Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Shankaracharya of Puri Govardhan Peeth, Swami Nischalanand Saraswati stoked controversy on Tuesday after claiming Jesus Christ was originally a Hindu.

Shankaracharya made the statement while addressing a congregation at Raipur in Chhattisgarh.

Not only Jesus Christ, Shankaracharya also claimed that Prophet Mohammed was a Hindu by religion too.

As per his claims, there is no documentation about 10 years of Jesus’ life in the Bible. The fact is, Jesus was in India during that time and out of that, he stayed at Puri for three years during which he came in contact with the then Shankaracharya. He was a Vaishnav and followed all the rituals, Shankaracharya claimed.

Speaking to a reporter of IBC24, the Shankaracharya further said, “Ancestors of both Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed were Sanatani Vaidic Aryas.”

On the allegations of him following the path of the RSS, Shankaracharya said, “I do not follow RSS. If they want, they can follow me. Even the RSS Chief, Mohan Bhagwat sits in front of me like ‘Bal Gopal’ (Baby Krishna).”

Defending Shankaracharya’s claims, the Public Relation Officer (PRO) of the Govardhan Peeth, Matrudatta said, “This is not the first time, in fact, Shankaracharya has many times said that Jesus Christ was in India for 10 years and his ancestors were Hindu. If you take the birth of Christ into account, then Hinduism is way older than him. It’s natural that his ancestors would be Hindus.”

However, the Christian community did not take these remarks on a good note. Refuting the claims, Father John Barua, the Arch Bishop of Satyanagar Church in Bhubaneswar said, “Nobody has ever said this and the Bible does not have such mentions as well. It is impossible to think that Jesus was really a Hindu and converted to Christianism, because then how did Christianism born?”

“If he (Shankaracharya) has any proof about his claims then he should make it public,” the Bishop said.

A culture expert, Manoj Rath urged the Christians to speak to Shankaracharya in person and discuss the dispute without outright refuting his claims.

(Reported By Madhusudan Mishra, OTV)