Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment

Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment

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by Deepak Chopra

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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

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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

"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.

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HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Enlightenment Collection , #2
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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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What People are saying about this

Tim Kring
“Once again, Deepak Chopra combines spirituality with dramatic narrative to breathe new life into a story that we all assumed we knew. This unique and intriguing story inspires as well as educates. Chopra’s JESUS is every bit as compelling as his groundbreaking retelling of BUDDHA.”
Kevin Costner
“Deepak takes on the story of Jesus in a way that is both respectful and common. If as a Christian you are afraid of what is inside these pages, don’t be. It quietly succeeded in restoring my faith in my own faith.”
Raphael Cushnir
As a Jew I was taught to reject Jesus. As a mystic I was drawn to his light. This brave book invites me to approach Jesus anew, with great curiosity and a humble heart, and to love him, in the end, as my Self.”
Cheryl Woodcock
“In Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment, Deepak Chopra dares us to ponder paradigms imbedded deep within our very DNA and question unquestionable truths. Chopra introduces a breathtaking epistemology that is altogether fresh and divine. His powerful revelation threatens our ability to live our lives in darkness.”
Jill Gregory
“A la the Da Vinci Code, this thought-provoking tale is sure to ignite exciting questions and controversy.”
Petru Popescu
“It is such an original and intriguing approach to imagine which Jesus was ‘left out of the bible.’ Chopra’s novel is a fascinating read.”
Michael Baigent
“We journey with a very human Jesus through a tough and turbulent landscape to discover his greatest message, that of personal transformation and enlightenment. Deepak Chopra’s story is an inspiring gift for those who truly care and have the courage to seek.”
Miceal Ledwith
“If you think all that could be said about Jesus has already been said, then this book will be an eye opener in the best and truest sense of those words. Do a major favor to your soul and read it.”
Eckhart Tolle
“A gripping tale of one man’s archetypal journey through confusion, doubt, and despair to self-annihilation and the realization of his true identity as the ‘light of the world.’”

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Meet the Author

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.

Brief Biography

La Jolla, California
Date of Birth:
October 22, 1946
Place of Birth:
New Delhi, India
All India Institute of Medical Sciences

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Jesus: A Story of Enlightenment 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 40 reviews.
seeker24 More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for Jesus, you won't find Him here.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's such a ludicrous theory that I haven't had the patience yet to finish it. I'll probably do it, but wow. Jesus teaming up with Judas as part of a terrorist group...ugh. It's intriguing and certainly original, but I expected some soul-stirring stuff by now...
fredandethel More than 1 year ago
Even though this is just a fiction, it is still a terrible way of writing, talking and thinking about Jesus and Mary Magdalane, very much disrespecting of the Christian faiths Son of God. I was insulted as a woman and a Christian. Deepak acts like a teenage boy and involves sex and lust in this book, a book he named Jesus. Just horrible. He should read the Bible first before he writes about its people. Just horrible.
Izquit More than 1 year ago
I didn't like this book at all. I got this as a present and tought I would love it, as I have enjoyed a lot of Chopra's books. The first surprise for me was that this book is a novel. From the title I was expecting fundamented research or at least an interpretation of Jesus and his time. For a novel it is very bad written. So next time I get a Chopra book I will look first... if it's a novel I'll never read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is Christianity through the lens of religious New Age! What perspective could be more diabolically far from the Truth? Jesus is real, He absolutely loves and created Depak, but not for this; he has no authority nor a spirit of wisdom or revelation from the LORD; instead he thinks he is the lord. No way, man.
msmcgee58 More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Deepak from his earliest work. I am not a Christian so the accuracy of the story is of no interest to me. I simply found the story to be mostly boring and very un-inspired compared to his earlier works. This is the only book he has written that I would rather have not spent my time reading. His other works would be more useful and entertaining to most readers.
Glenner More than 1 year ago
Good writing, but I wonder how Deepak reconciles with Jesus' own statements that he is God brought to earth. As CS Lewis said, "Jesus was either God incarnate, or a liar or a lunatic."

Jesus¿ claim about Himself
John 8:58-59: "`I tell you the truth,¿ Jesus answered, `before Abraham was born, I am!¿ At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.¿

This is a powerful double claim from Jesus: first, that He pre-existed His human birth and was actually alive and present (as God) before Abraham; second, that His title was ¿I am¿ -- which was the same title used for Jehovah God in Exodus 3:14.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strictly fiction and quite amusing. Similarly entertaining is the the shroud code-x. COMPARE
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It takes a closer look at the idea of Mary Magdalene being the wife of Jesus after the idea popped up in The Davinci Code. It makes me stop and think, could this fact change my perception of Jesus Christ and what He has done for me and for the world? I would say that it continues to point to his humanity as well as his divinity and gives us further comfort in knowing that He experienced yet another common part of life and understands us a little better because of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plausible story of the lost years of Jesus.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blondie1943 More than 1 year ago
The first part of the book is a novel on what Jesus' life might have been like between the ages of 20 and 30. Deepak Chopra makes it seem very plausable and easy reading. The second part of the book goes more in detail of what Jesus was teaching in his three years and the meaning behind it. Very enlightning.
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Joseph_Chang More than 1 year ago
This story wraps up Jesus' journey towards salvation into a struggle between good and evil. Jesus being the Messiah brings the Devil and Jezebel to attack Jesus in any way possible. But Jesus proves to be victorious towards the end. SPOILER ALERT: Hanging out with Judas and Mary (NOT the companion from the New Testament and Eastern Gospels, or Mary the Mother of Jesus...if you call out to the Lord, he'll tell you that there are two Mary's from the same place, Magdala. In this book's case, it's only the Mary who chooses to screw around with Jesus' mentality, not his companion. His companion doesn't even get introduced. But you can see that after the crucifixion, Jesus figures out who Mary, being a demon (as confirmed by the Narrator), truly is. Screwing around with Jesus desire, only to run away again and forcing Jesus to love an adulteress, putting himself in danger, which he ultimately regrets). Judas is also a demon and a traitor. Both Judas and Mary doesn't remember Jesus towards the end, because Jesus proved that he won the spiritual journey towards enlightenment, becoming the "light of the world", but them two, being demons, refuses to understand light. Deepak truly understood how the Devil (Judas) and Jezebel (Mary) caused deception and confusion, even towards the Narrator at the end (when the Narrator talks to Judas). I give it 5 stars for his unique holy war interpretation, although I'm sad that Jesus' real wife doesn't get introduced.
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