Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment

( 52 )

Overview

The New York Times bestselling author of Buddha captures the extraordinary life of Jesus in this surprising, soul-stirring, and page-turning novel. Uncovering the transformational "lost years" that are not recounted in the New Testament, Deepak Chopra has imagined Jesus's path to enlightenment moving from obscurity to revolutionary, from doubt to miracles, and then beyond as the role of the long-awaited Messiah. As a teenager, Jesus has premonitions of his destiny, and by the end, as he arrives to be baptized in ...
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Overview

The New York Times bestselling author of Buddha captures the extraordinary life of Jesus in this surprising, soul-stirring, and page-turning novel. Uncovering the transformational "lost years" that are not recounted in the New Testament, Deepak Chopra has imagined Jesus's path to enlightenment moving from obscurity to revolutionary, from doubt to miracles, and then beyond as the role of the long-awaited Messiah. As a teenager, Jesus has premonitions of his destiny, and by the end, as he arrives to be baptized in the River Jordan, he has accepted his fate, which combines extremes of light and darkness.

With his characteristic ability for imparting profound spiritual insights through the power of storytelling, Deepak Chopra's Jesus portrays the life of Christ as never before, ultimately leading us closer to understanding the nature of God and the soul. As the author shares, "I don't want the Jesus in this book to be worshiped, much less to push him forward as definitive. The events of the tale are pure fiction. But at a deeper level, the Jesus in this book feels real because we've gotten a glimpse into his mind. One flash of insight answers many prayers."

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"I don't want the Jesus in this book to be worshipped," writes Deepak Chopra in Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment. "The events of the tale are pure fiction." That said, the Jesus of Nazareth revealed in this fresh exploration can perhaps illuminate spiritual lessons that might be lost in more literal Gospel readings. As always, Chopra approaches his subject with a sense of gravity and a bounty of grace. Ecumenical; enlightening and compassionate.
Publishers Weekly

Chopra's new novel expands on the themes advanced in his recent nonfiction title The Third Jesus. The narrative focuses on the mysterious span of time in Christ's life between the ages of 12 and 30. Chopra portrays the young adult Jesus as a malleable figure at the center of a host of pivotal political, cultural and religious shifts. The threads of his spiritual leadership become evident during these formative years, but Christ must devote himself to growing in enlightenment about the full nature of his identity and message. Not surprisingly, Chopra casts the sources of this revelation to include both Western and Eastern perspectives. Chopra's narration may not always maintain a natural flow of dialogue among characters, but the ethereal power of his voice and the evocative manner in which he sets the stage remain effective. Perhaps the most compelling elements of the story line involve Judas and Mary Magdalene, two of New Testament history's most complicated and controversial figures. A HarperOne hardcover. (Nov.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

New York Times best-selling author Chopra (The Third Jesus), M.D., a prominent adherent of Eastern philosophy, here reads his fictionalized biography of Jesus. But because English is not Chopra's first language, and owing to his rather unemotional delivery, this audio is less successful than it might have been with another narrator. For large public libraries only. [Audio clip available through www.bbcaudiobooksamerica.com; the HarperOne hc was recommended "for all public libraries," LJ11/1/08.-Ed.]
—Nancy Reed

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616835095
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/4/2008
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra, M.D., is the author of more than eighty books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both fiction and nonfiction categories.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Deepak Chopra M.D.
    2. Hometown:
      La Jolla, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1946
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Delhi, India
    1. Education:
      All India Institute of Medical Sciences

Read an Excerpt

Jesus

Chapter One

The Stranger in the Snow

"A horse!" the temple lad cried as he ran in panting for breath. "Quick, come and see."

"Why?" I asked without looking up. I was in the middle of writing, which I did every morning. My scribbles never reached anyone outside this dim, falling-down hut, but that's of no matter.

"Because he's huge. Hurry, or somebody might steal him."

"Before you do, you mean?"

The boy was so excited that he kept sloshing his bucket of hot water on the floor. He was permitted to barge into the hut to fill my bath just after dawn.

I frowned at him. "What about detachment?"

"What?" he asked.

"I thought the priest was teaching you not to get so excited."

"That was before the horse."

If you were born high in these mountains, a stray horse is an event. Where would this one be from? The Western empire probably, where huge black stallions are bred. The locals knew animals by the compass. Elephants come from the south, where the jungle begins, and camels from the eastern desert. In all my travels, I had seen only one of these gray monsters, who are like walking walls.

From the north, over the passes, came small, furry ponies, and these were very common...traders used ponies to reach the villages with their goods: hemp, silk, incense, salt, dried meat, and flour. The bare necessities plus the silk to adorn a bride in joy or wrap a corpse in sorrow.

I set the ink-laden brush back on its stand and rubbed the black from my fingers. "You'd better put that bucket down before you drown us both," I said. "Then fetch my cloak."

Outside, a storm had swooped down off thehigh peaks overnight, batting at the stretched animal skins over my windows and leaving another foot of fresh snow. I emerged from the hut and looked around.

More than a horse is here, I thought.

The temple lad couldn't stand to wait for me and rushed down the trail.

"Find the stranger," I shouted.

The boy whirled around. I was calling with the wind, and at these altitudes my voice could be heard at a long distance.

"What stranger?" the boy called back.

"The one who fell off the horse. Search for him. Search hard, and don't dawdle."

The temple lad hesitated. He much preferred gawking at a fine huge horse, but finding a body in the snow had its own appeal. He nodded and turned the corner out of sight. The boulders on either side of the trail were large enough for a grown man to disappear into, much less a scrawny boy.

I proceeded slowly after him, but not because of age. I don't know how old I am. The matter lost its interest long ago. But I can still move without creaking.

I had foreseen the mysterious stranger two days earlier, but not the overnight storm. The snow wouldn't kill him, but the blast of frigid air that howled off the peaks most likely would. Nobody from the world below anticipates that kind of cold. I've helped the villagers rescue the stranded travelers who were fortunate. Only their noses and toes were blackened. They were numb at first after being dragged to shelter, but started screaming with pain as soon as the rescuers warmed them up.

Everyone in my valley has enormous respect for the high peaks and their dangers. But they also revere the mountains, which remind them of how close Heaven is. I don't need the comfort of Heaven.

The villagers didn't call on me for rescue work anymore. It disturbed them that an old ascetic who looked like a crooked teak carving could trek in his bare feet when theirs were bound in layers of goatskin and rags. Huddling on long winter nights, they discussed this, and they decided that I had made a pact with a demon. Since there were thousands of local demons, a few could be spared to look after my feet.

I walked down the trail until I heard a faint distant sound in the wind, more like a rodent squeak than a boy's voice. But I understood its meaning. I veered left where the sound came from and hurried my steps. I had a personal interest in finding the stranger alive.

What I found when I came over the next ridge was a mound in the snow. The temple lad was staring at the mound, which didn't move.

"I waited for you before kicking it," he said. His face held that mixture of dread and relish that comes over -people when they think they've discovered a corpse.

"Listen to me. Don't wish him dead. It doesn't help," I warned.

Instead of kicking at the mound, the lad knelt and began to sweep it furiously with his hands. The stranger had managed to bury himself under a foot-thick layer of snow, but that wasn't as surprising as something else. When I finally saw his outlined body, the man was crouched on his knees with clasped hands folded under his chin. The boy had never seen anyone in that posture before.

"Did he seize up like that?" he asked.

I didn't reply. As I gazed at the body, it impressed me that someone could remain praying to the point of death. The position also told me that this was a Jew, because as you travel east, holy men sit cross-legged when they pray; they don't kneel.

I told the boy to run down to the village for a sledge, and he obeyed without question. In truth the two of us could have carried the body out on our own. But I needed to be alone. As soon as the temple lad had disappeared, I brought my mouth close to the stranger's ear, which was still bright pink although covered with frost.

"Stir yourself," I whispered. "I know who you are."

For a moment nothing happened. To all appearances the stranger remained frozen, but I didn't embrace him to give him warmth from my own body. If this was the visitor I was expecting, it wasn't necessary. But I granted one small concession. I called the stranger by name.

Jesus. Copyright © by Deepak Chopra. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Table of Contents


Pt. 1 Seeker
1 The Stranger in the Snow 3
2 The Two Judases 13
3 God on the Roof 31
4 The First Miracle 41
5 The Holy Woman 57
6 Wilderness and Worship 75 Pt. 2 Miracle Worker
7 Catch and Release 91
8 The Fourth Man 107
9 Second Birth 123
10 Captive 139
11 The First and Last 155 Pt. 3 Messiah
12 Pure in Spirit 179
13 Traveler 193
14 The Wager 211
15 Light of the World 227 Epilogue 247 Reader's Guide: Jesus and the Path to Enlightenment 251
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2010

    um really?

    this is just a confused man's attempts to transform Christianity. i would stay away from this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not for the extremly religous, spirituality something to ponder, not to take literal.

    Chopra outlines in the begining of this book that he is not looking to change the belief of anyone about jesus, and is not meaning to offend any believers. He states its a work of fiction and just his thoughts of what jesus may have went through in the years between 12 & 35. I believe in jesus christ and i am a very Spiritual person, and i myself have wondered what jesus's life was like in these undocumented years. I couldnt put this book down til i finished. Now unlike some people i do not take everything i read as literal, it was a good ''story'' a work a fiction. Before people start calling blaspemy maybe they should stop and take a look at themselves and how easy their beliefs may be influenced. I think it was a good read and kind of blended many basic core beliefs of our worlds religions. God is in control of everything, and the largest religions all believe in the basic fundametals of right and wrong, its the details that cause wars and seperation of man kind, remember the devils in the details. Chopra did this same excersise with his book Buddah, and even though you may not be buddist it pretty much is the same template, buddah journey from a self exiled prince to a spiritual influence in the east over 3000 years ago. Great reads for clean entertainment.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not good enough-pandering to readers

    Experts like this further compound the already compounded issue of religion or finding one's self in a world of opinions. Rather than explaining issues and really helping the public to see the difference between all these religions and why we still have killings in the 21st century, even by the hindus, he's trying to merge what can't be merged together.

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