Yeshu’a was given the customary meal and rest, before being taken to the chief monk.
A large golden statue of the Lord Buddha Gautama, had stood for many years overseeing the rows upon rows of young Buddhist monks as they ate their daily one meal, in pure silence. Now the dining hall was empty, except for Yeshu’a eating with his fingers from a bowlful of rice and vegetables, while seated at a long plain wooden table. His eyes wandered over the interior walls and ceiling decorations, all painted in bright red and gold floral patterns. Periodically young monks would glance coyly through the open door, to glimpse the new visitor, whisper comments and depart.
“If you have had sufficient to eat, I will take you to the Chief Lama, who wishes to meet you,” an older monk said, gliding silently to his side.
Rising from his bench, Yeshu’a simply nodded and followed the elderly lama along dimly lit corridors, lined with prayer-wheels, ornamented with colourful ribbons, and up to heavy wooden double- doors which opened into the meeting hall. The elder monk walked ahead and mumbled a few words to the middle aged Supreme Lama, who was seated in a simple chair positioned on a platform raised slightly from the floor level, before stepping aside and beckoning Yeshu’a forward.
On each side of the broad aisle was a row of elders, seated upon cushions, with heads bowed, as Yeshu’a walked slowly, and rather hesitantly, up to the Principal Khutuktus, or Supreme Lama.
“You are welcome, young man,” said the Supreme Lama quietly. “What is your name?”
“I am Yeshu’a,” came his reply. “But since arriving in this land, some have called me Isha Natha,” he hastily added.
“You have travelled far, I understand,” the Supreme Lama politely stated. “We have known of your coming.”
“How would you know of my coming, since I come from the land called Judea, on the shores of the Mediterranean. I left home to study and gain in spiritual knowledge and wisdom.”
“We are aware of your intentions and the work that lays before you. You had tried to come before, in your previous incarnation as Moses. You failed then to enter the Promised Land of Kashmir, with your people, whom you were leading to freedom from their bondage in Egypt. You must now stay with us and study yogic discipline and spiritual meditation. This science of meditation is the ultimate authority and based upon the control of the senses, the inner vital force, and the eventual discipline of the mind, so that it is trained to gradually become ‘no- mind.’ During your stay you shall be called Isa, (Divine Mother),” the Lama said, as he instructed a younger Lama to take Isa and introduce him to the other young students.
“We will speak together again, Isa. You have much to learn and study, for it is your destiny to go out into the world and bring to man the knowledge and guidance of the way to Liberation. In time all the world will hear of your name.”
Yeshu’a stepped back, blinked with confusion, bowed and retreated through the large double doors with the elderly Lama. He sensed that he was now opening an inner door, one that was linked to his destiny.
That night his mind was restless. He shared a small poorly furnished room with another young pupil called Tseng, who was to be his companion for the rest of his stay. Yeshu’a couldn’t sleep and rose from his bed.
The only illumination was from the shaft of light from the full moon shining through the nearby window. As he stood gazing out at the snow- covered mountains surrounding his retreat, he could just make out the awesome sight of the distant Sagarmatha - known as the Goddess of the Sky (in later years to be called Mount Everest), the source of the Ganges and Indus rivers - mantled in snow and set off against the dark blue of the night sky. Yeshu’a stood gazing upon the scene for some time, ‘til the cold air sent him scurrying back to the comfort and warmth of his bed.
The community of monks gathered in the main hall, after being summoned by the Chogzot (managing lama), the following morning. One of the young pupils was accused of being lamentably lax in his studies, and being habitually late for prayers and meditation. In the company of his colleagues and senior monks, Yeshu’a/Isa looked upon the scene before him, as a young student held on to the feet of the lama, whom he knelt before. Puzzled, Yeshu’a/Isa leaned and whispered the question to Tseng, what the significance was of holding the feet.
“The practice is of long standing. When one seeks forgiveness from one’s master for a wrongdoing, one holds the master’s feet. Indeed, one holds the feet of the person you have wronged, in this case the Chogzot, until forgiveness is granted,” Tseng explained, in a whisper, the significance of the proceedings.
Later, Tseng was able to explain further, as they strolled together, that it is as if one is holding the feet of the Lord Himself.
“The Lord’s feet are glorious in many ways, but they will confer blessings only if they are sought with real faith,” he explained. “Just as the feet of the individual bears the burden of the human body, equally the subtle body of the Divine bears on its feet the entire universe. Without the feet, the body cannot move. Merely holding the feet is not enough; one must genuinely repent and promise not to commit similar offences again. Only then will one secure atonement, forgiveness.”
The air was cold and crisp as Tseng and Isa strolled along the veranda immediately outside their bedroom, and viewed the very scene of snow- capped mountains Isa had watched the night before, only now the sky was bright blue and without a cloud, except for those surrounding the peak of Sagarmatha which was like a white spear-head piercing the clouds surrounding it.
Despite his initial lack of familiarity with the Pali language, Isa made excellent progress. Indeed, there were occasions when he would hold the class enthralled with his own interpretation of their holy works, and in time he would be permitted to make changes and improvements to those ancient teachings, during the course of his stay there, and later within the monastery at Leh.
For six years Isa studied and practised the ways of the Buddhist beliefs, while adding much to his standing amongst them, and being frequently referred to as the ‘Hebrew prophet’, who brought them the knowledge of God. He eventually attained the level of adept in the science of Raja Yoga, later known as Astanga Yoga, or Patanjali Yoga, having eight states of discipline, the ultimate being siddhis.
“Cease to seek for heaven in the sky. Open up the windows of your hearts and like a flood of light, heaven will come and bring a boundless joy,” he exhorted.
At the age of 26 years, Yeshu’a/Isa attained Christ Consciousness, having merged with the Father - “I and my Father are One.” He spoke - as Lord Krishna had done before him - when he said, “My delusion is dissolved; I have become aware of My Reality, which is God.”
Yeshu’a had been away from his home for13 years, and now felt ready to return to his homeland to fulfil the mission that lay before him.
Once again great pressure was put upon him, by his fellow brethren, to stay longer with them, for by now the monks had a great love for Yeshu’a and included him in the list of outstanding masters, and later as a Bodhisattva. It was with great reluctance that they accepted his decision to leave them for his westward journey, whereupon they concluded that, “Buddha has chosen him to spread his holy word.” It was about this time that he learned from the Supreme Lama of the death of his father Joseph, back in his homeland, for the Lama had received this knowledge while in deep meditation and was charged to inform Yeshu’a of this fact before his departure.
Yeshu’a left Tibet, and the many friends he made there, with a sad heart, but he was carrying with him to the West, the light of the East; the knowledge to uplift an oppressed and down-cast people - his own people, the Jewish people.
Descending from the harsh rocky landscape to the grassy valleys with the grazing herds of yaks, zos and zomos (oxen and cows), was a startling contrast. Such herds were common now, as well as wild animals and bird life of every description.
He passed through many countries, with differing cultures, spreading wise words and wisdom as he went. Once again the priests of these lands felt threatened by his pure teachings of love and forgiveness given with such authority. They demanded miracles of him instead of words, for accounts of his miracles swept ahead on excited tongues, but he chose to answer their requests saying that “…miracles of God have happened since the beginning of time, since the very creation of the universe.”
“These miracles occur every day and every moment of that day. Instead, one should offer everything to God, your thoughts, words and your deeds, and do it for the good of the world. Believe in God with your hearts and not with your eyes,” he entreated them.
Such gems of enlightenment were treasured by the people, but the priests were not satisfied. They tested him on many points in an effort to entrap him and discredit him in the eyes of those who followed him, and those people who were now beginning to question the authority that their own priests had over them. Most importantly, the people knew Yeshu’a never asked anything for himself, unlike their own hierophants!
His route homewards, took him through Punjab where he joined a caravan of merchants, travelling through the beautiful land of Kashmir, and there he visited briefly the tomb of Moses, located in Nebu Ball, in the Booth area. Moses was buried where he died looking down upon the ‘Promised Land’, that final resting place on the red mountain, called Bethpoer, or Bandipur, some 34 miles from Srinagar; a city situated in the Kashmir valley on both banks of the Jhelum. The people who lived in this area are said never to have faced famine; always had an abundance of food and other commodities, which is why it is referred to as the “Land of Milk and Honey”!
Later, Yeshu’a knelt and prayed at the nearby ruined remains of King Solomon’s Temple, where barely a stone stood, one upon another.
Srinagar (the city of the sun) is situated on the Jhelum River with its banks covered in velvety verdure. The valley in which it nestles is called “The Vale of Kashmir,” and is eighty-five miles in length, and twenty- five miles in width. A place of great peace and beauty with two-storey houses made of wood, skirting the water’s edge where women daily washed and cleaned their cooking utensils.
Yeshu’a’ words to all who listened were as a prophet, and he was revered by many who became his devotees. He showered his love upon the sick, and they were healed. When they heard him speaking as a prophet they were instant followers and his discourses attracted many hundreds of people, as they sat listening to him, mesmerised by his teachings of hope. Many men, women and children stayed, not realising the hour, whereupon he materialised food, sufficient for all those present to partake of.
On this westward journey, Yeshu’a stopped a while at a wayside pond, near Kabul, to wash his hands and feet. Today that very pond is revered as “Isa-pond,” where, up to recent times, a fair was held every year! Resting for a day or two from the arduous journey, he once again preached, as he never failed to do at every opportunity, to gatherings - small or large - thirsting for the spiritual knowledge he wished to share.
Learning that Yeshu’a was to travel through Persia and southern Russia, his humble audience of poor men and women, elected to gave him the gift of a horse on which to ease his journey on the stony terrain. But having rode the animal for a day, he chose to return it, being unable to make provision for feeding it. For the remainder of his journey, he would eat wild vegetables and fruits, drink from the streams and travel on foot.