Monday, 24 February 2014

'JESUS', HIS NAME - THE SANSKRIT CONNECTION

The unknown years of Jesus, sometimes referred to as his silent years, lost years, or missing years generally refers to the period between Jesus's childhood and the beginning of his ministry, a period not described in the New Testament. Much has been written about Jesus having spent the missing years in India.

The idea of Indian influences on Jesus has also been suggested in Louis Jacolliot's French book 'La Bible dans l'Inde, Vie de Iezeus Christna' (1869) (The Bible in India, or the Life of Jezeus Christna). His view was that it could not have been a coincidence that the two stories (that of Sri Krishna and Jesus Christ) have so many similarities in many of the finer details. He concluded that the account in the gospels is a myth based on the mythology of ancient India. Jacolliot presented the view that Jesus's disciples gave him the name 'Jezeus' or 'Lezeus' a name meaning 'pure essence' in Sanskri
t. The last name 'Christ' is said to be derived from 'Krishna' (कृष्ण).

However, according to Max Müller, 'Jezeus' is not a Sanskrit term at all and the the argument might have been 'simply invented by Jacoillot', as stated in his Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute Volume 21 (1888), page 179. 


Yet, it is fairly easy to trace the Sanskrit origins of the the word 'Jezeus'. Pure essence is either 'yagyasara' or 'yagyarasa'. The prefix is 'yagya'. The Sanskrit root word 'yagya' (यज्ञ) means 'sacrifice', 'prayer' or 'devotion'. Words derived from this root word include 'yAjin' (याजिन्) 'sacrificer' or 'worshipper', 'yagyin' (यज्ञिन्) abounding in 'sacrifices', 'yagyni' (यज्ञनी) conducting 'sacrifices'; and 'yagyiy' (यज्ञिय) 'divine', 'pious', 'sacred' or 'God'.

Now the Sanskrit sound 'y' distorts into 'j' in Sanskrit derived languages. For example 'Yadhu' the tribe to which Sri Krishna belonged is also known as 'Jadhu'. It is also called 'Yadhav' which distorts to 'Jadhav'. The Encyclopaedia Britannica, also for example talks about the Jajmani System, where the Sanskrit 'yajamana' (यजमान), 'sacrificial patron who employs priests for a ritual' distorts into 'Jajmani' from what should in its pure form be 'Yajmani'.

In the name 'Jezeus' the same principle applies and hence can easily be a derived form or distorted form of the Sanskrit title 'Yagyin' meaning 'one who abounds in sacrifices'. The first 'Y' in the name turns into 'J'. Jesus is known as 'Yeshu' or 'Yesu' and even 'Geejus' in India. 


In fact, in Arabic too there is no real consensus on the meaning of the word 'Haji', and 'Haji' and may well also be derived from the Sanskrit 'yaji' (यजि) meaning 'worshipping' or 'yajin' (याजिन्) meaning 'worshipper' or 'sacrificer'.

There is one other Sanskrit word that may have resulted into the name 'Jezeus' - the Sanskrit 'yus' (यूष) which means 'broth', 'extract' or 'soup' - hence 'essence', which fits the bill as per Louis Jacolliot's observation.

The above is pure a linguistic derivation. A second interpretation is put forth by  G. Ananda in his book 'Shiva: A Rediscovery of the Holy Spirit' who links the name 'Yeshua' to the Hebrew term 'Yeshiva' which means 'sitting' and refers to a sitting for the study of religious texts. He states that a Hebrew variation of the name Jesus is Yah-Shva which is the same as 'Lord Shiva'.
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