The Healing Artist. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 2. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

051. The Healing Artist. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 2. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 31st Dec 2012.  Short URL

Posted in Wikinut>Essays

Healing is an art, closely associated with divinity. We consider doctors who heal our diseases as gods. It is the learning and spiritual cleanliness of the doctor that heals the diseases in most occasions. To heal the sick, we needn’t possess the required conventional medical qualifications necessarily; the qualities of ardence and purity will do instead. The science and art of healing is closely connected with the word. Word here means, and applications and manifestations of sound.

They taught Jesus the layouts of miracles in the north eastern Himalayan kingdoms of India.

What makes some people capable of doing things which others consider impossible feats and miracles? Some people have the ability to foresee future and know about what is going to happen in the far distant future, near future, or at the next moment, but knowing about future is a heavy knowledge, unbearable to man, something an ordinary man cannot bear. If two persons sit at one place and one of them describes in a song whatever are happening there around them, beginning with what were happening at that place in the past, yesterday, today, and then coming to what is happening around them at that very moment, and then nearly coming to describing what are going to happen at the very next moment, he cannot complete the song for the other person would have passed through a phase of alienation from his self and swooned. First he would suffer nausea, then his knees would weaken, limbs stiffen and then everything would be darkness. We will be bewildered at the power of the word. We cannot even do this as an experiment because what will we do if the other person does not recover but passes away? Human corpuscles are unable to pass through the barriers of time, even for a short while, even while in an experiment. Once we know about what is going to happen next, we will loose our normal self, which is tuned and aligned to a state of knowing not much about the future. Ignorance of future is the bestial bliss which makes possible for life to continue, along with the power to forget, the safety valve which saves the brain from overcrowding and collapsing.

Touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste are not the end of senses; we will gain more as evolution progresses.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 01. He Heals the Lame. James Tissot. 1886-1894He heals the lame. James Tissot.

Knowing about future is a faculty like touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste. When man first made his appearance on earth, he certainly was not equipped with all these five senses. The first amoeba could not certainly see and listen. Senses were gained one by one from mother earth through Aeons as the first inanimate element evolved into an animate organism, then into multi cellular organisms and then into beings with fully developed body systems. During these stages of evolution and development, each capability of sense came our way gradually. Thus we now have five senses. Who believe it is the end? More senses or faculties would be released to us as and when we become riper enough to bear them safely and usefully, after passing through higher stages of many more evolutions. Materials for more exotic senses or faculties are resting in the ground earth for their time to come before they could be passed on to humans and other beings that would inhabit the earth in the future.

If human corpuscles and soil could be brought to the medium of sound, faculties could be exchanged from earth to human body.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 02. The Resurrection of the Widow's Son at NainResurrection of the widow’s son.

Suppose a man, through his perseverance or gift, gains in advance any of these future faculties. It may be the ability to walk above water or see into the future or heel a person in distress. Our normal tendency would be to deny the existence of that very faculty. It is like a blind man sure denying the existence of sight or a deaf man denying the existence of hearing. What we do not have experienced, we tend to deny existing. How can a blind person know that the swan and the milk are white, and how can a deaf person normally know that music is sweet? So, when we hear that a man has walked above water or that a man has seen the Sun enveloped in thick icy clouds, moving lonely through the expanse of the universe in a future time, we will say that it is just his imagination, that he is having fits of delusion, or even schizophrenia. Philosophers and scientists have always believed that, if soil and human corpuscles could be made to come into a common medium, at least for a while, senses and faculties could be gained, taken in or released, exchanged. Many ancient Indian philosophers believed that that common medium is sound, the basic medium upon which the construction of this universe, stone, grass and human body is based, and they, accordingly, even formulated appropriately synchronized sound systems in the right, desirable modulations and frequencies in the form of Mantras, the application of which evidently gained for them those rare unexplained faculties, with which to successfully treat incurable diseases, raise the dead from the grave or take leisurely walks between the realms of space and time. It is also true that every kind of matter, in its final analysis, reveals rapid motion of particles, and that what is on the other side of such rapidly moving particles, functioning as a base for the existence of those particles and also functioning as the prime constituent in the construction material of those particles is sound. Every religion in the world believes that the universe originated from sound. The Indian philosophers went further and even defined that sound which in their opinion is ‘Aum’ which actually has no exact beginning or end as it should be. Long meditations in the still and silent Himalayas might have helped them find this ultimate truth.

Pain, fatigue, fever, irritation and itching make us incapable of calling out energy from reserves and attend to the single task of healing.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 03. The Healing of the Officer's SonThe healing of the officer’s son.

When lame men walk, blind men see, dumb men sing in the presence of holy men, we would consider those as miracles, but to those holy men, these people have just healed. They are here in this world to deliver relief and the only thing the sick and disabled need to have in their conscience is faith. Faith is what gives the ailing person the positive energy to call out all reserve energy from the different parts of the body and soul and move them forward like an army towards the sole objective of correcting the system error and healing the person of his ailment. Numerous distractions such as pain, fatigue, fever, irritation and itching make one incapable of concentrating and commanding all energies from their reserves to get them engaged in attending the single task of healing. Speech and word is very much involved in the healing of the sick. Jesus very much liked to talk and be always with people, possibly always to remain in the middle of them. Travelling through Galilee, talking about the principles of goodness, staying in their synagogues and wayside inns, he moved the minds of peoples to confidence and belief. Crowds came to him bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and the many others, laid them at his feet and he heeled them all with just his kind words and touch. Once they prayed fervently with their soul with concrete belief for their healing, deliverance came their way and the miracle happened. It is their faith that heal them, not actual divine interference.

Life can be called back before the soul finally decides to disentangle from the body. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 04. The Healing of Peter's Mother-in-lawThe healing of Peter’s mother-in-law.

Raising dead men from the grave is an easy thing, for those who know how to do it. It is thought to be possible to call back the fleeting life before the soul finally decides to disentangle from the body. Sometimes the life would not have left but have plunged into an unrecognizable coma, the soul sitting on the narrow ledge between life and death. Most often, a strong vocal command or a shake would only be needed to call the life back, provided the voice or shake resembles that of a close person of long intimacy. Doctors who are very kind, considerate and deliquescent to their patients would have many such stories to tell you. Sometimes death deprives a woman of double privilege. A woman who looses both her husband and her son to death is thrown to destitution and poverty with no one to take care of her. While travelling through the city of Nain, accompanied by a great crowd, Jesus saw another crowd coming out of a town carrying the coffin of the only son of a widow. Her grief was such great and uncontrolled that Jesus was moved in his heart and said to her, ‘do not cry woman’. He went up to the coffin, touched it and said: ‘Young man, I say you to get up’. The young man did sit up and begin to talk as if he had not died. Jesus gave her son back to the grief-stricken mother; the first resurrection done by Christ in his earthly life.

Word sent through the wind will reach the target and heal. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 05. Suffer the Little Children to Come unto MeSuffering little children come unto me.

When the mighty Roman Empire fell, the world rejoiced because such unjust, haughty and cruel was their administration. The famed Roman Justice was nothing but the political and economic suppression of heathens, pagans and other civilized nations and races. No empire since then has been successful in this world in saving itself from falling, for they were all based on and founded upon unkindness. But occasionally in history, here and there, we see officers with good intentions and better understanding, employed by these administrations. Many of them were noble and brave men who believed that Jesus was a saviour. Seeing the sufferings of Jesus during his trial, judgment and crucifixion, we shall not think that all Roman officers took part in them with pleasure. One such officer, a Centurion, walked 20 miles to request Jesus to come to his house and save his dying son, some say it was his slave. 20 miles was not a short distance one way. Jesus had come a second time to Cana of Galilee from Judea, the first being when he attended a wedding there and turned water into wine. The officer pleaded Jesus to come to Capernaum, his village, and save his son. Jesus just told him, you may go, your son will live, do have faith, and that he is not coming. While travelling back, the noble man’s servants met him on the way and informed him that his son was recovering. The time he began to recover was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him that his son would live. Jesus told the man and his disciples that miracles alone would make them believers and so let it be happening.

God does not allow complications or intricacies, which is why he and we resemble children.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 06. The Healing of Ten LepersHealing of lepers in the mountain.

Once, the Disciples of Christ came to ask him who the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is. His answer was, unless we become like little children in their humbleness, we shall never be any where near the path to the kingdom of heaven. Children are the most like god, resembling him most in their humbleness, purity and radiance. The many thousands of children who never have heard his word or name also are equally beloved to him. The line ‘suffer the little children to come unto me’ is a most misquoted and misunderstood one. It does not mean, make children suffer so that they can come unto me, but let all suffering children come unto me. God does not allow complications, or intricacies, that is why he most resembles children.

Mary was the person who healed the person who healed all people. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 07. The Sick Awaiting the Passage of JesusThe sick awaiting the passage of Jesus.

Mary of Magdalene is believed to be a very chaste woman who led so chaste a life that ‘the devil mistook her to be the one who was to bear Christ into the world’ and he sent seven demons to trouble her and spoil her. She represents the age when Christianity and Church were matriarchal before a Pope was appointed to turn it into patriarchal to suit Romans. In ancient icons, she is portrayed with a pot of ointment, balm for the distressed, and as a wound healer. Actually she was the person who healed the person who healed all people. She was the intelligence against which Christ grinded and sharpened his convictions before preaching them to the world. What Christ lacked in worldly experiences, emotions and feelings, she possessed in plenty, the eve in the garden.

Even when John had confidence in his betrothed, they did not have.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 08. The Ointment of the MagdaleneThe ointment of the Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene was one of the two persons who guarded the tomb of Jesus, the other being his mother, Mary the Virgin. She was the first mortal to witness the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and also the first person authorized to tell the apostles of the resurrection. She spent her last years with Jesus’ mother and her remains are contained in Constantinople. Hers is the life of equality with men, in its holiness and greatness. We know, Pilatos was under authority of the Roman administration. Mary after the death of Christ straight went to see Emperor Tiberius in Rome and made a formal complaint about the cruelty and distinction he showed to Jews. The emperor was convinced Roman justice was denied to Jews in Israel as a result of which Pilatos was recalled to Rome, recalled to what kind of Roma justice we needn’t to know just like we needn’t to know about what Judas did to himself after giving back the money he received for pointing out his master. Mary walked the earth with Jesus, his companion, soother and inspiration. As a grown up Aramaic youth could not walk alone, she served as his answer. She was the beloved, betrothed and the bride of John the Evangelist who, when he became a devoted preacher, ordained his bride on a godly mission. There were stories of Mary was Jesus’ wife but John denied it as a false story. We know, it was not John who betrayed Jesus but Judas Iscariot. In the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries and throughout middle ages, Mary was considered and worshipped as the apostle to the apostles since she was sent to inform the apostles of the resurrection, as confirmed by John’s words. In the early church, an apostle was a person who was delegated to tell the world the good news that he would come again. Mary emerged as the greatest visionary and leader after the death of Jesus. Equally intelligent and dedicated as Jesus in god’s services, Mary but considered him as her master and teacher, the fact which drew John’s admiration that prompted him to make her become the most ideal student and follower. Gospel of John stands out alone as a lasting monument to the intellectual achievements of this trio.

Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Martha at Bethany is the Jewish Roman equivalent of the Greek school of thought. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 09. Mary Magdalene at the Feet of JesusMary Magdalene at the feet of Jesus.

Like Mary Magdalene, Jesus and John constituted a historical trio in Christianity, Mary, Martha, Jesus and Lazarus constituted an unforgettable quartet. These sisters of Lazarus whom Christ resurrected from the grave, who were born in the village of Magdalene in Galilee and lived in Bethany, marks the women’s work behind the strongest philosophy in the world. They were the furnishers and providers for the travelling ministry of Christ. Both were Christ’s pupils, often competing with each other for his attention and for their positions. While Mary was the philosopher, Martha was the practical who fed the philosophers. Because they were poor, their life was not recorded with care in the chronicles of those times. Martha’s home at Bethany became the usual haunt of Jesus and his followers, for there they would get at least food to go on with their endless debates and philosophic speculations. Martha welcomed, boarded and fed all journeymen missionaries as well. She was a church unto herself. In those times, their culture was a mix of Roman, Greek and Jewish, all male-dominant and considering claiming to be god a heresy, warranting death by burning at the stake. Martha was the first person who boldly declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the saviour whom their prophets and their patriarchs claimed would liberate Jews from yokedom. When all male followers of Christ ran away for fear of arrest during crucifixion, these women were those who stayed, fearlessly. It is not strange to notice that these women’s and Lazarus’ devotion to Jesus was above everything usual and normal for that time. The reason was, it originated from the reverence of healed people to their doctor, which if seen in that sense, anyone in the modern day world can understand. They indeed had problems, and Jesus healed them, and hence their extra ordinary belief, allegiance and loyalty. Once enlightened through Christ’s own teaching, there were none more enlightened than them. It was that simple.

If twenty long centuries failed to understand the meaning of a woman’s act, what can one century of totally fame-thirsty academicians do?

Tissot. The Healing Artist 10. Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Martha at BethanyJesus, Mary Magdalene and Martha at Bethany.

What can a young lady do before her worshipful master is sent to death? We know what Plato did before his master was given hemlock to drink in the prison was weeping, cursing the authorities and pledging to take revenge. Mary also did what she could do at that moment, in her femininity, with the resources available to her which was washing his feet with precious ointment and drying it with her unbound hair, with the whole male population of the town looking, before going to storm the emperor’s gates in Rome with accusations of injustice done on Jews by judge Pilatos. It was her kind of homage to her master who stayed in her home. She truly represents the kind of people Jesus attracted. Learned scholars have inappropriately and unnecessarily gone to the extreme absurdity of finding this woman’s hair as a symbol of her sexuality, and her gesture, a last attempt to seduce Christ. What was this young woman ought to have done as her last service to her loved master who was saying farewell to the world, lying there nailed and pinned to the cross, with the angry throng of emperor’s soldiers yelling for his blood all around? Leave him there, run to the house and bring clothes and water to wash his blood and sweat running from his nailed organs, before sending him clean and presentable to the other world? Pronouncements of many modern day researchers and writers look like Judas Iscariot and Judge Pilatos are reborn every day. Mosquitoes, even below a cow’s milk dugs, will look for blood only.

21st century scholars are now unrolling newly discovered papyrus rolls to prove that it was a wife’s send-off, not a beloved disciple’s, probably some papyrus rolls hidden by the chauvinist church for the exact purpose of to be rediscovered and revealed in modern times. Why is it Christianity still have only male ministers? We have yet to see a matriarchal pope or even a bishop or a vicar. If twenty long centuries failed to understand the meaning of a woman’s act, what can one century of totally fame-thirsty academicians do? Mother Mary and Saint John had confidence in their son and bride, but they do not have!

If Mary seems to get the full credit for saving Christianity, create another Mary and halve her credit.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 11. The Blind in the DitchBlind leading the blind to a ditch.

We know, when we are a child, we are washed by the closely related women in our family, not by men in the family. When we grow up and are able to look after ourselves, they absolve themselves of this responsibility and make us begin to wash ourselves. When they outlive us and we are dead, we again become their child and they wash us before we are cremated. The same thing happened with Jesus also. After lowering from the cross, he was washed by the women of his family, including Mary Magdalene of course, but our learned rabbis in the modern western world, find this as a proof to establish that Mary was Jesus wife, not adopted sister of the family. They adore the mutually respectful associateship of Sartre and Madame Bowery but not Christ’s sacred associations because, new theories for disparaging these ancient philosophers and educators are their stepping stones to instant fame. As a last trick, based on texts which never were written by contemporaries, they tried to prove that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany were two different persons, so that credit due to Mary for saving Christianity would be halved. Actually Bethany with the assemblage of Mary, Jesus, the twelve learners and the numerous visiting journeymen scholars under the patronage of selfless Martha was the Jewish-Roman equivalent of Plato’s Academy in Greece, gone to full swing five centuries earlier. They would even question the relationship between Plato and Socrates, even not considering the existence of Xanthippe as the master’s wife, but considering only the usual male relations prevalent in those times. They never understand philosophers and revolutionaries, male and female, but think those sets of minds are calibrated like their’s. Only those who get exhilarated at the intellectual pleasures of indulging deeply and freely in ideological battles going around them would know about the magnificence of psyche ruling over physique. Academics and scholars of 2000 years strove in vain to defame the philosophic brilliance of this Jewish school of thought but they forgot the single fact that it was western, fraught in the ascetic cast of the east, come to the world to stand. Remember what Jesus spoke in the temple of Jerusalem: god’s intentions are not understood by the learned and the clergy, it is revealed only to the ordinary laymen and children.

We are indebted to two great repositories for keeping these pictures for people’s viewing.

The First Part of this series, Rise Of A Star. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 1, can be read here.

The next parts will soon be published.

Pictures Courtesy: First and foremost we are to thank those citizens of Brooklyn City who took a public collection and kept these pictures in public custody. We are immensely indebted to those two prestigious Institutions Wikimedia Commons and Brooklyn Museum for magnanimously making available these pictures to the public. And our thanks and respect goes to James Tissot for rendering these paintings beautifully for posterity.

Link to Brooklyn Museum:

Link to Wikimedia Commons page:

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Bloom Books Trivandrum, Christ Pictures, Jesus, Jesus Manifests His Power, Jesus Paintings, Jesus Pictures, Jesus Teaching, Jesus The Christ, Jewish Roman School Of Thought, Life Stories, Mary Magdalene, P S Remesh Chandran, Paintings Of James Tissot, Photo Essays, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, True Stories, Water Colour Paintings Life Of Jesus Christ

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Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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 Madan G Singh

8th Jan 2013 (#)

An excellent post and very illuminating as well.

Rise Of A Star. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 1. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.


Rise Of A Star. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 1. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 28th Dec 2012.  Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>True Stories

In the modern day world, tracing the life of a great man is not difficult, for there would be photographs of his taken by contemporaries in his time. But what would we do to observe the life of a great man who lived among us before 2000 years? We have the only option of searching for paintings that may exist in castles, caves, churches, monasteries or archives. Luckily, to view the like of Jesus, we have a unique collection of paintings done by a single person, saved at a single repository.

Holy Virgin Mary in her early life, a maiden.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 01. The Holy Virgin in Her Youth. James Tissot.The Holy Virgin in her youth. James Tissot.

There have been thousands of paintings based on Jesus Christ’s life, done by hundreds of gifted painters in all countries, done in all centuries. These paintings include those done by such talented and gifted ones as Andrea del Castagno, Andrea del Verrocchio, Boticelli, Caravaggio, Dieric Bouts, El Greco, Filippino Lippi, Fra Angelico, Giovanni Bellini, Hieronymus Bosch, Leonardo da Vinci, Ligier Richier, Lotto, Mark Antokolski, Nicolas Poussin, Perugino, Peter Paul Rubens, Piero della Francesca, Piero di Cosimo, Pieter Brueghel, Raffaello Sanzio, Rogier van der Weyden, Signorelli, Tintoret, and Titian. Most of them are lost, some of them are in public museums and churches and not a few of them are in private collections. Not one can see them all even if he is blessed with so many lives. There have been artists who attempted picturizing scenes which he liked and admired, and also there have been other artists who attempted painting all the important scenes like a historian whether he liked and admired those scenes or not. There have been much differences in drawing the face of Christ. There have also been much differences in the artists’ research and learning the costumes, backgrounds and body postures in Jesus’ times. There have been excellently bright pictures done in vibrant colours by artists who could afford costly materials. And there also have been equally brilliant pictures done by poor artists on cheap materials who could not afford even the buying of their daily bread. They all shared one thing in common- exhilaration at the simplicity and humbleness of that divine life. If you want to follow the life of Jesus with your eyes, without straining unnecessarily to read printed words, your choice of artists are very limited for the brightness of the picture and the likeness of the face of Jesus changes with each artist. The author’s selection is James Tissot, and the readers can have the privilege of reconstructing the life of Christ with other painters. Anyway it would be a worthwhile attempt for we would be going through everything man was born with, passing through anger, darkness, tears and sunshine, especially learning the meaning and purpose of tears.

Testing of the suitors of the Holy Virgin.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 02. The Testing of the Suitors of the Holy Virgin. James Tissot.Testing of the suitors of the Holy Virgin.

A fine collection of scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, done by a 19th century painter named James Tissot is saved and collected at one place, the Brooklyn Museum. He did these paintings in water colour over a charcoal base on woven paper, all four hundred of them, probably commissioned by a church, taking only six years from 1886 to 1894 to finish them. We cannot all go there and see these pictures and go through the life of Jesus Christ once again, but they magnanimously shared those magnificent paintings with Wikimedia Commons, a few of which are reintroduced here in the order of their happening in the real life of that great revolutionary. We are greatly indebted to both these great institutions for making this endeavor possible. Links to both these institutions are provided at the end of this article to lead readers to these two repositories which made this great service of storing safe the scenes from the eventful life of the saviour of this world, a saviour spiritually and physically.

It is the early life of Jesus Christ that is pictured here, from the girlhood of the Blessed Mother, her betrothal to Saint Joseph, the anointment, the birth of infant Jesus among sheep and cows in a manger, the visit of the three magician priests from the East, the slaughter of all infants who might become a challenge to king Herodes, the flight of this holy family to Egypt, their sojourn in Egypt and their return from Egypt, the presentation of Jesus in the temple and the last picture of Jesus Christ carrying a wooden plank, before he vanished at the age of twelve years. There would be three more articles that would be published here, if circumstances permit. They are Jesus- The Healer, The Story Of A Crucifixion and What Happened After The Cross.

Betrothal of the Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 03. The Betrothal of the Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph. James Tissot.Betrothal of the Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph.

James Tissot, the French painter who lived in Paris and London during the years 1836 to 1902 abandoned all his other subjects when he was moved by the pictorial scopes of the New Testament. He painted nearly 400 of them within the six years between 1886 and 1894, all in the simplest of mediums, opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper. In Brooklyn Museum’s words, these paintings were hall marks of ‘archaeological exactitude and historical authenticity’. To learn the customs, costumes, architecture and landscape of the Holy Land, he travelled through the Middle East and took countless number of photographs and made innumerable number of drawings. These paintings were purchased by public subscription. The people of Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century took a public collection called out by the newspaper Brooklyn Daily Eagle, purchased the paintings and made them available on public display at the Brooklyn Museum. The world has to thank them three for this great act of theirs which kept these pictures in public custody instead of reaching private archives.

The Annunciation. Fulfillment of divine intentions.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 04. The Annunciation. James Tissot.The Annunciation. James Tissot.

Like all mothers in the world, Mary also was a lovely young girl, attending dutifully the chores of a community life. Like all mothers, she also was betrothed to a person. The only difference was, since it was destined to give birth to a saviour of the world whom she will have to loose at an early age which was known to eastern sages, and also since she will have to undergo the hardest and severest trials in her life which would be shared by a man, her husband had to be carefully chosen to help facilitate the completion of the mission. So, her suitors were tested.

Birth of Jesus Christ in a humble cattle shed.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 05. The Birth of Jesus in a humble cattle shed.Birth of Jesus Christ in a humble cattleshed.

Annunciation, reincarnation, etc are alien to many communities and sects in the world but it was not so with the ancient Egyptians and Indians. Egyptian and Indian beliefs and faith are confident about the truth of both. Are we not all annunciations of our creator irrespective of our parents’ bodily relations? Are we not reincarnations of our ancestors, imitating them in speech, gesture, look, walk, conduct, and nature, everything, made possible by the mysterious messengers whom we call genes?

The adoration of the shepherds.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 06. The Adoration of the Shepherds. James Tissot.The adoration of the shepherds. James Tissot.

Population census in old times was different from now in that now enumerators come to our house but then people travelled to the city for their count and details to be taken. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to take part in the census but did not get a place for Mary to give birth to her child. They knocked on every door but could not find a place. Every house and public place been occupied, she got shelter in somebody’s cattle shed. There was none to attend Mary in her pains. God had chosen his son to have the lowliest and most humble place for his birth. The most innocent and worthy beings in the world, sheep and cows, witnessed the birth. Apart from the incessant snow and cold, it was the most stainless birth for a human. It was the simplest of people, belonging to the most ancient of professions, shepherds, who first came to see the baby, with presents of course. Great things start simple.

Three Magician Priests from the East, guided by a star, journeying to see the child.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 07. Three Magician Priests journeying from the East. James Tissot.The Magician Priests journeying. James Tissot.

Three magician priests in the east, probably in India, Tibet and Afghanistan, glimpsed the appearance of a new star in the sky and sensed that a divine birth has happened somewhere in the world. Star watching had been developed by then as a full fledged science among the ancient Indians and the Babylonians. These three magician priests from the east, or Magi in the short form decided to trace the child who would be very divine for his birth to be announced by the appearance of a new star. They decided to follow the path guided by the lonely star, the lode-star, wherever in the world that child might be. Bearing eastern presents like camphor and saffron, suffering hardships all the way, they travelled thousands of miles through snow-clad mountains and parching deserts, accompanied by their people, staff and spies, and finally reached where the star led.

The adoration of the three Magician Priests from the East.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 08. The Adoration of the Magi. James Tissot.Adoration of the Magician Priests. James Tissot.

The presence of so large a group of persons from the east cannot be hidden from the city authorities. They certainly had to pay a visit to Herodes. Either they might have been successful in revealing not the actual purpose of their journey or the exact place of their visit. A king can guess many things in his intelligence or his courtiers can. He already knew there would be challenges to his throne and that the challenge in only newly born. He ordered the killing of all newly-borns. Why the story of Christ is linked with the story of Christna we can guess now. Lord Krishna when he was born, was prophesied to have born to kill his uncle, the king Kamsa. He knew about the prophecy but did not know which child. Therefore he ordered killing of all newly borns. Krishna’s father folded him in a shawl and in heavy rains, while a huge snake provided umbrella protection, took him secretly to safety and hiding. Scholars believed, the names Christ and Jesus were given by the Hindus of India coining from Sanskrit which infuriated the Sanskrit-studied European Max Muller who attempted vainly to disprove this belief.

The massacre of the innocent children by King Herodes.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 09. The Massacre of the Innocents. James Tissot.Massacre of the innocents. James Tissot.

Countless number of newborns were slaughtered by the king’s soldiers to prevent one among them growing up and de-throning him some day.

The flight of Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Infant Jesus into Egypt.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 10. The Flight into Egypt. James Tissot.The flight into Egypt. James Tissot.

Look, the bent head of Mary, tilted down by the burden of the world’s sins and crimes, is what the author of this painting wanted the world to note. To save one’s child, to save the world, to rescue humanity, what persecutions and hardships will a mother have to undergo during her life? Since the birth of the child, never had she got a moment of solace or relief, except when looking at its tiny face.

The sojourn of a Holy Family in Egypt.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 11. The Sojourn in Egypt. James Tissot.The sojourn in Egypt. James Tissot.

It is not the only time in world’s history that holy persons have had to flee. Lord Krishna and Prophet Muhammad Nabi also had to flee from pursuers at one time in their lives. Many have lived in exile, before returning to teach the world goodness. Sree Rama, Pandtava Princes in Mahabharatha and King Nala had to live in hiding for many years. They had to make their living at those times, obeying the customs of the land which gave them hiding, engaging in what occupations were available there.

The return from Egypt.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 12. The Return from Egypt. James Tissot.The return from Egypt. James Tissot.

Now the boy is grown up, nearly twelve years old. Watchful eyes of spies of the Magi might be following them from a distance. They know the boy would be recognized, and are prepared to take him with them to safety.

Jesus found in the temple.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 13. Jesus Found in the Temple. James Tissot.Jesus found in the temple. James Tissot.

Presenting a child at the temple was a custom, not only in Jerusalem but in every ancient community. Jesus also was presented so soon as he was returned from Egypt. We know how authorities will become suspicious when a child 12 years old appears from nowhere all of a sudden, that too 12 years after the massacre of all new born babies in Jerusalem who might grow up as a threat to King Herodes’ throne. We have to assume that there were spies from the east, looking for any threats to the child and report back to the three magician priests.

The youth of Jesus before the time of his vanishing.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 14. The Youth of Jesus. James Tissot.The youth of Jesus. James Tissot.

There has been debates on where Jesus had been during the years he vanished. It is only logical to assume that the three magician priests from the east took him back considering the child’s safety and the importance of his mission. They trained him in the north eastern kingdoms in India, moved him through Ladakh to Tibet and returned him to his place of mission after 18 years of education. It is not strange to note that most of the people in these north eastern states are now Christian and their native language is now English.


It is not irrelevant here to include a note of comment by the author, published elsewhere:

‘2000 years back, when this famous carpenter of Jerusalem, fleeing from the traitors and aggressors and wormy authorities of his land to secure his life and save his philosophy till his mission is completed, found safety, security, hospitality, solace and moral fighting powers in the far northern native kingdoms of India. That is how the missing years in the life of Christ is explained. When he was born in a cattle shed, again due to haughty abuse of authority, three magician priests from the east, that is from India, read the stars and found their way through thousands of miles to the west to bless the newborn babe, all this journey guided by a lonely star. In those times star watching had developed as a full practical science only among the Indians and the ancient Babylonians. The spices they brought to the child as presents also denote the land where they came from. In ancient Greece, when the great teacher Socrates succumbed to death in an evening in a prison cell in Athens, Plato wept and decided he would take revenge upon the authorities for the death of his master. When advised by friends to flee from Greece before authorities found and executed him too, he fled, travelled the route Alexander later took and reached India. His missing years were spent in India, learning the philosophies and fighting talents, which he when returned, displayed brilliantly and became the master of kings. We see in history, after the execution of Socrates for criticizing state, after just three generations in the time of Aristotle, Socratic philosophies became the ruling principles of the state when King Phillip of Macedonia appointed Aristotle as Alexander’s master. Many anti-religious people in Asia, especially in countries like communist China do not know India became home to how many thousands of Jews who lost homes during the mad military maneuvers of the two world wars. They do not even know how many millions of Nepalis, Burmese, Tibetans, Kashmiris, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis refugees India received and protected during international power turmoils. During these turmoils, countries like these closed their borders. The Hindus, Christians and Muslims of India, with traditional true Indian hospitality, receive anyone who has lost a home. The honourable Dalai Lama was not the last. He has been living in India with his people for half a century, happily accepting India as their second home. He was not a citizen of China, but he lost his home in Tibet, the most un-Chinese act in the past century from the un-Chinese rulers of China. He will return to his free nation. The people of India will see to it. India can shelter, protect and train every lone bird which has lost its sky and nest. It is a generations- old tradition of India. Every returning bird will capture the world, and India will smile inwardly and go on as before’.

Great people, city and institutions we thank for this endeavour.

Pictures Courtesy: First and foremost we are to thank those citizens of Brooklyn City who took a public collection and kept these pictures in public custody. We are immensely indebted to those two prestigious Institutions Wikimedia Commons and Brooklyn Museum for magnanimously making available these pictures to the public. And our thanks and respect goes to James Tissot for rendering these paintings beautifully for posterity.

Link to Brooklyn Museum:
Link to Wikimedia Commons page:’

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.


Bloom Books Trivandrum, Jesus, Jesus Manifests His Power, Jesus Paintings, Jesus Teaching, Jesus The Christ, Life Stories, P S Remesh Chandran, Paintings Of James Tissot, Photo Essays, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, True Stories, Water Colour Paintings

Meet the author


Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single.

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Sivaramakrishnan A

31st Dec 2012 (#)

Very thought provoking, passionately written. Lots of events of history and interpretation of religious texts have to be deduced and derived from various sources. I believe nothing are cast in stone as those who record are human too lending themselves to own interpretations. They can be carried away too – siva


1st Jan 2013 (#)

The changes happening in our being causes us write. And our writing causes us change. I do not know which force is stronger. You would know better. Since I became familiar with the paintings of James Tissot, I had this feeling they had to be reintroduced before a very good reading public. After publishing and seeing them for the first time in the form of a web page, I also discovered one new thing: seeing them by scrolling from down to up provides a new experience, that of going to the past of Christ, he becoming tinier and tinier till he becomes a lovely tiny little baby.


31st Dec 2012 (#)

Fabulous Star article on the life of Jesus, dear friend, with beautiful images to boot. Happy New Year!


1st Jan 2013 (#)

The time draws near the birth of Christ,

The moon is hid, the night is chill,

And Christmas bells from hill to hill

Answer each other in the mist.

Happy New Year to Dear Buzz, and all by Wikinut Friends.

August 2020