“It was a great insight of Jesus to send Thomas to South India where it was possible to preach and spread Jesus’ word.”
India knows that a Krishna can be an incarnation of God, although he lives in a palace with every luxury; Buddha can be an incarnation of God although he renounces his kingdom, luxuries, comforts; Mahavira can be an incarnation of God, although he discards even his clothes and lives naked.
India has seen so many ways of people like Jesus that it has come to one conclusion: leave the person alone. If you can learn something from him, good; otherwise there is no harm in paying him respect. Perhaps he is right; and if he is wrong, what are you losing? Giving respect, even to a wrong person, is not bad.
So in Kashmir Jesus was not troubled by anybody. He was not news there. In India such people are not news. Thomas, he sent to the south of India for a special reason. Northern India is very sophisticated, and all these great teachers, Buddha, Mahavira, Krishna, Patanjali, Gorakh, Kabir – it is an unending line – were all born and lived in northern India, for the simple reason that northern India is Aryan.
South India is non-Aryan, it has negroid blood. Once south India was just part of South Africa; South Africa has drifted away. Now it is a late discovery in geography that continents go on drifting, they are still drifting. The drift is very small, one foot in a year, so you cannot feel it. But continents are continuously drifting, they are not fixed: in thousands of years, of course, much change happens.
It was a great insight of Jesus to send Thomas to South India where it was possible to preach and spread Jesus’ word. In northern India nobody would have bothered about it. Northern India was so full of philosophical reasoning, argumentation; was so sophisticated that Thomas, a poor, uneducated man — who was going to listen to him?
But perhaps South India would be receptive; and it was. The whole state of Kerala is eighty percent Christian; and it is not a new phenomenon – it was Thomas’ work. Goa is completely Christian – Thomas’ body is still in Goa.
It reminds me to tell you of one thing: Thomas’ is the only body, outside Tibet, which is still the same as it was on the day the person died. It has not been preserved by any chemicals, or by any scientific methods. It is one of the rarest phenomena on the earth. Every year the body is brought out of the inner chambers of the church for the public to see.
And I have seen the body, and you can see: it is as if the man has just gone to sleep, and not even died. Yes, he is not breathing, but in two thousand years the body has not deteriorated. Scientists have tried to find out how it is preserved. There is nothing to find because it is not preserved by any preservatives; it is through a long training in yoga and certain breathing exercises that have the capacity to change the inner workings of biochemistry.
For thirty years Thomas practiced yoga. Thomas lived like a Hindu brahmin. If you see a picture of Thomas you will be surprised. What kind of Christian is this? – his head shaved like a Hindu brahmin monk, with a small piece of hair on the top of his head left uncut, the choti. He even wore a thread, yagyopavit, that is only worn by born brahmins. He used only a small piece of cloth just to cover the lower part of his body, the loincloth as it is called.
If you have seen Mahatma Gandhi’s picture you know the cloth that just covers him from his waist to his knees – that’s enough. And in the south they use it just as a wraparound; Thomas used just the wraparound lungi, only up to the knee. And he used the wooden sandals. He looked a perfect Hindu.
He became vegetarian when he was in India. He tried to learn as much yoga as possible and he really performed a miracle. He said, “After my death don’t bury my body and don’t make a grave for me. I have managed to change its inner workings.” It was predicted by Thomas – and that prediction may come true – that his body would remain preserved till the very end of the world. Two thousand years have passed and the body is preserved. Only last year, for the first time, was a little sign of deterioration detected. Perhaps the end of the world is close.
If the man was right about his body, saying not to destroy it, it is going to remain till the very end of the world — and according to many sources the end of the world is coming closer – his prediction may also be true.
Only last year, that was 1984, for the first time a little deterioration appeared. Perhaps by the end of this century the body may have deteriorated completely. Thomas’ prediction is: the day my body deteriorates completely, that is the end of this world.
Thomas and Jesus both brought to India the word messiah which became ‘masiha’. It happens, when a word changes from one language to another language, it has to be adapted to the whims of the other language. “Messiah” will not fit in Hindi; “masiha” fits. “Messiah” would have remained something foreign, but ‘masiha’ is transformed, is no more foreign; and the Christians have been called for two thousand years, Masihi.
Osho, From Personality to Individuality, Ch 10, Q 1 (excerpt)