Q1. Submitted by anonymous:

How can the Hindu faith or any religion stand when there is nothing givingit credibility (no miracles or martyrs)?

Hinduism does have miracles and martyrs--lots of them. The Puranas (epics) are full of stories of human beings and gods who perform miracles, and of others who sacrifice themselves for the sake of righteousness. Here's one example of a miracle story that has wide circulation:

A demon, through long practice of austerities, forced Lord Brahma to grant himdominion over all the world. (Performing austerities builds up tapas, spiritual"heat," and if a person or demon accumulates enough tapas, he can become powerfulenough to challenge the moral order of the cosmos; to prevent this, the gods ofepic time--of whom Lord Brahma was the highest--were said to placate suchyogis with various boons). In order to free the earth from its enslavement, thegod Vishnu miraculously took on the form of a dwarf. He went to the demon anddanced for him, sang, and told jokes. When the demon was in a good mood, Vishnuasked for a small favor: All he wanted was a small piece of land, just as muchas he could cover in three steps. No problem, the demon said. So Vishnu, inthe form of a dwarf, took three steps--steps so miraculously huge that theyencompassed all the earth.

Q2. Submitted by TVEMB and others:

Is there any serious scholarly effort examining the hypothesis that Jesusleft Palestine as a teenager, studied in India for a number of years,and returned to Palestine to begin his ministry? What do you know of the gravein Kashmir? Some speak of the sojourn of Jesus Christ (Yuzu Asaph) in Asia/Indiaafter the event of the crucifixion.

This is a Muslim legend rather than a Hindu one--although, Hinduism being a highly inclusive religion, there may be many Kashmiri Hindus who believe it. A mausoleum said to be that of Isa (the Muslim name for Jesus) is located in the Kashmiri city of Srinagar. It is a small shrine, of considerable fame locally, but not very widely known outside of Kashmir and the surrounding region. There has been no serious scholarly effort devoted to this matter, and to the best of my knowledge there is no scientific evidence tosupport the proposition that Jesus ever visited Kashmir--nor, for that matter,is there any evidence to disprove the supposition. Since the life of Jesus islargely a blank slate between his birth and the beginning of his ministry, andsince the death and resurrection of Jesus are treated entirely differently inChristian and in Muslim traditions, the question is one of faith rather thanscience.

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