Was Jesus fully enlightened?
Yes, he was fully enlightened. But because he lived amidst a people who were absolutely ignorant about enlightenment, he had to speak in a language which may indicate he was not. He had to use such language because, at that particular time and place, there was no other possibility – only this could be understood. Languages differ. When a buddha speaks, he uses a language that is totally different. He cannot say, “I am the son of God,” because to talk about the son or the father is just nonsense. But for a Jesus it is impossible to use any other language – Jesus is speaking to a very different type of person.
Yet in many ways, Jesus is connected to Buddha.
Christianity has no knowledge of where Jesus was for thirty years. With the exception of two earlier incidents – when he was born, and once when he was seven years old – only the three years of his ministry are known; the remaining period is unknown. But India has many traditions about it: there are folk stories in Kashmir indicating that he was meditating in a Buddhist monastery there during all the years which are not accounted for.
Then, when he was thirty, he suddenly appeared in Jerusalem. Then he was crucified and there is the story of his resurrection. But again, where does he disappear to after he resurrects? Christianity has nothing to say about it. Where did he go? When did he die a natural death?
Miguel Serrano, in his book The Serpent of Paradise, writes: “Nobody knows what he did or where he lived until he was thirty, the year he began his preaching. There is a legend, however, that says he was in Kashir – the original name of Kashmir. Ka means the same as or equal to, and shir, Syria.”
It is also reported that a Russian traveler, Nicholas Notovich, who came to India sometime in 1887, visited Ladakh in Tibet where he was taken ill and stayed in the famous Hemis Gompa. During his stay in the Gompa he went through various volumes of Buddhist scriptures and literature wherein he found extensive mention of Jesus, his teaching, and his visit to Ladakh. Later Notovich published the book, Life of Saint Jesus, in which he related all that he had found about the visit of Jesus to Ladakh and to other countries in the East.
It is recorded that from Ladakh, after traveling through lofty mountain passes, along snowy paths and glaciers, Jesus reached Pahalgam in Kashmir. He lived there for a long period as a shepherd looking after his flock. It is here that Jesus found some traces of the lost tribes of Israel.