Painting and Sketches/Image- St Issa(Jesus) studying in Nepal/Tibet

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Did Jesus as “St. Issa” travel as far as Nepal or even Tibet? Documents allegedly discovered in a Tibetan monastery in 1887 by a Russian traveller, Nicolas Notovitch suggests he did. The writings, originally written in the Pali language, report Issa left home at 13 or 14, and by the time he was in his early twenties was living “in the country of the Gautamides.” Six years later he left Nepal and the Himalayan mountains and after a rapid exit through India and some preaching to diverse peoples,” returned to Israel at 29 years old.

This painting takes place in a Himalayan region, perhaps Nepal, the distant edge of India, near where Gautama Buddha was born some centuries before and where, the documents indicate, Issa spent six years of study. Depicting a high mountain scene complete with goats, sand paintings and even a meditating monk, the picture might arguably be considered located in Tibet and Jesus, “St. Issa,” is on a research visit. That region had a propensity for a peculiar and devout spirituality through the Bon religion as
conducted by various shamans.

Later it was overtaken by Buddhic incursions starting in the 8th century, but the Bon tradition was strong and in many ways became interwoven and Tibetan Buddhism developed its own unique symbols and iconography. Some shared designs for example, are drawn counterclockwise on floors and walls by Bon followers, while the Buddhists, who co-opted them, prefer clockwise.

Interestingly, the Himis documents were retranslated in 1922 by the Indian Swami Abhedanada. His version added Issa “toured Nepal and the Himalayas...” perhaps hinting at more time and activities reaching as far as Tibet. The Reverend Lama, who showed Swami the manuscript, explained the original was the compiled result of descriptions gathered from Tibetans, traders and others who met Issa... .

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