus and the center of his activities. But even here there are doubts. According to Matthew 4:13, Capernaum was beside the ocean, not, as most translators have it, manipulating the Greek original, by the lake. And when we finally reach Golgotha, the exact location is also unknown. There is no convincing archaeological evidence either for the traditional site at the present Church of the Holy Sepulcher or for the more recently supposed site of Gordon's Calvary.

Similar uncertainty adheres to vitually all other topographical indications concerning the itineray of Jesus in the Gospels.
One of the other facts that must arouse our curiosity is the striking coincidence, compared with the NW Gospels, that the Buddhist Gospels exhibit with regard to the locations with which the Buddha is associated.

In Buddhism there are four major places of pilgrimage, that a pious follower is expected to visit.
First there is Lumbinî, the site where queen Mâyâ gave birth to the Bodhisattva (i.e.the Buddha before he woke up as Buddha), exactly as the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem. Now Lumbinî is a historical place, it was re-discovered in 1895, and a few years ago excavations brought to light a slab from the time of king Asoka, showing the exact location. Mâyâ, according to the Buddhist sources, was also a "virgin", dârikâ - but this was, naturally, before she was married to the king, the father of the bodhisattva. Hence, we may already here assume, the unnatural confusion about pathenogenesis in the Gospels.

Lumbinî is situated in south Nepal, not far from the paternal town of the Buddha, Kapilavastu. In later Christian art one finds images of Mary and Jesus that impress us as mere copies of queen Mâyâ giving birth to the bodhisattva. Kapila-vastu was the center for the missionary activity of the Buddha, exactly as Caper-naum, Jesus' "own" town, was so for the alleged son of the Mary, now, finally, no longer Virgin. When the Buddha visited Kapilavastu, he would normally stay outside the city, in a park called Nyagrodha. Capernaum and Nazareth play exactly the same role in the life of Jesus , as do Kapilavastu and Nyagrodha in the life of the Buddha. Hence, we suspect, the duplicity in the Gospels.

The second place of pilgrimage in Buddhism, is Bodh(a) Gayâ, the place where the bodhisattva woke up to Enlightenment (bodhi) as Buddha, enlightened. Apparently nothing similar is related about Jesus. But only apparently. For if one looks closer at the text on the foundation of Buddhism, the Catusparisatsûtra (translated into Danish in Hînayâna. Den tidlige indiske buddhisme, Copenhagen 1998, pp. 18-59), one can hardly fail to notice that the second major event in the life (or legend) of the Buddha has been cut into several pieces and combined anew in the NT Gospels. In the account of the baptism of Jesus, in the account of his thanksgiving (Matthew 11:25-30), and in that of the Transfiguration on a unknown mountain (Matthew 17:1-13), the attentive reader can hardly fail to find partly literal translations of the Buddhist original, in Sanskrit. Curious, indeed! Should the reader wish to identify for himself the exact original location of the unknown mountain where Jesus is said to have met Moses and Elijah, let him turn to pages 22-26 of my Danish translation, from which he will also be informed about the original identity of Peter, of James and of John - not to speak of the bright cloud and the three huts that the (for now obvious reasons) confused Peter offers to put up. That the Gospels thus cut the original to pieces and rearrange the fragments into a new virtual reality, reflects the very same procedure they also apply to passages from the Old Testament. That the Gospels occasionally combine different OT passages into a new and, therefore, fictitious whole, is well known to all theologians. The result is a sort of mosaic, or collage. It has nothing to do with true history.

The third major place of pilgrimage in Buddhism is the Deer park outside Benares. Here in the park at modern Sarnath, the Buddha delivered his first great sermon, exactly as Jesus, according to Matthew, delivered his Sermon on the Mount. Both spoke of "justice" (Sanskrit dharma, Greek nomos and dikaiosynê). People from five areas and the (five) disciples listened to Jesus, exactly as a group of five disciples listened to the Buddha. Jesus speaks of eight beatitudes, the Buddha of the eight-fold Aryan Path. The Greek word for blessed, we now see, translates the Sanskrit sukha, happy.(Two Sanskrit verses give the eight beatitudes.) There is hardly a term or a phrase in the Gosples that a philologist cannot trace back to what, therefore, must be the Buddhist original. The uncertainty about the location of the Sermon on the unknown mountain or level place in the Gospels thus seems to suggest that the first great sermon of Jesus historically speaking was delivered elsewhere, namely outside Benares.

The fourth place of pilgrimage in Buddhism, is Kusinagarî, the place where the Buddha dies. Close to Kusinagarî we find Ku-kus-tâ. Here, the Buddha was twice offered something to drink. At first he declined the offer - the water being turbid - the second time he accepted the offer - the water now being pure. Twice Jesus is offered something to drink. First he rejects, then he accepts. The unknown locality of Gol-go-tha in several other respects also reminds the reader of Ku-kus-tâ (also spelled Kukutthâ). The Buddhist sources also explain why this place came to be associated with skulls - the Calvary - and they even provide further fascinating details of the alleged Crucifixion! The Buddha and Jesus pass away at exactly the same time between twelve and three, with the only difference that the Buddha dies at night, Jesus in the time of the day. The Buddha dies having passed into the ninth stage of meditation. When Jesus died it is said to have been dark all over the country. For this no darkness no natural explanation can be offered. The simple explanation is, of course, that the Gospels simply copied the Buddhist original, only turning night into day. Hence the paradox of the day being dark.

This correctness of this simple historical explanation is corroborated by the events that follow. The description of the burial and resurrection of Jesus can be found almost verbatim in the Buddhist Gospel. Moreover, Paul (1. Corinthians 15:6) wrote about the more than five hundred brothers to whom Jesus appeared. To this day we have had no idea about the identity of these five hundred brothers. The Buddhist text, however, speaks of five hundred monks present at the cremation of the body of the Buddha. They witnessed the body of the Lord go up to heaven - in smoke! The Sanskrit term is brahma-loka, i.e. the world (loka) of Brahma - becoming the kingdom of God (brahma) in the Gospels. So here again the Buddhist original provides the simple and natural explanation of what in the Gospel has become a puzzle.

The Buddhist texts to which I have here referred, have, for the major part, only become available to scholars after World War II. On the basis of often fragmentary Sanskrit manuscripts found in Turfan, some of them were edited by the German philologist, Ernst Waldschmidt in the fifties and sixties. Most of them still exist in old Chinese and Tibetan translations, and in various Central Asian languages. There is, therefore, really nothing surprising in the fact that they should also have fallen into the hands of the unknown authors of the New Testament Gospels. Obviously these unknown men must have been Jews familiar as they are with the OT. Any modern history of Jewish literature in the Hellenistic period that here concers us, provides evidence to the effect that Jewish authors for the purpose of religious propaganda produced numerous literary forgeries. The NT Gospels seem to fall into this category.

A dictionary to the Sanskrit texts is being published by the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen as Sanskrit Wörterbuch der buddhistischen Texte aus den Turfan-Funden. Here the reader can easily find further references to some of the original sources.

But there are many more surprises in store for those prepared to delve into the original Buddhist sources in the Sanskrit language! It is not merely the four Buddhist places of pilgrimage that have left manifest traces in the New Testament Gosples.
A similar observation applies to nearly all persons and minor localities mentioned in the Gospels.
Nearly all the twelve disciples, or apostles, of Jesus may be tracked down in the Buddhist sources, not only for their names but also for their activities. The first of the apostles of Jesus is, of course, Simon Peter (Gr. Petros), or St Peter. The first among those of the Buddha is Sâri Putras. Usually Jesus is held to have coined the name Petros himself (allegedly "translating" the Aramaic Kephas, a rock). However, what the Gospels report about St Peter is time and again taken over directly from the Buddhist Gospel. So, there can hardly be any doubt that Petros translates Putras. Hence, Simon Peter is merely the ghost of Sâri Putras. The principle according to which "Jesus" acted in the role of a translator is immediately obvious: All the consonants of the original are preserved without change: p-t-r-s. (Semitic languages, as a rule, do not indicate the vowels, only the consonants!) Simon, as opposed, to Sâri, is a good Jewish name. Thus, the Simon "called" Peter, or even "called" Kêphas, was only called so, ae the Gospels themself disarmingly admit. Originally, we are speaking of Sâri Putras, the first among the disciples of the Buddha (the genuine as well as the impostor).

Among the women in the life of the Buddha, Amrapâli, the courtesan (ganikâ) of Vaisalî, plays almost exactly the same role as does the "sinner" Mary Magdalene in the life of Jesus. In the later Christian legend (Jacobus de Voragine), this Mary is reported to have been buried in the Vezelay monastery, in Burgundy - an unmistakable echo of the monastery that Amrapâli of Vaisalî long ago presented to the Buddha and his monks.

One also recalls the woman who anointed Jesus in Bethany, in the house of an otherwise unknown Simon the leper. She is said to come with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure (Indian) nard. If one compares the Greek text of Luke 7:37 with the original Sanskrit, one cannot, as in the case of the name of Petros, fail to see that not only the sense but also all the original consonants of Amrapâli-ganikâ have been preserved without change by Luke (and, in part, by Matthew and Mark). The two rare Greek adjectives describing the nard are only fully understandable once it is recognized that they translate Sanskrit sucinâ pranîtena. The Greek even omits "and", exactly as does the original Sanskrit (asyndeton), thus again showing the direct literary dependence. Here is the transcribed Greek text of Luke 7:37 so that even a reader ignorant of Greek and Sanskrit can identify Amra-pâli-ganikâ for himself by way of the consonants: kai idou gynê êtis ên en tê polei hamartolos. Since the Greek means, " And behold, a woman who was in the city a sinner", the original sense of the Sanskrit is also served well. The pun is on the sound and on the sense, as well as on the original pattern of the sentence.
There are at least eight other puns on the name of the Buddhiust sinner in the Gospels. I shall, however, not deprive the reader the joy of discovering these puns for himself!

According to the same principle of keeping the consonants, it is now also easy to see why the Buddhist Nalanda becomes the mysterious Christian Nathanael, why Markata becomes Martha, why Pippalas becomes Philippos (Philip), why Aniruddhas becomes Andreas (Andrew), etc. etc. The principle of consonant preservation has here been successfully at work. This was also so when Lumbinî, Kapilavastu and Nyagrodha were transformed into Bethlehem, Capernaum (Gr. Kapharnaoum) and Nazareth, or Nazara. To estimate how successful the three last identifications actually were, one must keep in mind that the vivid imagination of the evangelists here was confined within certain limits: They had to assimilate the original names to locations already known to their readers. They could not possibly associate their Jesus with places that no one had ever heard of before without thereby spilling their beans. The closest they could get to Lumbinî, Kapilavastu and Nyagrodha, as we can see by consulting an atlas of the Bible, would therefore be Bethlehem, Kapharnaoum and Nazareth/Nazara, respectively. In the case of Kusinagarî, which simply had to become Jerusalem, there was no real escape; but the identification of Kukustâ with a purely imaginary Golgotha situated close to Jerusalem, merely ad hoc, contributed to a partial illusion of the identity of Kusinagarî and Jerusalem. Coming back to the famous Buddhist courtesan, Amrapâli-ganikâ:

Since nearly everything else that is reported in the Gospels about this woman can be traced back to the Sanskrit, there can remain no further doubt about the original Buddhist source of Mary Magdalene. She, too, like Simon Peter, is but a Buddhist in Christian disguise. One among the many enigmatic locations in the Gospels, is Magadan, only mentioned by Matthew 15:39. Speculatively, theologians have suggested that this may be an error for Magdala, and, going on with their speculations, they have imagined that this was the place from where Mary Magdalene must have come.

But in the light of the Buddhist sources the old crux of Magadan finally finds its natural solution. The ghost land of Magadan was originally the land of Magadha, in India, from where the Buddha set out on his last journey to Kusinagarî. On his way he met Amrapâli-ganikâ. Later, the evangelists transformed her into Mary Magdalene, just as Kusinagarî was translated into Jerusalem. Matthew retained the original Magadha almost unchanged,as Magadan, whereas Mark covered the original entirely up behind the equally obscure locality of Dalmanutha. Matthew says that Jesus got into a boat and went to the vicinity of Magadan. For obvious reasons he is silent about where the boat sailed.

It was originally the Buddha who here crossed the river Ganges. Mark adds that the disciples joined him in the boat. With this piece of additional information, Mark comes closer to the Buddhist original than does Matthew. The Buddhist text (the Mahâparinirvânasûtra) explicitly mentions that the monks also crossed the Ganges. The monks became disciples. Matthew and Mark, therefore, must have used the Buddhist original independently, here as often elsewhere.

I have here merely given a few examples of how the Buddhist texts in Sanskrit show that many of the places, events and persons that have for almost 2000 years naively and uncritically been associated with the life and teaching of Jesus, from a philological and historical point of view, must be said originally to have taken place in India, centuries "before Christ".
Much work still remains to be done, but there can be no doubt that the New Testaments Gospels must be seen as having been translated from the Sanskrit of the Buddhist Gospels.

And so, coming back to the Polish Pope, evidence permits us safely to conclude:
Had Pope Paul John II instead undertaken his pilgrimage to India and Nepal, from Lumbinî to Kapilavastu and Nyagrodha, to Bodh(a) Gayâ, to Magadha and to Kusinagarî and other famous Buddhist sites, then one could with a clear conscience maintain that the impostrous successor of St Peter - i.e. the false vicar of Sâri Putras - had followed in the footsteps of "Jesus" - alias Gautama the Buddha.



When Dr. Kunjunni visited me here in Denmark in May 1999, we not only had the occasion to read and discuss the Sanskrit text of Bhavya´s Madhyamakahrdayam, but I also availed myself of the opportunity to share with my old friend some of the discoveries I had make in regard to the New Testament Gospels and their Sanskrit sources.

Dr. Raja immediately recognized that if merely one convincing example of the Greek text being based on the Sanskrit could be pointed out and convincingly accounted for in this light, then this would be sufficient to establish a historical relationship.

If more cases could be pointed out, where the Greek could be explained in the light of the Sanskrit, so much the better, of course.

Here I would like to draw the reader´s attention to some cases of “Sanskritisms”, where old and still unsolved difficulties in the Greek of the Gospels are convincingly solved once it is recognized that they are translated from the Sanskrit.

The main Buddhist source of the NT Gospels is the Mûlasarvâstvâda-vinaya (MSV), a huge collection of texts which also include the celebrated Catusparisatsutra (CPS) and the Mahâparinirvânasûtra (MPS). CPS and MPS were edited in Sanskrit and Tibetan by the German scholar Ernst Waldschmidt, Berlin 1952-1962 & 1950-1951, respectively. The CPS also forms a part of the Samghabhedavastu (SBV), the Sanskrit text of which (from Gilgit) was edited by Raniero Gnoli, Rome 1977-1978. Full references to these and other relevant sources may be found in the indispensable Sanskrit-Wörterbuch der buddhistischen Texte aus den Turfan-Funden, Göttingen 1973

-, and in my monograph Comparative Gospel Studies (forthcoming). My thesis is simply that there is not much in the NT Gospels that cannot be traced back to the MSV. The NT Gospels are translated - in a prima facie very strange fashion, to be sure - directly from the Sanskrit of the MSV. This novel thesis of mine was first presented to an international public in Sarnath, November 1998. My paper was subsequently expanded and published as a pamphlet by the Ananda Buddha Vihara Trust under the title Buddhism in Relation to Science and World Religions, Secunderabad 1999.

Currently I am preparing, inter alia, a running commentary on Matthew, pointing out, chapter by chapter, the Buddhist sources of the first of the four Gospels. For references to the Greek sources and modern commentaries on the Gospels etc., I shall have to refer the interested readers to that book. Here, I shall have to assume my reader to be familiar with the Greek and Sanskrit texts, and their philological problems. 1.

Matthew 17: 5. Jesus takes Peter et al. up on a high mountain, where a transfiguration takes place. Peter offers to set up three shelters (Gr. skênê). From the context one does not understand why Peter would want to set up such shelters. Candidly, Luke 9:33 admits that Peter did not know what he was saying. While he was still speaking, a bright (Gr. nephelê phôteinê) cloud envelops them. The Buddhist source solving the problems is CPS 6. Bhagavat is staying with Mucilindas, the nâgarâja. Then a saptâhiko ´kâlameghah samupâgatah, CPS 6:2. To protect Bhagavat from the rain of the a-kâla-megha, lasting seven days, Mucilindas offers his hood (phana) as a shelter. Matthew, clearly, has inverted the order of events. Also, he has “mistranslated” a-kâla, which either means “out of season”, or “bright”. To make sense he should, as the CPS, first have mentioned the dark rain cloud, and then Peter´s offer to put up shelters (San. phana becoming Gr. skênê). He confuses his reader by translating a-kâla as “bright”, though the sense required here is “out of season”. All the other details are also in the Buddhist source: The seven days become six days in Matthew and Mark, about eight days in Luke. Muci-lindas inspires to Moses and Elias; the description of Jesus is based on that of the Buddha in CPS 10; Peter (Gr. Petros) etc. were originally Tripusa etc., CPS 2. (p-t-r-s/t-r-p-s, same numerical value and consonants). 2.

Mark 6:39-40. No satisfactory explanation for the two Greek expressions symposia symposia, “companies companies”, and prasiai prasiai, “groups groups”, has ever been offered. Both are translations of the frequent samghât samgham pûgât pûgam, “from group to group, from multitude to multitude”, which occurs in the same sense e.g. MPS 26:5. The Greek gives the original sense, and at the same time it attempts to reproduce the sounds and the order of the original Sanskrit. Since this is the only place where the four words occur as such in the Gospels, this also proves that “Mark” had direct and independent access to the Sanskrit original. 3.

Matthew 16:17. Again, no satisfactory explanation has been given why Simon Peter is called Bar-Iôna. Now, Simon Petros is, as a rule, no other than Sâri-Putras. Sâri-Putras is often addressed in Buddhist sources (Mahâyâna only?) as a jina-putras, “son of Jina”. Bar-Iôna means son (bar) of Iôna, and so it is easy to see that bar translates putras whereas Iôna imitates the sound of Jina(s). So Bar-Iôna was simply Sâri-Putras. Puns on the name of this important disciple - in both sources - are quite frequent. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says: sy ei Petros, “You are Peter”. The Gr. sy ei contains a pun on Sâri. The “missing r” can, according to a general rule, be taken from putras. In John 1:47 the noun Israelite, Gr. Israêlitês - the disciple in whom there is no guile - contains another pun on Sâri-putras. The word means “son of Israel”, which means that first the s-r represent the original two consonants of Sâri, whereas putras is represented by its original meaning in Israelite as a whole. By means of a simple pun, Sâri-Putras has become a son of Israel In the Gospels “Israelite” only occurs here. To be sure, the other disciples mentioned by John 1 can all be traced back to the Buddhist sources. As I point out in my forthcoming book, Aniruddhas thus becomes Andreas, Pippalas becomes Philippos, and Nâlandâ becomes Nathanael. The Gospels always try to retain the number and nature of the consonants (guttural, palatal, lingual, dental, labial, semivowel, sibilant) of the names of persons and places in the Sanskrit original. 4.

Matthew 14:34 & 15:39. Jesus, who has just been addressed as “son of God”, Gr. theou huios - which of course is a direct translation of San. deva-putras, as is the hybrid “son of David (Gr. huios Daueid)”- now “ and crossing over came to land Gennesaret”.

Here the Greek kai diaperasantes êlthon epi tên gên (eis) Gennêsaret is a direct rendering of San. (mâgadhakâ manusyâ) nadîm Gangâm uttaranty api pratyuttaranti, MPS 7:5. Some editors of the NT add an eis, “to”, to avoid the difficult reading gên Gennêsaret, “to land G.”. But wrongly so, for Gr. gên Gen- is an attempt to render the Gangâm of the original, retaining all the original consonants (viz. g-n-g-m=n). The San. uttaranty api has been inverted so as to become Gr. kai (=api) diaperasantes (= uttaranti), the sense being thus preserved. The second San. verb, pratyuttaranti, is represented by the five syllables, and consonants, of êlthon epi tên (NB:l counts as r, as often).

For San. mâgadhakâ, meaning “(men) form the land of Magadha” (cf. Tib.: yul ma ga dha´i mi rnams, “men of Magadha land”), we have to consult Matthew 15:39, which says that Jesus went into the boat and came “into the borders of Magadha”, Gr. eis to oria Magadan.

All modern commentators agree that this strange location “Magadan” is quite unknown from other sources. Equally puzzling is the variant given in Mark 8:10: “to the parts Dalmanutha”, Gr. eis ta merê Dalmanoutha. Neither “Magadan” nor “Dalmanu(o)tha” are to be found on the map.

In the light of the original source, MPS 7:5, all the old problems are now finally solved. One only has to look at a map of Buddhist India!

It was originally the Buddha who crossed the Ganges in the land of Magadha. This famous episode is not only known from MPS, but even from Buddhist art. The earliest artistic representation of this episode is already to be found in Sanchi, see Dieter Schlingloff, “Die wunderbare Überquerung der Gangâ”, in N. Balbir & J.K.Bautze (eds.), Festschrift Klaus Bruhn zur Vollendung des 65. Lebensjahres, Reinbek 1994, pp.571-584. To be sure, this proves the chronological priority of the Buddhist source.

MPS 7:5 also provides us with the clue to the mysterious location “Dalmanoutha”. Immediately after the words uttaranty api, the San. says that some of the Magadha people crossed the river (nadî) Gangâ in salmani-phalesu (Tib. sin sal ma la´i span leb, “boards of the salmani tree”), i.e. on rafts. Here there can hardly be any doubt that dalman imitates salman. In all likelihood, the Gr. outha is intended to imitate San. atha, the first word in the following sentence, MPS 7:6.

Speaking of atha, this common word is usually translated by Gr. eutheôs or euthus, in all the four Gospels. This literal translation creates confusion, because the Gr. words means “at once”, “immediately”, whereas San. atha simply means, “(and) then”. By translating Gr. eutheôs or euthus in the sense of San. atha the reader can suddenly make natural sense of virtually all the passages in the Gospels where atha occurs in Greek disguise.

A similar observation applies to Gr. apo tote in Matthew 4:17 and 16:21. Some scholars have suggested that this strange expression “from then on” may mark a turning point in the life of Jesus. The reader familiar with the style of SBV, however, will have no problems in recognizing the Gr. apo tote as an inverted translation of San. tato ´pi, “and then”. As a rule, Gr. tote likewise translates San. tato/tatah/tatas, a synonym of atha.

In other words: To understand the Greek one must know the Sanskrit behind it. This is a general rule that - so I maintain - applies to all the “Sanskritisms” of the four Gospels as a whole.

These are just a few typical examples of how the unknown authors of the Gospels “translated” the Sanskrit into Greek. The puns on the sounds of the original Sanskrit are sufficient to show that there was no “Aramaic” (or any other) intermediate.

The strange way of “translating” may come as a surprise to modern readers. But if things are seen in their proper historical context there is but little cause for surprise. Indian readers familiar with the norms of alamkârasâstra - the sabda- and the arthâlamkâras - will easily recognize the various kinds of puns on the sound and meaning of the original.

Jewish readers familiar with the rules (middoth) that are employed in the exegesis of their sacred scriptures, will have even less cause for surprise. A convenient survey of rabbinic hermenetics is provided by Hermann L. Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, New York 1959.

The Gospels, with odd results, have been translated “according to the book”. The main rules (Hebrew middoth) at work when the Sanskrit was translated into Greek, were: 1. Neged, corresponding significant number, as when the seven days of the original become six, six, and about eight. 2. Ma´al, paronomasia, a playing on words which sound alike, San. anuprâsa, alliteration, or yamaka, as in the case of Nâlandâ and Gangâm becoming Nathanael and gên Gên-. 3. Gematria, from Gr. grammateia, computation of the numeric value of letters, and metathesis of the letters, e.g. when putras and Tripusa(s) both become Petros. 4. Notarikon, when a word is broken into two or more, as when ganikâ becomes gynê ekh- or gynê êtis.

Gematria is often seen as a subdivision of Notarikon. 5. Mukdam shehu´meúhar ba-´inyan, when something that precedes is palaced second, hysteron proteron, as when the shelters are mentioned before the a-kâla-megha, though they should have been mentioned after the rainy cloud. These and many other middoth are extremely common in Haggadah litterature, i.e. in Hebrew stories of the Passover.

The common technical term for translation or interpretation is Targum. It may either be Peshat (literal), or a free haggadic translation with midrashic passages, or commentaries. The Gospels should thus be seen as a targum belonging to Haggadah, done according to the middoth current among learned Jews about two thousand years ago. Often, one cannot fail to suspect that ancient Hebrew hermeneutics were somehow indebted to Indian sources to a much higher extent than generally assumed. Not just in Greek but also in Hebrew there are many “Sanskritisms”. This interesting issue I hope to take up on another occasion.



Review article by Christian Lindtner:

Michael Fuss: Buddhavacanam and Dei Verbum. Brill, Leiden 1991.
Pp. xvi & 479. ISBN 90 04 089918. Price: 192.00 US S

J.Duncan M. Derrett: The Bible and the Buddhists, Sardini 2000.
Pp. 131. ISBN 88-7506-174-2. Price: 50.000 Italian Lire

Way back in 1882, in a letter on a topic of our present concern, reprinted in his celebrated book India - What Can it teach us?, London 1899, p. 284, Max Müller wrote: “ That there are startling coincidences between Buddhism and Christianity cannot be denied, and it must likewise be admitted that Buddhism existed at least 400 years before Christianity. I go even further, and should feel extremely grateful if anybody would point out to me the historical channels through which Buddhism had influenced early Christianity. I have been looking for such channels all my life, but hitherto I have found none. What I have found is that for some of the most startling coincidences there are historical antecedents on both sides, and if we once know those antecedents, the coincidences become far less startling. If I do find in certain Buddhist works doctrines identically the same as in Christianity, so far from being frightened, I feel delighted, for surely truth is not the less true because it is believed by the majority of the human race.”

In the decades that followed there were numerous valuable contributions to the problem taken up by Max Müller. The most important and well-informed of these was probably Richard Garbe, Indien und das Christentum, Tübingen 1914. Eight years later, Dr. Hans Haas published a 45-page Bibliographie zur Frage nach den Wechselbeziehungen zwischen Buddhismus und Christentum, as an appendix to his rare and important book “Das Scherflein der Witwe” und seine Entsprechung im Tripitaka, Leipzig 1922.

Opinions were divided. In 1935, the Indologist M. Winternitz wrote that, “ the view must be rejected that Buddhist literature has exerted a direct influence upon the gospels” (quoted from Derrett, op. rec., p. 21). The Danish Indologist Poul Tuxen (1880-1955), among many others, while fully aware of the many parallels, expressed a similar conviction in his book Buddha. Hans Lære, dens Overlevering og dens Liv i Nutiden, Copenhagen 1928. According to Tuxen, the parallels, though striking, are not to explained as a result of any historical influence from Buddhism, which certainly would have the chronological priority, but rather as a result “of some typical features, spontaneously arising in a religious mind writing about a great personality” (p. 77). And thus the matter would seem to have been settled for good. What Tuxen means by these obscure remarks remains a puzzle, and, of course, he was unable to point out any set of scriptures describing some other great personality in similar words and details.

The last major work before WW II was H.W.Schomerus: Ist die Bibel von Indien abhängig?, München 1932 (omitted in Derrett´s Bibliography). Schomerus accepted many parallels but did not find it necessary to assume that the gospels were dependent on Indian or Buddhist sources. The recent decade, however, has witnessed an increasing interest, even a revival, of the old problem of possible Buddhist influence on early Christianity, including the New Testament with its four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Derrett finds that recent research has “set up a case to be answered”, and his book is an attempt to do so (p. 17). The search for Max Müller´s “historical channels” can no longer be dismissed as irrelevant.

In the opinion of M. Fuss (op. rec., p. 2), there is an “eminent theological enrichment” which can be drawn “from an encounter between Christianity and Buddhism”. The Saddharmapundarîka (SDP) has been called the “Bible of Asia” and “the Eastern commentary on the Gospel of John” (p. 4), or even the New Testament of the East. The book is designed as a phenomenological and theological comparison of scriptural inspiration in the SDP and in the Christian tradition. Its author is inspired by the Vatican II teaching about the “seeds of the Word” in non-Christian religions.

An Introduction to the study of the SDP discusses the genre and the title of the SDP, its complex textual history, its canonicity, its language and its compilation (:interpolations, interdependence of gâthâs and prose, form-critical classification, and redaction analysis). This is followed by chapters on the Catholic teaching on Scriptural Inspiration (pp. 197-248), on elements for a Contemporary Reflection on Scriptural Inspiration (pp. 249-306), on the Inspiration of the SDP as paradigm for scriptural inspiration of non-Biblical scriptures (pp. 307-359).

The aim of the SDP, Fuss concludes (p. 358) is missionary proclamation(...) and thus similarity with the kerygmatic genre of the Christian Gospels. In its narratives it concentrates on the constitutional core of Buddhist religion: on the inspirational experience of the Buddha and his proclamation of the Eternal Dharma. The Lotus Sûtra becomes the concise embodiment of the achievement of enlightenment: the transcendent dynamism of the Supreme Dharma (p. 358).

The morale of this contribution to an inter-religious dialogue, then, is: Only a mutual openness in the common listening to the one “Word” of salvation beyond theoretical conceptions will orientate both scriptural traditions in “Spirited Life” towards the blissful and liberating experience of an IN-SPIRED DIA-LOGUE” (p. 359).

Appendix 1 (pp. 361-419) provides a survey, a classification of the manuscripts etc. having to do with the textual history of the SDP. Appendix 2 lists selected “Christian parallels to the SDP”, and finally documents concerning “Dei Verbum” are given as Appendix 3 (pp. 435-454). An extensive Bibliography, completed March 1983, concludes this learned book (pp. 455-479).

When it comes to the “intricate problem” of a presumed dependence of any of these Budddhist-Christian parallels, Fuss (p. 421, n. 1) simply refers to the statement of T.W.Rhys Davids in Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion (= The Hibbert Lectures 1881), London 1906, p. 151f: “ I can find no evidence whatever of any actual and direct communication of any of these ideas from the East to the West. Where the Gospel narratives resemble the Buddhist ones, they seem to me to have been independently developed on the shores of the Mediterranean and in the valley of the Ganges;...The similarities of idea are evidence not of any borrowing from one side or the other, but of similar feelings engendered in men´s mind by similar experiences.”

Fuss (ibid.)dismisses the “intricate problem” - thus at least indirectly admitting its being there - by a mere reference to the rich bibliography of Buddhist-Christian parallels listed in Norbert Klatt, Literarkritische Beiträge zum Problem Christlich-Buddhistischer Parallelen, Köln 1982. Klatt´s small book is, in fact, an important contribution to our field, Comparative Gospel Studies (CGS), if I may coin that phrase. Unfortunately, this little book has been generally ignored. I do not hope that I am transgressing the limits of discretion when, to suggest the reasons for this neglect, I quote Klatt himself (personal communication of 15 August 2001):” Die Ignorierung meiner Arbeit beruht nach meiner Auffassung nicht auf wissenschaftlichen, sondern weltanschaulichen Aspekten. Man möchte nicht, dass ein indischer Einfluss im NT nachgewiesen wird. Vor dieser Situation steht jeder, der sich mit dieser Thematik befasst.”

Klatt, of course, is right, and so is Derrett (p. 15) when writing that the only person to deal conclusively with the matter must not only be fluent in Sanskrit, Greek, Hebrew etc., but he must also have a personality that will “charm and persuade the prejudiced and the indifferent”. “Unlike many gifted linguists we know, will he enter into original, and highly controversial work? Will he possess the stamina to sustain a great enterprise? To the first miracle a second miracle must be added.”

Zacharias P. Thundy, the author of Buddha and Christ. Nativity Stories and Indian Tradition, published two years after Fuss, also by Brill in Leiden, belong to the happy few who will not let themselves be deterred. Unlike Fuss et al., he does not dismiss the “intricate problem”. This attitude may have something to do with his Indian and Christian background, as he himself notes.

Thundy´s book is also a contribution to East-West dialogues, but, compared to Fuss, along entirely different lines. In his opinion, New Testament authors have written under Buddhist influence. He agrees with Schopenhauer and others, that “The New Testament must be in some way traceable to an Indian source” (p. 1). His book is, primarily, an exercise in comparative literature (p. 18). The Gospel of Matthew reflects a process of imitation-emulation (p. 31). A close look at the first two chapters of Luke reveals extensive use of revisionism, Thundy claims (p. 34). What we find in the exegesis of the NT writers is deconstructionist midrash (ibid., my emphasis), as can be seen e.g. by a close look at the OT parallels to Luke 1. What we see by comparing the parallel passages is that Luke used several books of the OT, but he did not just copy passages from OT; he rather “judiciously used words, phrases, sentences, and motifs to advance his views on the person and the details of the life of Jesus” (ibid., p. 37). This is “plagiarism” - even theft - in the sense that it is artistic adaptation of the words and ideas of another without crediting the source or presenting a new and original idea derived from an existing source (p. 43). Many Western Christians, Thundy observes, are unduly disturbed when it is suggested that the gospel writers may have borrowed literary motifs from the East (p. 44). Even though the gospel writers use unacknowledged Buddhist and other subtexts they do not appear to be doing so; this is because these writers make these subtexts as their own original text (p. 46).

In Thundy´s opinion, the Christian gospel writers did not use any particular version of the Buddha-story from beginning to end from a literary text, but rather at random and selectively from oral traditions (p. 79).

The numerous Buddhist and Christian Infancy Parallels relate to (pp. 79ff): 1. Pre-existence, 2. Royal origin and genealogy, 3. Universal Salvation, 4. Virginal Conception - virginitas ante partum, 5. Dream Vision, 6. White Elephant vs. White Dove, 7. Annunciation to the Husband, 8. Turmoil at Birth, 9. Masters in Mothers´ Wombs, 10. Virgin Birth - virginitas in partu, 11. Virginity - post partum, 12. Righteous Fosterfather, 13. Krshna and Jesus, 14. Angels and Others at Birth, 15. Earthquakes and the Redemption of the Dead from Hell, 16. Harrowing of Hell, 17. Nature Miracle, 18. The Taking of Seven Steps at birth, 19. Marvelous Light/Star, 20. The Baby in Swaddling Clothes, 21. The Naming Ceremony, 22. The Taming of Wild Animals, 23. The Miracles of the Bending Tree and Gushing Water, 24. The Fall of Idols, 25. Healing Miracles, 26. Annunciation of Birth by a Woman, 27. Giving of Gifts, 28. Presentation in the Temple, 29. Asita and Simeon, 30. Illumination of Hearts, 31. Buddha´s Mother, 32. Anna and Shabari/Old Women, 33. Lost and Found, 34. Mother-Son Dialogue, 35.The Infant Prodigy, 36. The Magis´ Visit, 37. The Appellation of King , 38. Mahâprajâpati and Mary: Two Influential Women, 39.Preparing the Way, 40. Growing Up, and finally, 41. Reference to Signs - all in all 41 parallel cases having to do with the infancy of Buddha, Christ, and, to a lesser extent, Krsna.

The juxtaposition of this long list of obvious parallels permits us to conclude that this is “more than a fortuitous convergence of universal fo(l)kloric motifs simply because nowhere else do we see such a convergence of literary motifs...”. Cum singula non prosunt, multa juvant, as Derrett (p. 113) would submit.

Thus Thundy´s main argument in support of his assertion consists in the cumulative evidence provided by a long list of convergent literary motifs. And, I may add, it is exactly this mass of cumulative evidence, easily to be enlarged, that serves to reject the scepticism of previous researchers such as Tuxen et al.

Furthermore, Thundy´s book contains some fine and well-written chapters on Gnosticism, The New Testament and India, and India and the West in Antiquity. They serve well to corroborate his point about the NT gospels as Eastern religious texts. I completely agree that Thundy´s analysis of the Infancy gospels shows that Indian influence was deep and pervasive, and that Christian writers must have been familiar, not just vaguely but thoroughly, with the Indian religions (p. 272). As he himself says, to be sure: “ I could do this kind of analytic work only within the liberal framework of modern literary criticism which endorses the metods of deconstructionism, intertextuality, and new historicism in comparative literary studies” (ibid.). Thundy, finally, admits that a distinction should be made between the literary and the theological approach: “ Doing violence to one diminishes the beauty and destroys the integrity of the other” (p. 271). Here, however, he may be wrong.

Not listed in the extensive Bibliography is the 1982 Literarkritische Beiträge of Klatt, mentioned above. Here, with even greater attention to the little details than Thundy, the German theologian comes to much the same conclusion as Thundy, though on a significantly smaller scale. Klatt mainly focused on the legend of Jesu und Buddhas Wasserwandel/Walking on the Water of Jesus and of Buddha - to quote the title of the booklet published privately by Klatt, Göttingen 1990. Here (p. 30), Klatt concluded his careful comparison with these words: “ It is quite impossible to explain the obvious concordance between the two stories which the analysis of structure demonstrates from the “nature” of things, for walking on water is contrary to the ordinary laws of nature. Nor can a psychological explanation account for the complex structure and the particularities of the story found to be common to the Buddhistic and the Christian tales. And thus we are lead to conclude that the only probable explanation for the astounding congruence which the structural analysis shows is that the story of the walking on the water found its way from one culture into another. And although we cannot determine unequivocally the original Buddhistic text, we may affirmatively state, based on the historical priority of the Buddhistic tale, as for example in the pre-Christian Pâli canon, that the direction of the borrowing is from the Buddhistic source into the Christian gospels.”

By way of “structural analysis”, Klatt came to a “probable explanation”, that, if true, would establish at least one small “historical channel”. But one channel would also render it likely that more could be found. Elmar R. Gruber and Holger Kersten cover much of the same ground as Thundy in their book The Original Jesus. The Buddhist Sources of Christianity, Shaftesbury, Dorset 1995. The first part deals with “India and the West”, the second with “Jesus - the Buddhist”, the third with “The Way of the Original Jesus”.

What the book is mainly concerned with is suggested by the mention of “Die Gesellschaft der Nazarener” established by Holger Kersten “so as to better co-ordinate and more meaningfully activate future research on the historical Jesus and his Buddhist-influenced teachings, and also to make findings accessible to those interested.” (p. vii)

The Bibliography (pp. 252-259) of this well-written book refers to the books of Klatt, Thundy etc., but not to that of Fuss. The authors conclude (p. 243): “Buddhist sources in Christianity can no longer be denied, even though they have been crushed under the theologically prescribed reworkings. What is more important though is the fact that this Buddhist material was originally disseminated by Jesus himself. That discovery adds a completely new dimension to the discussion of Buddhism in the New Testament: the true teachings of Jesus, his Buddhist teachings(...) Christianity - and even the Christian message - is completely different from what Jesus taught...”. To some extent Gruber & Kersten are right. About their thesis that “the historical Jesus” was a Buddhist, I am more than sceptical. Nearly everything said about Jesus in the gospels, can, in fact, according to my own investigations through the last five years be traced back to Buddhist sources. So what remains, and what do we know about “a historical Jesus”? About as much as we know of “the historical Little Mermaid”!

That “Jesus lived in India” - to quote the title of a much-publicized 1983/1986 book by Holger Kersten - is definitely wrong. Klatt has unravelled the confusions that let to this unhappy thesis in his - much neglected - booklet: Lebte Jesus in Indien? Eine religionsgeschichtliche Klärung, Göttingen 1988. It was not Jesus who (lived and) died in Kashmir, but Yus Asaf/Yudasaf/Bodhasaf = Bodhisattva, who, according to the legend, died in Kusinara; see also David M. Lang, The Wisdom of Balahvar, London 1957, pp. 129-130. Eventually, scholars will have to concede - in my opinion - that the “Jesus” of the gospels is a purely fictitious figure, like Donald Duck or Hercules - as already argued e.g. by the philosopher Arthur Drews (who seems to have remained unknown to all the authors here under review) in his excellent, though somewhat outdated, Die Christusmythe I-II, Jena 1910-11.

But, in spite of all this, more conservative spirits are still searching for “the historical Jesus”. Currently, some scholars speak of the “third quest” for Jesus. There seems to be something highly elusive about (- of all persons-) the Son of God, the Son of David ( both of which actually render San. deva-putra) - also known as ekeinos ho planos (Matthew 27:63, translating, in fact, San. pâpakâry asau, in Samghabhedavastu I, p. 26, q.v.) - For one of the many recent surveys, I may refer to Marcus Borg, Jezus: gezocht en onderzocht. De renaissance van het Jezusonderzoek, Zoetermeer 1998. In spite of the title - the English original from 1994 was: Jesus in Contemporary Scholarship - the author, typically, simply ignores the sort of comparative research that occupies us here. In the long run such arrogance is doomed to backfire. How can one find what one is looking for when neglecting the pertinent sources?

Buddhismus und Christentum. Geschichte, Konfrontation, Dialog is the title of an informative book of 805 pages written jointly by Michael von Brück and Whalen Lai, München 1997. (For a review, see Buddhist Studies Review 16/2 (1999)259-263) A second edition appeared 2000 as a cheap-priced Sonderausgabe at DM 48,-.

Referring mainly to R.C.Amore, Two Masters - One Message, Nashville 1978, and to the books of Thundy and Klatt (p. 680, n. 5), these two authors take the standpoint that: “Selbst wenn man Amores Textanalysen und Vergleichen zustimmen würde, ergäbe sich, dass der Einfluss des Buddhismus auf das Christentum marginal war und nicht die zentralen Inhalte der Botschaft Jesu betrifft” (p. 316). So, for these authors, as for Fuss et al., the Holy Sepulchre remains safe from comparative incursions , as it were. The Original Jesus, now rare, is not mentioned by Michael von Brück and Whalen Lai. Perhaps it appeared too late. In any case they would hardly have been prepared to subscribe to its thesis, for they are obviously what Derrett would call “minimalists”. As for the book of Amore, a title closer to the historical truth - as I see it - would have been: One Master - Two Messages; for the gospels are largely free and highly artificial translations of the Buddhist “subtexts” (to use Thundy´s term). “Jesus” is rather a Buddha in disguise - bad disguise.

J. Duncan M. Derrett is the learned author of The Bible and the Buddhists, published in Italy by Sardini Editrice, December 2000. The book is an important one, perhaps the most important of its kind to this day. I have written a long review article for Buddhist Studies Review 19/2(2001)1-14, to which I may perhaps refer the interested reader. My main objection to Derrett´s book has to do with one of his criteria for classifying parallels (p. 30). According to Derrett, we are asking too much if we require “close verbal similarity”. This conviction Derrett seems to share with virtually all previous researchers, even “maximalists” prepared to admit even more Buddhist influence in the NT than Derrett himself. One important exception to the rule, ignored by Derrett, is Edward Conze who already in 1959 called attention to “close verbal coincidences”: “...Occasionally we find close verbal coincidences between the Christian and the Mahâyâna Scriptures. Just one instance must suffice. At the time when the Revelation of St John was written down in Greek in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Mahâyânists produced in the South of Idia one of their most revered books, The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines. Revelation (v. 1) refers to a book “closely sealed” with seven seals, and likewise the Perfection of Wisdom is called a book “sealed with seven seals”. It is shown to a Bodhisattva by the name of “Everweeping” (Sadâpradrudita), and St John “weeps bitterly” (v. 4) because he sees no one worthy to open the book and to break its seals. This can be done by the Lamb alone, slaughtered in sacrifice (v. 9). In the same way, chapters 30 and 31 of the Mahâyâna book describe in detail how Everweeping slaughtered himself in sacrifice, and how he thereby became worthy of the Perfection of Wisdom (see pp. 302-3). This parallel is remarkable not only for the similarities of the religious logic, but also for the fact that both the number seven and the whole notion of a “book with seven seals” point to the Judaeo-Mediterranea rather than to the Indian tradition. Here is a fruitful field for futher study.” (R.C.Zaehner (ed.), Encyclopedia of the World´s Religions, London 1959, p. 293.)

On this issue, close verbal similarities, I disagree decisively with virtually all my predecessors - apart from Conze - in the field of CGS. For my reasons for doing so, I will have to confine myself to referring to my forthcoming papers and books in which numerous verbal similarities are pointed out. See, for instance, “Âmrapâli in the Gospels”, which has just come out in The Adyar Library Bulletin 64 (2000), 151-170. The gospels were largely translated according to the rules (middoth) of gematria, notarikon, neged etc., current among learned bilingual Jews in those days.

Derrett has a high opinion of Gruber´s and Kersten´s The Original Jesus: “This was a beautifully produced, thoughtful and scholarly culmination of a renewed trend to elevate Buddhism as the source of Christianity, to depict, in effect, Jesus as a student of the Buddha. These authors make mighty, impressive assumptions, while drawing attention to many relevant facts. They rightly point (p. 22) to the Mahâyâna as the form of Buddhism from which parallels can be expected. They rightly show that communication between India and the Middle East was far easier than we used to suppose...(Derrett, p. 16).

Among those who “used to suppose”, I may insert, Derrett himself is surely one of the most distinguished. His six volumes of New Testament Studies, published by Brill in Leiden between 1977 and 1995, are a mine of erudition with a wealth of new observations and suggestions for solving old problems pertaining to the text and interpretation of the gospels. Also, Derrett has many other books and articles to his credit. As a rule, they too have been totally - and unduly - neglected by New Testament scholars. But back to Gruber & Kersten, who, on the other hand, also “ignore factors as significant as their own. Buddhist borrowings from Greece and Israel have left them unmoved. They sometimes ask the wrong questions, and their sensational results could be vitiated by such flaws as those.” ( Derrett, p. 17)

In The Bible and the Buddhists (BB), Derrett argues 11 cases where the NT may have gained from Buddhist models, about 19 cases where Buddhists seem to have adopted NT material, some 11 cases where the literatures may have gained reciprocally, and finally 16 cases where it is impossible to claim that either influenced the other. I shall, as said, nor here repeat my critique of Derrett already advanced in my review article in the BSR (ref. supra). In my opinion, virtually all the parallels adduced by Derrett belong to the first category,i.e. where the NT depends on Buddhist sources. We must, as said, look for close verbal similarity to establish the historical relationship on a firm basis. Derrett´s basic idea, reasonable though it may appear, that a sort of collaboration between Buddhists and Christians took place; that they were entrepreneurs in the same line of business, as it were, and that they “put their heads together”, is, nevertheless, unhappy. In my view hardly one of the examples marshalled by my learned British colleague supports his point. And when it comes to the precise identity of the Buddhist sources, I differ decisively from all my predecessors. My claim is that the writers of the gospels copied directly, above all from the Sanskrit text of the Mûlasarvâstvâda-Vinaya (MSV) - including Catusparisatsûtra (CPS) and Mahâparinirvânasûtra (MPS) as well Samghabhedavastu (SBV). For the Gnoli edition of the Sanskrit text of the SBV, see my review in Acta Orientalia 43 (1983) 124-126.

By comparing these Sanskrit texts carefully with the Greek NT we shall be able to detect numerous cases of literal correspondence that conclusively serve to establish my thesis that the NT gospels are to a large extent direct - but also highly artificial - translations of the Sanskrit.

Even though Klatt occasionally came close to the proper method, and even though Thundy, Gruber & Kersten, and Derrett came to some correct conclusions, they unfortunately failed to insist on close verbal similarity to establish the historical dependence. Klatt, regrettably, failed to consider the evidence of the MSV.

More precisely this close verbal similarity on which I insist as the main - but far from sole - criterion, has to do with the numerical literary techniques used by all the writers of the gospels. Now this may come as a surprise to many, even NT scholars, but the fact is that the trans-lations directly from Sanskrit to Greek (leaving no room for a hypothetical intermediate Aramaic source) in numerous cases were done on the basis of a computation of the numerical value of words, or names - a well-known practice in antiquity, in Jewish literature known as gematria (Hebrew: gymtry´, imitating Gr. geômetria and possibly also, with typical ambiguity, grammateia . In Greek we have the technical term isopsêphos, “equal in numerical value”, Latin conpar.

In an highly significant monograph, Numerical literary techniques in John, Leiden 1985, M.J.J.Menken has analysed the composition of selected passages from John (viz. 1:19-2:11; 5; 6; 9:1-10:21;17), coming to the firm conclusion that “the author of the Fourth Gospel made use of numbers of syllables and words” (op. cit., p. 269). Previously, the employment of this quantitative technique had been pointed out by J. Smit Sibinga in a communication to the Journées Bibliques, of Louvain in 1970, where he discussed “a literary technique in the Gospel of Matthew”. Investigating a series of Matthean passages, J. Smit Sibinga has convincingly established that the author of the First Gospel has “arranged his text in such a way, that the size of the individual selections is fixed by a determined number of syllables. The individual parts of a sentence, the sentences themselves, sections of a smaller or larger size, they are, all of them, characterized in a purely quantitative way by their number of syllables” (Menken, op. laud., p. 21).

Now, this technique of making two members of a period equal in length was already known to Aristotle as parisôsis. Alexander, in his second century C.E. De figuris, speaks of parison (= isokolon): parison estin hotan duo ê pleiona kôla synenôthenta malista men kai tas syllabas isas ekhê, alla ge kai ton arithmon ton ison en pasi lambanê:” “There is a parison, when two or more united cola have above all their syllables equal, but obtain also in all their parts equal rythm...”. The Latin term is conpar, defined by the Rhetorica ad Herennium 4,20,27 thus: conpar appellatur quod habet in se membra orationis...quae constent ex pari fere numero syllabarum (Menken, p. 15). These members that consists of an almost equal number of syllables bring us to the heart of the matter.

Let me repeat that the numerical analysis of J. Smit Sibinga and M.J.J.Menken et al. (in Scandinavia: Birger Gerhardsson, Jesu liknelser, Lund 1999, passim) has established beyond any doubt that the writers of the NT gospels made extensive use of syllables and words in the composition of their works.

Now, again and again, when comparing the Sanskrit and the Greek, we cannot fail to observe the principle of conpar, of gematria, being at work. This is an objective fact, something that can be counted and measured. It is quantitative. It is, I repeat, an objective fact that can be verified by any scholar of Sanskrit and Greek willing to see for himself: ehipasyika, a technical Buddhist term, is translated by the most cunning of the evangelists, John 1:46: erkhou kai ide. The authors of the four gospels often reproduced precisely not only the number of the syllables and words of the Sanskrit, but, what is more, even the sense, the word classes, and the sound patterns of the original. Just one example: John 10:1-18 the Pastor bonus, is a gematria translation of the celebrated mrgapatih legend MPS 40d: 40-51 (ed. E. Waldschmidt,pp. 476-478). The number of syllables is the same in both sources (namely 604), and an amazing number of the original consonant have likewise been reproduced in the Greek. The sense is thus automatically distorted, as when San. parvata, mountain, becomes Greek probata, sheep, etc. Now we understand how naïve it has been of us to ask for a simlilarity of ideas to establish a possible historical relationship. The evangelists often pay more attention to similarity of sound than to similarity of ideas. What we should ask for, is primarily: similarity of syllables, of consonants, of words, and of numbers. Once we are aware of conpar and gematria we have also - finally - identified of one the major “historical channels” that Max Müller and many other scholars had been searching for so long without success. If one text speaks of mountains, and another of sheep, we see no similarity. But when we see that parvata has become probata, only then the identity is seen.

The modern reader may remain sceptical when he reads these words, but let me remind him of the “translation” of LXX done by Aquila. As we can see from the remaining fragments it was often merely a matter of playing on words (see Natalio Fernández Marcos, The Septuagint in Context, Leiden 2000, pp. 116-117 for a list of amusing examples, exactly like those of the evangelists).

In passing it may be mentioned that B. Scherer has just published a German translation of “Der gute Herdenführer”, in his Buddha, Gütersloh 2001, pp. 92-94. Commenting on the nativity legend, the young German scholar observes (p. 86):”Es ist durchaus möglich, dass diese buddhistischen Motive von den frühen Christen für Jesus von Nazereth übernommen und angepasst wurden”.

Returning to Fuss and Derrett, it is quite true that the evidence of the SDP - apart from that of the MSV - also “turns out to be crucial for our quest” (Derrett, p. 15). No fully satisfactory edition of the sûtra exists. Some portions seem to be older than others. The text may have grown. Fuss criticized Kern´s well-known translation etc.

Fuss, it will be recalled, was not inclined to descend from his venture of phenomenological and theological comparison down to the solid ground of philology and literary criticism. Should it turn out that the writers of the gospels borrowed some of their materials from the SDP - what , then, would become of Dei Verbum? A more appropriate title of his book, then, would be: Buddhavacanam alias Dei Verbum. If the NT depends on the SDP, then it is hardly Buddhism that might participate in the seed of the Biblical Verbum Dei, but rather vice versa. The Word of God would then be reduced to the words of the translators. Or Deus would be a Lord of gematria. Is this not blas-phêmia? Well, at least pari-bhâsâ, or (SDP) pari-bhâsana! It makes a world of difference whether one takes a phenomenological-theological or a philological-historical approach to this issue. The former surely presupposes the latter.

Let me conclude by drawing attention to one or two significant parallels that emerge when one compares the SDP with the gospels. The first serves to establish the priority of the SDP. It is generally agreed that there is a close relationship between SDP XIV and Matthew 27: 51-52, but opinions are divided as to which source has the priority (Derrett, op. cit., p. 74 et passim).In Kern´s edition of the Sanskrit p. 309 we find the phrase adhastâd âkâsadhâtu-. This I claim, is rendered by Matthew 27:51 as anôthen heôs katô eis duo. First, the adhastât, downwards, is rendered precisely by the synonym anôthen reproducing the sense, form and number of syllables of the original. The following word, âkâsa, is then artificially split up, as if â + kâsa, giving us ewV as a correct translation of San. â-, until. As for the rest of the phrase, the four consonants in the Greek, viz. k-t-s and d (i.e. a guttural, two dentals and a sibilant), they faithfully reproduce the guttural, the two dentals and the sibilant of the Sanskrit. And this sort of “translation” is not at all uncommon. It is, in fact, quite typical of the sort of translation seen in all the gospels. By way of anagram, the sense has been changed. So âkâsa-dhâtu is rendered twice, so to speak. Its five syllables are preserved in the three Greek words: heôs katô eis duo. The translation, it can be argued, is “formally” correct, but the original sense is surely distorted. This sort of translation may appear odd or absurd to us, but is was (and is) typical of rabbinic hermenutics (see e.g. Hermann L. Strack, Introduction to the Talmud and Midrash, New York 1959, pp. 93-98). It being inconceivable that the Sanskrit âkâsadhâtu in this case should have been based on the Greek heôs katô eis duo, this small example serves to establish the priority of the Sanskrit, i.e. the SDP.

A second example shows that Matthew can also be faithful to the sense of of the SDP - and it also serves to reject Derrett´s view that the infulence from Buddhism did not concern doctrine, but only presentation (Derrett, p. 97). In SDP II we read that Sâri-Pûtras first had some doubts about the Dharma etc. Then the Buddha asks him to give up all doubt and uncertainty, presenting himself as the King of Dharma. He then adds: “Let this mystery be for thee, Sâri-Putra, for all disciples of mine, and for the eminent Bodhisattvas, who are to keep this mystery.” (III,138-139). In SDP, Sâri-Pûtra(s) expresses his doubts about the true identity of the Buddha. Is he perhaps Mâra? In reply, the Buddha promises that Sâri-Pûtras shall be the most excellent of men, so unsurpassed (III,32). Also, in SDP, II, 61 Sâri-Pûtras is addressed by the Buddha as Sâri-suta, and, passim, as Jina-putra.

Once these passages are kept in mind, it is easy to recognize one of the main sources for the celebrated confession of Peter, Matthew 16:13-20. Sâri-Pûtras has become Simon Petros. The mystery of the King of Dharma has become the mystery of the the Christ - the king who was never anointed. Jina-putra becomes Bar-iwna, Son (putra) of Jona (jina), Matthew 16:17 only. So even the motive of making puns on the name of the chief disciple is inherited from the Buddhist source.

And Simon? There are many Simons in the NT. What is the original Sanskrit behind Simon? A clue is given when John 21:7 very oddly writes Simôn oun Petros. How are we to explain the a proper name is split up by an oun? This odd phenomenon suggests that Simon is not part of a proper name but rather a title of some sort. Behind Simon, I suggest, we find Sanskrit âyusman. All the original consonants (s-m-n) are preserved, the semivowel y having been left out. Another frequent translation of âyusmân we find when Jesus identifies himself with zôê, as is often the case. It is hard to understand how Jesus “is life”, but easy to grasp that he is considered âyusmân. The solution to the secret that W. Wrede (Das Messiasgeheimniss in den Evangelien, 1901) et al. have written so much about, therefore, finds its simple solution in SDP.

The words put into the mouth of Jesus by Matthew, however, are not to be found in the SDP. But they often occur in other Buddhists texts, as I shall point out in my forthcoming monograph on the Buddhist sources of Matthew. Let me conclude this review article by pointing out the source of John 7:38, which as Derrett (p.41) says, as part of John 7:37-44, “is largely incoherent as well as repugnant”. The syntax is obscure. It is not obvious that the autouautou is to be taken with ho pisteuôn eis eme. The insertion of the kathôs eipen hê graphê makes it unlikely. The Sanskrit is Samghabhedavastu I, p. 25: asya... dvau sukrabindû sarudhire nipatitau. John 19:34 plays on the same words: kai exêlthen euthus haima kai hydôr... It is also the source of Luke 22:44:kai egeneto ho hidrôs autou hôsei thrombai haimatos katabainontes epi tên gên. The reader can also easily recognize Mark 15:21: Aleksandrou kai Rouphou as an imitation of the sound, syllables and/or sense of San. sukrabindû sa-rudhire. Matthew 27:25 also comes close:to haima autou eph´ hêmas kai epi ta tekna hêmôn. And when one finally compares Samghabhedavastu I, pp. 21- 26 as a whole with Matthew 26-28 par, there cannot remain much doubt that for the words and motives the legend of Gautama who was put on a stake (sûle samâropita) served as a major source of the celebrated Passion Narrative.

Derrett´s six volumes of New Testament Studies display his wonderful command of the ancient Jewish sources. They should be constantly consulted by the student of The Bible and the Buddhists. Repeatedly Derrett succeeds in throwing new light on old problems in the gospels thanks to his familarity with these sources. The same goes for his other books, such as The Anastasis: The Resurrection of Jesus as an Historical Event, 1982; The Making of Mark I-II, 1985; New Resolutions of Old Conundrums. A Fresh Insight into Luke´s Gospel, 1986; The Victim. The Johannine Passion Narrative Reexamined, 1993, and Some Telltale Words in The New Testament, 1997 - all published by and still available from Peter I. Drinkwater, 56 Church Street, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, England. It is a great pity that these learned volumes are so little known among theologians. But it is also surprising how often Derrett finds the wrong solutions to familiar problems in Jewish sources where the right ones are to be found in the Buddhist sources. It is indeed his constant contention that New Testament material cannot be understood without the cultural and intellectual environment of the people amongst whom it emerged. That this environment was largely Jewish cannot be denied.

Derrett claims to be a detective who does not care where evidence leads him. That sounds good. That may be so. But Derrett is a naïve detective, for he never raises the question of the seriousness of the gospels. Where is the proof that the evangelists were serious and trustworty witnessess to the events they pretend to be describing? If they translated from the Sanskrit as Aquila translated from the Hebrew - how can they be considered serious authors? Just one proof!