The original of Nikolai Notovich’s work, including “The Life of Saint Issa”
Having translated the description of the trip to Tibet by Nikolai Notovich, the book “The Life of Saint Issa”, with conclusions and explanations, I would like to say that I do not in any way accept the theological hypotheses, theories or contradictions that this publication contains, and I do not identify my point of view with them.
I accept on faith the claims of Nikolai Notovich that the “records” about Saint Issus were discovered by him in the Himis monastery, but I refrain from making any judgment about the authenticity or reliability of the documents now presented to the English reader.
I dare, however, add to the brief notes made by Mr. Notovich on the striking similarities between the Catholic and Tibetan religions.
From the “General Biographer”, published in Paris in 1914, I learned that Hippolyte Desideri, a Jesuit priest, visited Tibet in 1715 and Las-su (Lhasa) in 1716 and that he translated “Kangiar” into Latin, or ” Sahorin “, a work that, according to his biographer, had the same meaning for the Tibetans as the Holy Scriptures were for Christians. The biographer claims that Desideri paid special attention to the study of the coincidences that, in his opinion, exist in the Christian and Tibetan religions.
The first known traveler to Tibet was Father Odorik of Pordenon, who presumably reached Lassa in 1328. Three centuries later, the Jesuit Antonio Andrada followed him, and in 1661, the fathers Gruber and d’Orville.
The first Englishman to visit Tibet was George Bogle, who in 1774 arrived on an ambassador mission from Warren Hastings to the lama of the city of Shi-gatse. Mr. Bogle remained for some time in Tibet, but did not publish any records of his travels.
However, from Mr. Stuart’s letter to Sir John Pringle, 1 “concerning this embassy, it is clear that Mr. Bogle was struck by the coincidences found by Desideri, as will be seen from the following lines of Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 20, 1810, which, I I suppose they did not appear in any of the later encyclopedias: “There is an old idea that the religion of Tibet is a perverse Christianity, and even Father Desideri, a Jesuit who visited the country at the beginning of our (eighteenth) century, believes that he is able to correlate them the sacraments and rituals with ours, and with a truly mystical insight insists that they (the Tibetans) are definitely well aware of the Trinity … The truth is that the religion of Tibet, wherever it comes from, is very pure and simple,in its sources a very sublime concept of the Divine is conveyed, without any down-to-earth system of morality, but in its development it has been significantly changed and distorted by the laity. “
Du Hald translated the letters of Hippolyte Desideri from Italian into French *, and in one of them, sent from Lassa on April 10, 1716, the priest writes:
“As for their religion, they call God” Konchok “and seem to have an idea of the Trinity, as sometimes they call Him” Konchokchik “or the One God, and sometimes” Konchoksum “or the Triune God. using which they say: “Om, Ha, Hum.” As they say, Om means mind, or hand, that is power; Ha is a word; and Hum is a heart, or love; and these three words denote God “.
Jesuit Gruber and Horace de la Penna, head of the Capuchin mission, noted the similarities between their own religion * and the religion of Tibet. Their conclusions were based on: (1) the clothing of the lamas, which did not differ from the clothing of the apostles in ancient images; (2) their subordination, which has some similarities with the church hierarchy; (3) similarities between certain Tibetan ceremonies and Roman rituals; (4) their beliefs about incarnation; and (5) their moral principles.
Herbillon mentions some of their ceremonies, for example: (1) the use of holy water; (2) prayers, prayers for the dead, and adds: “Their robes are the same as in which the apostles were depicted, they wear mitres like bishops; and even their Great Lama is to them almost the same as the Pope is to the Romans.”
Gruber goes even further: he argues that although no European or Christian has ever visited Tibet, nevertheless, the Tibetan religion coincides with the Roman in all significant respects. So, there they receive communion with bread and wine, gather together, bless married couples, pray over the sick, participate in processions, glorify the relics of idols (he should have said “saints”), have monasteries and women’s monasteries, sing choral prayers, like Roman monks , observe sacrificial fasts throughout the year, impose very harsh penances – including scourging, – consecrate bishops and send missionaries who live in extreme poverty and wander barefoot through the deserts all the way to China. “I saw it with my own eyes,” adds Gruber.
And even such an amazing combination of coincidences is not all. Brother Horace de la Penna – who, however, should not be trusted too much – says:
“Basically, the religion of Tibet is a counterpart of the Roman religion. They believe in one God and the Trinity, in heaven, hell and purgatory; they perform litanies, give alms, pray, funeral the dead; they have a number of monasteries full of novices and monks * who besides the three vows – poverty, obedience and love for one’s neighbor – they give several others.They have confessors who are elected by the heads of religious communities, and who receive permission from the Lama or the bishop, without whom they cannot hear confessions or impose penances. water, crosses and rosary. “
Mr. Hook, who traveled to Tibet in 1844-46, writes about the similarity of Lamaist divine services with Catholic ones: “Cross, miter, Dalmatic, mantle worn by the Supreme Lamas on trips, services with two choirs, singing psalms, exorcism, censer, hanging on five chains, blessings, rosary, celibacy of the clergy, spiritual solitude, worship of saints, fasts, processions, litanies, holy water – all are the same in our and Buddhist religions. “
“Further, can we say that all these analogs are of Christian origin? We believe that they are. We have not actually found any solid evidence of such borrowing in the traditions or in the monuments of this country, nevertheless, it is quite reasonable to put forward assumptions closest to likelihood. ” / Saint Bartholomew. It is believed that this apostle reached India itself, preaching the Gospel, since Eusebius mentions that a famous philosopher and Christian named Panthen found here – among those who still kept the proclamation of Christ – the Gospel of Matthew, rewritten, according to tradition, by Saint Bartholomew , one of the twelve apostles. There is a mention of the Gospel of St. Bartholomew in the preface to Origen’s “Notices” (“Instructions”), but it was generally accepted that the manuscript was forged,
From a fragment of the seventh volume of Pinkerton’s Travels, entitled Description of Tibet, it appears that “some missionaries believe that the ancient Lamaist books contain traces of the Christian religion, which they believe was preached here in apostolic times.”
Be that as it may, but without going into disputes over the coincidence of rituals, ceremonies and rituals, which could be originally pagan or Roman, for Mr. Notovich, convincing confirmation of the reliability of his discovery could be the fact that the two churches probably had one common source , and that if during the time of the apostles – as missionaries bring to us – the Gospel was preached in Tibet, then, quite naturally, Christ’s companions, who probably knew from him how and where the amazing unknown part of his life passed, should have visited and really visited the places the first searches and labors of his Teacher. The restrictions placed on the translator’s notes prevent me from entering this discussion, and I leave it to others to speculate about it.
I translated “The Life of Saint Issa” literally, but I translated Mr. Notovich’s own story more freely.
Lake Geneva, Terry,
1 February 1895
Gentlemen, I am glad to hear that you have decided to publish an English translation of my book The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, which was first published in French early last year.
This translation is not a verbatim copy of the French edition. The inevitable difficulties associated with publication led to the fact that the first time my book was published in a great hurry, which caused her considerable damage. I had only five days to sketch out the foreword, introduction, and conclusion, and hardly a few hours to edit the proofs.
This was the reason for a certain lack of arguments in support of some of my statements, as well as the appearance of semantic gaps in the narrative and many typos, around which a fuss was raised by my opponents, who did not notice that with their excessive zeal to cut from the shoulder and point out superficial flaws, they only demonstrated their own powerlessness, having pounced on the trunk of the tree that I had grown and which withstood the fiercest gusts of wind that tried to knock it down.
Indeed, they did me a service, for which I am sincerely grateful to them, because they contributed to the revision of this topic, which I myself felt was necessary. I am always happy to use any information and am not so sophisticated in oriental studies as not to be sure of the need for great knowledge.
Thus, English readers will be the first to benefit from the well-founded criticism I have accepted and the amendments I have made.
So, I offer the English reader a book, cleansed of errors and free from any inaccuracies in details, for which I was reprimanded so fiercely and persistently, as, for example, in the case of the Chinese emperor, whose reign I indicated correctly, but was mistaken. attributing to him belonging to another dynasty.
My goal and sincere desire is that the English public, with a sharp mind, but wary of any innovations, especially when it comes to religion, could judge my work by its semantic qualities, and not by grammatical or typographical errors , on which my opponents have relied so far, trying to downplay the true value of this document. I hope, nevertheless, that after reading the work it will become clear that I wrote it completely sincerely and honestly.
I am quite aware that skillfully organized criticism has already turned the public against the book in advance. And even generously defended by acquaintances and unfamiliar friends, The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ was so viciously attacked by fanatics, who apparently imagined that I was eager to start theological strife (while my only goal was to put another brick in the building of modern science) that all this created an atmosphere of distrust around the first edition of the book in England.
Everything was arranged in such a way that the authenticity of my documents was considered questionable. But the attacks were mainly directed against the author, questioning his honesty, in the groundless hope that such insults could shake his calm and force him to show emotions that would turn everyone against the book itself.
I could disdain offensive accusations: insults are not arguments, even if they are expressed in the deliberately restrained manner so characteristic of Mr. Max Müller in his attempt to break me. But I will nonetheless consider those that affect my travels to Tibet, Leh, Ladakh and the Buddhist monastery in Himis. To begin with, I will briefly list the objections raised about how to verify the authenticity of my documents.
Here’s what raised doubts: why did Lama Himisa refuse to answer affirmatively to the questions asked about the manuscripts? Because the people of the East are accustomed to considering Europeans as robbers who infiltrate their environment in order to plunder in the name of civilization.
The fact that I succeeded and these stories were communicated to me is due to my application of Eastern diplomacy, which I learned during my travels. I knew how to approach the question of interest from afar, while now everyone wants to go ahead.
The Lama said to himself: “If they ask about these manuscripts, it is only in order to steal them,” and he naturally remained silent and refused to explain. This suspicion is easy to understand if we trace the deeds of those Europeans who, in communication with the Eastern peoples, only oppressed and openly plundered them with the help of civilization.
A certain lady wrote to Europe that “nobody has ever seen me there [in Tibet]” and nobody has ever heard my name. Then a bunch of temple guards declared that my foot had never set foot in Tibet – in other words, that I was a fraud.
The Moravian missionary worthy Mr. Shaw repeated this little joke, which I must call childish; and then the seekers of Truth added his testimony to the rest and renewed the insulting accusations. It is also true that Mr. Shaw formally took them off shortly thereafter.
It took a lot of work for me to defend myself on this charge, but I must not let lies go unpunished and take advantageous positions. If the said lady and her friends never met me, then I can call as a witness Lieutenant Yanghas Band, whom I met in Matayan on October 28, 1887 and who first crossed China, and also ascended the Muztag pass at an altitude of 21,500 feet ( English), and many others.
I also have a photograph of the handsome governor of Ladak, Surajbal, with an inscription made by him with his own hand, which I publish in this book.
During my illness in Ladakh, I was even visited by a European doctor in the British government service, Dr. Karl Marx, whose letter of November 4, 1887 you have already seen. Why not write directly to him to see if I was actually in Tibet or not, if someone is so eager to prove otherwise? True, it will take some time to send a letter and receive a response from Tibet, however, letters are sent there, and answers come from there.
It was also stated that the original “The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ” never existed in the Himis monastery and that it was all just a product of my imagination. This is truly an honor that I do not deserve, since my imagination is not so rich.
If I were even capable of inventing a fairy tale of this magnitude, I should, simply guided by common sense, exalt the price of this discovery by attributing my find to some mysterious or supernatural intervention, and I should avoid specifying the exact place, time and circumstances of this discoveries. In any case, I would hardly have reduced my role in this matter to a simple reproduction of an old manuscript.
I was also considered the subject of ridicule of cunning lamas, as happened with Villefort and Jacolliot, they said that, not being thoroughly protected from some Indian deceivers who profit from the credulity of Europeans, I took at face value – almost a gold bar – that which was a clever fake.
It was Herr Max Müller who especially insisted on this accusation. So, since Max Müller is famous in the scientific world, I feel obliged – to myself and to the public – to pay more attention to refuting his arguments than all my other critics.
The main argument of Mr. Müller, apparently, is the assertion that the story of the “Unknown Life of Jesus Christ” in the form as it was presented by me in this book was not found in any catalog of “Tanjur” and “Kandzhur”.
Let me note here that if it were there, then my discovery would not be surprising or valuable, since these catalogs have long been available for research by European scientists, and the very first orientalist, if desired, could easily have done the same as I did – to go to Tibet, stock up on a guidebook and extract from the parchment scrolls the fragments indicated in the catalogs.
According to Max Müller’s own statement, the catalogs contain a list of approximately two thousand volumes. Indeed, these are very incomplete catalogs, the monastery of Lassa alone stores more than a hundred thousand volumes of manuscripts, and I sincerely sympathize with my opponent if he believes that these crumbs will provide him with the key to the entire long period of the existence of Eastern science.
Indeed, it is true that the parables, the translation of which is presented in this book, cannot be found in any catalog, be it “Tanjur” or “Kandzhur”. They did not have a title and were scattered in more than one book, therefore, they cannot be found in catalogs of Chinese and Tibetan works. They exist as reminders of the remarkable events that took place in the first century of the Christian era, which are more or less succinctly recorded by the Lamaist scribes, to the extent that they are remembered.
If I had the patience to put these parables together, to give them a semantic consistency and to exclude from them what was brought in by my translation, would this fruit of persistent work raise questions?
And do not legends inform us that the Iliad in the form in which it has been known to us for 2,500 years was compiled in the same way by order of Peisistratus from scattered songs about the Trojan War and is sacredly preserved in the memory of the Greek tradition?
Mr. Müller further reproached me for not mentioning the name of the cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, who gave me unusual confidence in the “Unknown Life of Jesus Christ”, and whose frank statements could serve as confirmation of my discovery. But I appeal to the law of decency, which is obligatory for all, and everyone must admit that it would be unworthy to reveal the name of this cardinal in connection with the circumstances I have mentioned.
However, to what has already been said in the introduction that the “Unknown Life of Jesus Christ” is not an innovation for the Roman Catholic Church, I can add the following: the Vatican library contains sixty-three complete or incomplete manuscripts in various oriental languages on this topic, which were brought to Rome by missionaries from India, China, Egypt and Arabia.
This question forces me to clarify once and for all the essence of my intentions in connection with the transfer of a document of such significance to the Western public, which, I admit, everyone has the right to freely criticize.
Was it intended to undermine the authority of the Gospels or the entire New Testament? No, not in the least.
In a French magazine, I clearly said that I profess the Russian Orthodox faith, and I continue to affirm this. No damage could be done to authority if there were no contradictions in doctrines and inconsistencies of facts. But the doctrine contained in these Tibetan parables is the same as in the Gospels, and the facts differ only in appearance.
Indeed, it should be noted that the first to write down these parables in Pali meticulously transmitted the stories of local merchants (not Jews, as Herr Müller believed) upon their return from Palestine, where they went on their trade business and where they happened to be witnesses of a drama. at Calvary.
And it was not surprising that these witnesses observed what was happening from a point of view different from the point of view of the Romans, who were ultimately to fully accept the religion of their victim. For them [merchants], naturally, it was preferable to accept the version prevailing among the Jewish people.
What should be clarified is how impartial the witnesses were, and how honestly and competently the scribes reflected the essence of their stories. But this is already a problem of exegesis * and it is not for me to solve it.
I would rather confine myself to such a simpler question and want to advise my opponents to do the same: did these fragments exist in the Himisa monastery, and did I correctly reflect their essence? This is the only basis on which I recognize for someone the moral right to summon me to trial.
I suggested that we return to Tibet with a group of renowned orientalists to verify on the spot the authenticity of these scriptures. Nobody responded to this proposal. Most were satisfied with further attacks on me, and those who tried to find these fragments chose the wrong way to search.
I have learned, however, that the American expedition is in the process of formation, not wanting any participation on my part, they are going to take this journey to do some serious research on their own. I am not afraid of these explorations: on the contrary, I welcome them with all my heart. They will show that I, being far from thinking about innovations, only gave a tangible form to the traditions that existed in the Christian world at all times.
The New Testament is completely silent about the period of the Savior’s life from thirteen to thirty years. What happened to him during this time? What was he doing? Show me a passage that at least approximately stated that he had never been to Tibet or India, and I will lay down my arms. But even the most stubborn fanatic would find it very difficult to show me such lines.
Moreover, would it be strange if the founder of Christianity was inspired by the doctrines of Brahmanism or Buddhism in order to transform them, cleanse them of all superficial and bring them to the minds of the West? Moses did just that, and not otherwise. When he wrote the “Book of Genesis” and proclaimed the law of justice, he referred to books and laws written before him. He admitted this more than once. All this is the basics of exegesis.
Is there any doubt that all religions, even the most barbaric and absurd, have retained fragments of truth and have the opportunity to one day accept the universal Truth, demonstrating the fact that their roots come from a common source and that after being divided into many branches they will be gathered together under a single beginning? Far from rejecting without verification these glimpses of truth, Christianity hastens to accept them, giving them true meaning and applying them to the mystical needs of peoples.
If this were not so, would Saint John the Evangelist have made so much effort to take Plato’s “Logos5” and turn it into that “Imperishable Incarnate Word”, whose incomparable greatness overshadowed the highest conceptions of the Greek philosopher?
If this were not so, the fathers of the Greek and Latin churches, St. John Chrysostom and St. Augustine (if we mention only the most famous of them), would find it so difficult to extract from the mishmash and dust of mythology those wise interpretations and moral commandments that they accepted, resurrecting legends – if this neologism is allowed to me – returning myths to their true innermost meaning?
I leave to the experts the task of extracting the truths of Brahmanism and Buddhism woven into the parables of Shakyamuni and the Vedas.
Back to my book. It is my belief that if she can undeniably establish an agreement between the teachings of the Gospels and the scriptures of India and Tibet, then she will render an outstanding service to all mankind.
Is this a new phenomenon in Christendom – a book designed to complement the New Testament and shed light on hitherto obscure moments? The works known as the Apocrypha were so numerous in the sixteenth century that the Catholic Church Council in Trent was forced to limit their myriad in order to avoid discord that would harm the public interest, and to reduce the Book of Revelations to the minimum available to the average mind.
Didn’t the church council in Nisin – in agreement with the emperor Constantine – declare many manuscripts forbidden for believers – those manuscripts that were venerated with almost the same reverence that evoked the four canonical Gospels? The Nissa Church Council, together with the Trent Cathedral, also reduced the number of transcendental truths to a minimum.
Is it not known from the chronicle sources that Stilicho, the commander-in-chief of [the Roman emperor] Honorius, ordered the public burning of the “Books of the Sibyls” in 401? Can anyone doubt that they were full of moral, historical and prophetic truths of a higher order? Then it would be possible to question the entire Roman history, the most important points of which were determined by the decisions of the “Books of the Sibyls”.
At the time we are talking about, there were all the prerequisites for strengthening or supporting a weakly united or already shaky religion, and the spiritual and secular authorities believed that there could be nothing better than organizing vigilant supervision and the strictest censorship over eternal truths.
But enlightened minds so little desired the mass destruction of all documents that did not meet official criteria that they themselves saved a certain amount of work from oblivion. Over the past three centuries, those editions of the Bible that included as an appendix the Shepherd of St. Hermas, the Epistles of St. Clement, St. Barnabas, the Prayer of Manasseh and two additional Maccabean Books are undoubtedly rare.
The four Gospels laid the foundation for Christian teaching. But there were twelve apostles, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Thomas, Saint Matthias declared that they were preaching the good news to the peoples of India, Tibet and China.
Didn’t these friends of Jesus, the close witnesses of his sermons and his martyrdom, write anything? Or have they left others with the exclusive responsibility of writing on papyrus the Lord’s exalted teachings? But these others wrote in Greek, and no one spoke or understood Greek beyond the Euphrates. How could they preach in Greek to people who only understood Pali, Sanskrit, or the many dialects of China and Hindustan?
It is known that Saint Thomas was reputed to be the most educated among the rest of the disciples, who mainly came from the common people. Even without marble or copper, would Saint Thomas not strive to write down on imperishable tablets what he saw and the lessons that the crucified Lord taught him?
The parables transmitted to me by the Buddhist lama in the Himisa monastery, which I arranged so as to give them semantic consistency and organize them according to the rules of literary composition, could in fact be told by Saint Thomas, could be historical sketches made by his own hand or under his direction …
And could this resurrection of books buried under the dust of earthly ages become the starting point for a new science, which is destined to bring unexpected and unimaginable results in abundance?
These are the questions that my book raises. Critics would gain the respect they deserve if they were taken seriously. The topic is quite worthy of the effort spent on its study. It contains all the issues of concern to humanity. I am convinced that research will not be fruitless. I struck the first blow with the hoe and discovered the hidden treasures, but I have every reason to believe that the mine is inexhaustible.
Now there is no longer what was in those past centuries, when a certain estate alone was the guardian of all Truths and gave the masses their share of the indivisible wealth, to each according to his needs. Today the world thirsts for knowledge, and everyone has the right to turn a page in the book of science and learn the truth about God-Man, who belongs to all of us.
I believe in the authenticity of the Buddhist narrative because I see nothing from a historical or theological point of view that would contradict it or make it unfounded. Let it be studied and discussed. Let them even prove to me that I’m wrong. But that is not an excuse for insulting me. Insults confirm only one thing – the insolvency of their authors.
I gave life to the words of the prophet Daniel that the time will come when “many will read it [the book], and knowledge will multiply.” /Dan. 12: 4. /
I studied, found, learned, discovered. I pass on my knowledge and my discovery to those readers who, like myself, are eager to learn and learn.
I convey them, with your help, to the English readers with complete confidence and rely in advance on their judgment in full confidence that it will be fair.
Sincerely yours, N. Notovich
After the end of the Turkish war (1877-78), I made a number of journeys to the East. After visiting at first less remarkable places on the Balkan Peninsula, I set off on a journey through the Caucasus to Central Asia and Persia and finally in 1887 went to India, an amazing country that has attracted my attention since childhood.
The purpose of my trip was to get acquainted with the peoples of India, to study their manners and customs and at the same time to explore the noble and mysterious archeology and majestically grandiose nature of this wonderful country.
Wandering without any definite plan from one place to another, I reached the mountainous Afghanistan, from where I returned to India along the picturesque roads of Bodan and Gernai. Then I again ascended the Indus to Rawalpindi, traveled through the Punjab, the land of five great rivers, visited the Golden Temple of Amritsara, the tomb of the Punjab king Ranjit Singh near Lahore, and turned my feet towards Kashmir, “the valley of eternal happiness.”
From there I set off on further wanderings, and my curiosity guided me until I reached Ladak, from where I intended to return to Russia via Karakorum and Chinese Turkestan.
Once, while visiting a Buddhist monastery, I learned from the abbot lama that the archives of Lassa contain very ancient records concerning the life of Jesus Christ and the peoples of the West, and that some large monasteries have copies and translations of these scriptures.
Since then it seemed very unlikely that I would ever visit this country again, I decided to postpone my return to Europe and coute que coute * / the great monasteries mentioned, or by going to Laos Travel to Laos is nowhere near as dangerous and difficult as we are inclined to believe;
During my stay in Leh, the capital of Ladakh, I visited the large Himis monastery, located on the outskirts of the city, in the library of which, as the lama abbot told me, contained some copies of the manuscripts I was looking for. In order not to arouse suspicions of the authorities regarding the purpose of my visit to the monastery and to avoid all kinds of obstacles to my further travel in Tibet – after all, I am Russian – I announced my intention to return to India and immediately left the capital of Ladakh.
The unsuccessful fall from the horse, as a result of which I broke my leg, gave me a completely unexpected reason to return to the monastery, where I received first aid. I took advantage of my short stay with the lamas to get the permission of their head to show me manuscripts related to the life of Jesus Christ. Thus, with the help of my interpreter, who translated from Tibetan, I was able to scrupulously write down in a notebook what the lama read to me.
Not for a moment doubting the authenticity of these chronicles, written with great care by the Brahmin, and mostly Buddhist historians of Nepal and India, I decided to publish their translation upon my return to Europe. With this intention, I turned to several well-known theologians, asking them to check my notes and give their opinion about them.
His Holiness the Monk Plato, the famous Metropolitan of Kiev, expressed the opinion that this discovery is of great importance. Nevertheless, he discouraged me from publishing my memoirs on the grounds that their appearance could have disastrous consequences for me. The venerable prelate refused to explain more fully how this could happen. Since our conversation took place in Russia, where the censorship would certainly have vetoed such work, I decided to wait.
A year later, when I was in Rome, I showed my notes to a cardinal who is ai teih * / In excellent terms, fr. – Approx. ed. / with His Holiness the Pope. He answered me verbatim: “What good will this publication bring? No one will attach much importance to this, and you will acquire crowds of enemies. However, you are still very young! If you are interested in the money issue, I can ask for compensation for your notes. that will reimburse the costs incurred and lost time. ” Naturally, I refused.
In Paris, I talked about my plans with Cardinal Rotelli, whom I had met earlier in Constantinople. He also opposed the publication of my work, on the alleged pretext that it would be premature. “The Church,” he added, “is already suffering greatly from a new wave of atheistic ideas. You will only provide fresh food for slanderers who defame church doctrine. I tell you this, defending the interests of all Christian denominations.”
Then I went to see Monsieur Jules Simon. He found my post interesting and recommended that I seek Mr. Renan’s advice on the best way to publish the notes.
The next day I was sitting in the office of the great philosopher. Our conversation ended like this: Mr. Renan suggested that I entrust him with the notes under discussion so that he would make a report on them at the Academy.
One can imagine that this offer was very tempting and flattered my atoir prope *. / ‘Self-esteem, French. Approx. ed. “/ Nevertheless, citing the need for a second check, I took my work. I foresaw that if I agreed, I would acquire only the glory of the discoverer of the annals, while the famous author of” Vie de Jesus “* /” The Life of Jesus “, French ./ will take all the honors by commenting on the annals and presenting them to the general public.Therefore, believing that I myself am perfectly ready to publish the translation of the chronicle and provide it with my comments, I rejected the kind offer made to me in this way. great master, whom I deeply respected, I intended to await his death, the sad approach of which, as I foresaw,
When what I had foreseen happened, I hastened to put things in order in the notes that I now publish, reserving the right to confirm the authenticity of these chronicles and developing in my comments the arguments that should convince us of the sincerity and conscientiousness of the Buddhist compilers.
In conclusion, I propose: before starting to criticize my message, any scientific community could, in a relatively short time, equip a scientific expedition with the goal of examining these manuscripts on the spot and establishing their historical value.
P.S. During my travels, I took a significant number of very interesting photographs, but when I checked the negatives upon arrival in Bombay, I found that they were all overexposed. I owe this failure to the negligence of my black servant, Philip, who was entrusted with a box of photographic plates. During the trip, finding it heavy, he carefully pulled out the contents, thus illuminating the plates and nullifying my work.
Therefore, I owe the illustration of my book exclusively to the generous help of my friend Monsieur d’Auvergne, who, having made a trip to the Himalayas, graciously offered me a selection of his photographs.