The Lost Years of Jesus
The legend that Jesus spent some time in India, boning up on sacred texts, meditating, perhaps charming snakes, is a popular one amongst those looking for a more esoteric version of Christianity.
Christians, of course, would be the first ones putting a stop on this. The thought the Jesus needed to train to become the messiah would contradict the divine nature of his knowledge.
And for those subscribing to a less supernatural version of Jesus, a ‘wise man’ perhaps, there just isn’t a need for it. Firstly, the teachings attributed to Jesus don’t resemble Hindu philosophy. They more closely mirror the tenets of Greek Stoic philosophy, which was well established in the Hellenistic world and would have been easily available to either a wandering religious leader, or an anonymous author writing the story of such a person.
Secondly, the meme only appears to go back to the 19th century. Nicolas Notovitch, seems to have been the first to have publicly written about it. In La vie inconnue de Jesus Christ, he claimed that he had found a long lost document recording the Indian tutelage of Mr Christ while recuperating from a broken leg at a monastery in Hemis, India. His account was quickly debunked by professor of Indian studies Max Mueller.