Adventures on an Indian Visa (week 24): Rajasthan

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DAY 162

Spent the door wandering around the palaces & ruins of Orrcha. I had an interesting conversation with a local musician, a classical singer, whose main job is at the state radio station, but who also cycles miles & miles every day to conduct private music lessons in order to get a bit of extra cash, while fostering and nourishing a precious art at the same time. What’s mad is I still get more than this guy a month on my Working Tax Credits – its about 20000 rupees – its crazy! Anyway, this guy wakes up before dawn& takes several classes before his official ‘duty’ begins at 9. There are then more jobs after his work finishes, sometimes getting in at 9PM. The moon will be up sometimes, & of course this is where the expression ‘moonlighting as a ….’ comes from. India is just pack’d full of such hard working individuals who sacrifice rest and leisure and take up a second job so that the future of their dear ones are guaranteed – we’re so lazy in the rest, really.

After a really nice day – towards, through, & after sunset in which I compos’d the following short exposition on the poetical nature of the Indian Jesus…

It is clear that in his ‘Life of Appollonius of Tyana’, Philostratus tells us how the Indian sage, Iarchus, was steep’d in Greek literature, including the Homeric poems. With Iarchus being a contender for the Indian Jesus, & the name Ishvara Krishna resembling Jesus Christ, we are led to the latter’s poetical composition, a text known as the Samkyhakarika, which expounds a philosophical system known as the Samkhya.

{The Samkhyakarika was} compendiously set down in the arya metre by the noble-minded and devout Ishvarakrishna, who thoroughly comprehended the established doctrine. (Ishvarakrishna’s Samkhyakarika)

The dates for Ishvarakrishna are unknown, but he definitely lived before the sixth century AD, when a Buddhist scholar named Paramartha translated the Samkhyakarika into Chinese. We possess little else: a 9th century commentary on the Samkhyakarika, the Jayamangala, describes him as an ‘itinerant monk;’ while a Vedic background is implied by the Samkhyakarika’s ‘such is creation from Brahma down to a blade of grass.’

This Samkhya system is also found in the Bhagavad Gita, spoken by the Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield at Kurukshetra. Looking at the Gita, we learn it was created in the first century & is inspired by the Greek literary form known as the Socratic Dialogue. Thus, it is indeed plausible that Iarchus wrote the Bhagavad Gita, after which he was given the appellation Krishna, which would also explains how the memory of Iarchus giving sanctuary to the flood-hit populace around Govardhan, became the myth of Krishna raising the hill with his little finger.

Ish vara Krishna
As va Ghosha

I myself know many Sudras who are masters of the four Vedas, and of philology, and of the Mimansa, and Sanc’ hya, and Vaisheshika and Jyotishika philosophies (Asvghosha’s Vajra Sucha)

Asvaghosa was another famous poet of exactly the same period, who began life as a Hindoo – giving him the opportunity to write the Bhagavad Gita – before converting to Buddhism. Asvaghosha also describes himself, in his own Saundaranda text, as a ‘mendicant and teacher,’ an excellent match to the Jayamangala’s description of Isvarakrishna as an ‘itinerant monk.

It cannot be denied,’ writes HT Colebrooke, ‘that the Samkhya is the most interesting, if not the greatest, of the six orthodox systems of Hindu speculation and the sixty-nine memorial verses of Ishvara Krishna… though undoubtedly representing a late period in its development, portray more exactly than any other work the true teachings of the school.’ If the Samkhyakarika represents a ‘late period’ in the development of the Samkyha, there must have been an earlier version of the system, a proto-samkhya if you will. This leads us to the twelfth book of Asvaghosha’s Buddhacarita, in which a primitive version of the Samkhya can be found. When GJ Larson tells us, ‘any attempt to comprehend the development of Samkhya must take Asvaghosa’s treatment seriously,’ we can sense how the poetical ‘Jesus’ wrote the Buddhacarita, then composed the Samkhyakarika in later life.

The Samkhya philosophy is the crucial link between the Buddhacarita & the Bhagavad Gita, both of which I have postulated as being composed by Jesus. ‘A supplementary point to be noticed in Açvaghosha is the abundance of similar thoughts and passages with those in the Bhagavadgîta,’ says Samuel Beal, & where the Gita contains elements from both Vedic scripture and early Buddhism, it also shares similar syntax, grammar and vocabulary with Asvaghosha’s use of Sanskrit. Other schlars have noticed the similarities; the twentieth century orientalist & professor of Sanskrit EH Johnstone wrote; ‘the account of Buddhacarita is closer to the doctrines of the Moksadharma and the Gita.’ It seems logical that after composing the Gita, Jesus was given the ‘Krishna’ epithet. Krishna is a Sanskrit word, which translates into Greek as Christos & it is no great effort to see the name Isha-Krishna transchisper’d by the writers of the Gospels into Jesus Christ.

The comparative theologist Holden Edward Sampson penetrated the Samkhyakarika’s symbolism, explaining how the Gita is actually an allegorical exposition of the Samkhya, writing; ‘Arjuna is the soul, Krishna is the eternal and divine ego who drives the chariot/body which carries the soul, while the three qualities that propel the body; sattva (light) rajas (desire) and tamas (indifference) desire, are in the Gita represented as three horses.’ In the foreword to Sampson’s ‘The Bhagavad Gita Interpreted,’ R.F. Hall, refers to the poem’s, ‘exact synchronism with the mystery-religion taught by Jesus Christ.’

Remembering that Jesus was the poetical mind behind the Bhagavad Gita, where Krishna becomes a reflection of his own mind & personality, we can assimilate this with Asvaghosha’s belief in the ‘ego-entity‘ as described by Kumārajīva’s, ‘full of a proud and arrogant spirit that speedily grew like a wild plant, he [Açvaghosha] firmly believed in the existence of an ego-entity and cherished the ultra-egotistic idea.’ This very ego-self is also present in the Samkhyakarika, the Gospel of Thomas and in the teachings of Iarchus himself;

We know everything, just because we begin by knowing ourselves; for no one of us would be admitted to this philosophy unless he first knew himself.

Does not Jesus say, “Whoever finds himself is superior to the world?” When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.
The Gospel of Thomas

The purpose of the Self is the sole cause; by nothing else is any instrument activated… Since it is the intellect which accomplishes the fruition of all that is to be enjoyed by the Self, it is also that which discerns the subtle difference between Nature and the Self… This evolution, from Intellect to the specific elements, brought about by the modifications of matter, is for the emancipation of the individual Self… Possessed of this self-knowledge, and the proliferation of Nature having ceased (owing to its withdrawal from its sevenmodes), the Self stands apart and at ease, like a spectator. Samkhyakarika

Asvaghosha also turns up at the Fourth Buddhist Council as one of the chief initiators of Mahayana Buddhism, whose central poetic figure is the Jesus-like Avaloketisvara. To explain all this, one must assume that Ishvara Krishna/Asvaghosa/Iarchus was a great poet whose fertile & divine imagination created Krishna for the Hindoos & Avaloketisvara for the Buddhists. It makes sense, for it is the poets who first created & then articulated the gods, such as Homer & Hesiod’s work with the Greek pantheon.

Day 163

Its almost time for Steve to go home, in a couple of days actually, from Delhi. Anyway, it’s been a wild ride with the lad – proper entertaining, after which I’ll have 3 more weeks life myself. Yeah, I’m now into my 24th week in India – a huge amount time that now, all of a sudden, has completely flown by.

So today we did a whistlestop tour, setting off early doors & reaching the Fataphur Sikri, another small town nestling at the bottom of magnificent ruins. The splendour of Mughal India is truly only a memory now, but their well-built relics remain, & at Fataphur Sikiri one can find the wonderful vagina-flesh-red Mughal Harem of the Islamic emperors of India. We had a wonder of the excellently preserv’d, once luxurious palatial quarters, where a polygynous household was pure women or eunochs, a place forbidden for any man to enter other than the emperor himself. The guides were annoying tho, who offer a tour for ‘free,’ then hit you for cash. Being a bit skint, now, I only took out a handful of rupee shrapnel with me, which really pissed them off when I offer’d them 5 rupee pieces – they wanted a hundred at least – but we never invited them to help us. Anyway, the experience led to me penning the following poem;

There’s a full moon over Fatapur Sikiri
With which five thousand women are in synch
But one man has their measure – tender, cheeky
He plys them all with opium & drink
& kama sutras with such appetite
Harlets have begged to enter his harem
Tho jealousy & intrigue seeds for fight
& furious frustration makes them scream
These dancing girls in their damsel dresses
The cutest Abyssinian concubines
Slave girls of Asia dress’d in Persian tresses
& Arab eunuchs’ henna-ful designs
Presents from all parts of growing empire
To satisfy its emperor’s desire

After leaving Fataphur Sikri we enter’d, for the first time, the desert state of Rajasthan, at a place call’d Bharatpur. It is the site of the World Heritage Keoladeo National Park (formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary), that hosts thousands of birds, & over 350 species, especially during the winter season. It was created by the Maharajas of Bharatpur for shooting park – 5000 ducks shot in one day kinda thing –, & we’ll take a look at it in the morning before heading to Delhi – otherwise it’s been a fun but tough day on the road, & a nice evening’s nothing is in order.

Day 164

This morning, me & VP hit the Maharaja’s national park, where a quick shimmy over the wall gave us access to its serenity. Most of the birds have left after winter, but we saw a few owls & green-feather’d things being stalked by the odd drooling jackal. But time was hurtling towards VP’s stepping on a plane, & as we approached the capital – from about 50 k out – skyscrapers were rising all around, in various stages of building, testament to the growing economic strength of modern India.

Our bus dropp’d us off, not in the centre of Delhi, but some random spot in the south. We weren’t that far from the Indhira Gandhi Airport, really, so decided to stay south for VPS last night. It was a rather pleasant experience actually, & being far away from the tourists & touts my view of the city chang’d completely. The traffic & buzz was immense, but one sight I think will stay with me always. Two noble white oxen, a bull & his cow, were casually strolling down the wrong side of the road, gliding like two swans on water, totally oblivious to the imminent death-on-wheels that constantly approached them, which would then veer away at the last minute.

We also stumbled across a lovely park full of cute bambi-esque deer, where even the stags had fluffy antlers! There, I joined in a game of cricket with some Indian kids, who used bricks for wickets, getting to bat for as long as I wanted. To make things interesting I offered a couple of rupees to anyone who could bowl me out, which added to the excitement.

So, we found a hotel near the airport, & had our last night together, me & VP, & yeah, its been great, safe journey home pal, see you back in Scotland. As for me, I’ve 3 weeks to get to Mumbai, via Rajasthan, where my tour of the Raj will be drawn full cycle, from which experience, & on the following morning, I will rise a wiser man.

Day 165

So, after dipping me foot in the boiling hot bathwater of Rajasthan the other day, I plunged right back in with a massive dive… it’s bloody scorchin’ man! From my train window all I could see was just a cacti-dotted wilderness framed by jagged silhouettes of mountains – pretty magical really, but still too bloody hot.

I eventually arriv’d in Jaipur that, despite its size, is surprisingly refreshing. There was a bit of a weird start tho – I got a rickshaw driver, & ask’d him to take me to some hotels. Problem is, I didn’t like them, which is my prerogative, & said sorry I wanna just walk about now & find one myself. Anyway, I think this lost him some commission & after I’d chosen one, he was waiting outside it, drunk & angry, ready to kick off. I’m like, fuck off mate, I’m off to watch the cricket.

It was time to meet back up again with my India pals, Steve & Kate, who are now deeply entrench’d in love. Thanks to the wonders of e-mail, we had arranged to all meet up here for the night, & I’d managed to get some great seats for the England-Australia cricket match for cheap off a local. We had a front-row couch, free drinks & a veritable banquet at ‘half-time.’ The funniest thing was getting in, however. The rickshaw driver dropped us off right at the gate, where twenty or so cops peered at me. They would have seen me hide the weed, so I just risk’d it. On reaching the gate, they asked me to turn out my left pocket – so I did & handed them my bottle of whiskey, apologising profusely. Then I just started walking in, but as I did so they said can we see what’s in your other pocket.

Shit! I thought. Possession is six months & dealing is ten years – but luckily the chief inspector was a Rajasthani poet, & after listening to him sing thro’ a few of his native airs, & I recited him a couple of my own sonnets, he happily gave me back the weed & the whiskey (which I hid around the corner under a bush) & let me in. The actual match was alright, a pre-Ashes blast, but England underperformed & watching them lose slowly to the Aussies felt like having a terminal disease – the long certainty of knowing the end is near, but still brief moments of hope to keep you going; & of course me & Steve nipped outside a couple of times for a joint & a whiskey!

Day 166

Leaving Jaipur & the lovebirds, today I pull’d into Pushkar, a bustling place crowded round a small lake. It’s very holy & there was definitely some kind of ley-line, head-zappiness going on here, like. The women are all garbed in psychedelic colours, the men wear nappies on their heads, camels whizz by yer in the street & mi head was buzzin on the energy.

Altogether, Pushkar’s a cool place, & even beat the local chess champion with a cunning kingside attack (to the shock of the locals). I also got blagg’d for a henna tattoos – this woman just grabb’d my arm, & started painting a pattern. I mean, it was nice, but I didn’t want it, & when she’d finish’d, insisted on money – I’m like, fucks sake, & gave her some.

Day 167

Early this morning, I took my recently brutalised arm (which looks pretty) & realizing I was getting drastically low on funds, & miff’d off that my arm had been bum-raped, I instinctually crept out of my room at dawn, stepping over the sleeping staff like a ninja, softly waking a rickshaw driver, & whisking off away to the bus-stop. A nervous few minutes were spent waiting for the bus, which then came & I slipp’d down under the window for a rather long time as we drove out of Pushkar! I mean, yeah, its not ideal, but no-one’s perfect – just ask Charlie, who’s theft of my £50 is finally having its knock on effect!

From what I have observ’d so far, the Rajasthani is a very colourful affair, from the lithe curly-moustached men squatting on their haunches all day, to the busy women who seem to be constantly pumping water & carrying it on their heads in metal pans. I saw a group of teenagers building a wall in the blazing sun, just like some Louisiana chain-gang. I am actually enjoying the animals more, who have much more freedom here than in the west; dogs, camels, boars, goats, donkeys & especially the sacred cows, swaggering about the place nuzzling through the rubbish for food. Talking of goats, I now know why humans call their children kids – the sound an anxious young goat makes is identical to a wailing baby. On the same note, I have also discovered that Thomas Crapper was once a very big name in porcelain toilet manufacture.

Reach’d Jodhpur, where this famous Rajasthani fortresses towers over everything & is seen for miles. The city itself sprawls around the majestic walls of the Mehwangar Fort, with half the rooftops painted sky-blue, giving the city a watery feel. Spent my time settling into a rickshaw-fuell’d, cannabis-driven writing rhythm, staying in a classy hotel, with a rooftop terrace & food on call. Outside, the city swirl’d about me, a constant drone of beeping cars, bikes, camel-wagons, buses & rickshaws all competing for whatever space they could find on the roads. Occasionally the smells of various street-vendor frying pans would waft up to my room & drag me outside for the munchies (I got some good weed in Pushkar yesterday), where I was once again mingling with 100% Indians. It’s all a far cry from the traditional tourist routes of Goa & Kerala, & I sometimes feel like I’ve just walked thro’ Blackburn town centre with a Burnley shirt on.

Day 168

Today saw a long train ride to Jaisalmer, the furthest east I’m gonna go on my tour of India, is right next to the Thar desert by Pakistan. Anyway, it was a long journey, so I thought I’d write about how Jesus was affected by his time in India, once he’d return’d to Palestine.

After six years of study, Issa… left Nepaul and the Himalaya mountains, descended into the valley of Radjipoutan and directed his steps toward the West, everywhere preaching to the people the supreme perfection attainable by man.
Life of Issa

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age
Gospel of Luke

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked
Gospel of Matthew

Let us also compare the praise given to Asvaghosha, whose, ‘ability as an expositor was without match,’ with the Gospel of Luke’s, ‘all spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.’

After concluding his studies in the east, & upon his reappearance in Judea, a manly Jesus now steeped in oriental mysticism appeared, to all extents & purposes, like a magician. The Jewish Talmud describes Yeshu as a ‘sorcerer with disciples’ & also as ‘a magician who turned to idolatry’.

{Jesus} cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight’… and they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.
Gospel of Luke

During his time in India, the young Jesus had learnt the ins and outs of eastern medicine, many of which are reflected in Gospelic accounts of his miraculous healing abilities. One system in particular seems to have been celebrated in the memories of the Judeans, that of Siddha Here we can see Choondu Varma (mesmerism) and Kirikai Chikisai (psychiatry) as being the very disciplines on which Jesus drew, as given in the Gospel of Mark, in order to cure daemonic possession
Another Siddha-Jesus connection comes with the curing of ophthalmological disorders, which we may discern from Dr PJ Thottham’s, ‘certain oils believed to have a cooling effect are applied to the head. They keep the nervous system active and healthy. Among other types of medicine are the ones instilled into the eye, such as mais or kattus which are rubbed on a stone, along with the juice of a plant, milk, coconut water or rose water. The resultant paste is applied into the eyes with the help of a stick. Similarly, there are certain medicines in a paste form, which are applied externally on the eyelids of the patient.’ This method, of creating a paste to rub into the eyes of the afflicted, has an intimate resonant tone with the curing, by Jesus, of a blind man;

When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with clay. And said unto him, ‘Go wash in the pool of Siloam. He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.’
Gospel of John

In the Indian Himalayas wild cannabis grows abundantly to this day. Jesus’ mastery of this plant’s medicinal properties, in particular its ability to ease muscular spasming, may explain his curing of paralysis. This miraculous plant also alleviates the serious eye-condition known as glaucoma. Studies in the 1970s showed how the drug considerably eases the symptoms of the disease, while JE Joy writes;
Patients who reported their experience with marijuana at the public workshops said that marijuana provided them with great relief from symptoms associated with disparate diseases and ailments, including AIDS wasting, spasticity from multiple sclerosis, depression, chronic pain, and nausea associated with chemotherapy… Marijuana is often reported to reduce the muscle spasticity associated with MS.

Oil extracted from cannabis may have been rubbed by Jesus into the skin of people with diseases such as leprosy. In the modern day, cannabis oil helped to reduce an epileptic’s 1200 major seizures a month to just two or three mild ones, as reported by the American news channel CNN on August 7th 2013. The girl in question, Charlotte Figi, had been diagnosed with the devastating Dravet Syndrome. Her seizures soon stopped, however, after placing a spoon or two of cannabis oil in her food, perfectly matching Jesus’ curing of an epileptic;

When they returned to the crowds again a man came and knelt in front of Jesus. “Lord, do have pity on my son,” he said, “for he is a lunatic and is in a terrible state. He is always falling into the fire or into the water. I did bring him to your disciples but they couldn’t cure him.
Gospel of Matthew

So, back in my world, I finally got to Jaisalmere in the dark & walk’d straight into a scam almost. There was someone offering cheap hotel rooms, I thought, along with camel rides, so I went along with the tout & some other tourists straight off the train. Anyway, turns out the cheap rent only came if you took a camel trip into the desert as well. Anyway, I said look, I’m just gonna have a week walk about before I decide anything – but the hotel guy wouldn’t let me, maybe down to the fact I would have seen his prices for camel trips were thro the roof. Anyway, I just left & found a nice room in the heart of the medieval town, which I’m looking forward to seeing tomorrow in the light of the desert sun.


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