This village, it is recorded, was named Pahalgam, village of shepherds, after Jesus lived there. Pahal in Kashmiri means shepherd and gam, a village. Later, on his way to Srinagar, Jesus rested and preached at Ishkuman/Ishmuqam – the place of rest of Jesus – and this village was also named after him. When he was thirty, suddenly he appeared in Jerusalem and there follows the crucifixion and the story of the resurrection.
While Jesus was still on the cross, a soldier speared his body, and blood and water oozed out of it. The incident is recorded in the Gospel of St. John: “But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” This has led to the belief that Jesus was alive on the cross, because blood does not flow out of a dead body.
But Jesus must die. Either the crucifixion is complete and he dies or the whole of Christianity dies.
Christianity depends on the miracle of the resurrection; it had been prophesied that the coming Christ would be crucified and then resurrected. Jesus was resurrected – it had to be so. If it were not so then the Jews would not believe that he was a prophet.
They waited for this, and it happened. After three days his body disappeared from the cave where it had been put and he was seen by at least eight people. Then Jesus disappeared again. Christianity has nothing to say about where he went after the resurrection and nothing has been recorded about when he died.
He came to Kashmir again and he lived there until he was one hundred and two, when he died. And the town, the exact place where this occurred, is known.
Did he live in Kashmir under another name?
No, not another name really. While those of you from the West call him Jesus, the whole Arabic world calls him Esus, or Esau. In Kashmir he was known as Yousa-Asaf. His tomb is known as The Tomb of Yousa-Asaf who came from a very distant land and lived here. It is also indicated on the tomb that he came to live there 1900 years ago.
Miguel Serrano, the author of The Serpent of Paradise, who visited the tomb, writes: “It was evening when I first arrived at the tomb, and in the light of the sunset the faces of the men and children in the street looked almost sacred. They looked like people of ancient times; possibly they were related to one of the lost tribes of Israel that are said to have immigrated to India. Taking off my shoes, I entered and found a very old tomb surrounded by a filigree stone fence which protected it, while to one side there was the shape of a footprint cut into the stone. It is said to be the footprint of Yousa-Asaf, and according to the legend, Yousa-Asaf is Jesus.
“On the wall of the building hangs an inscription and below it a translation from the Sharda into English which reads: Yousa-Asaf (Khanya, Srinagar).”