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Season 1 - Episode 9

Day 8: Sacrifice and the Sacred

60 min - Talk


The maintenance of cosmic order requires periodic sacrifice. In Day 8, after our opening meditation, Ravi discusses the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection and the concept of spiritual death and awakening. We explore the difference between suffering and sacrifice, the idea in both the gnostic gospels and in classical Yoga teachings that sacrifice is required to maintain cosmic order, how Christ approached his own crucifixion, and the role sacrifice plays in our lives. We are asked to investigate how we sacrifice in our relationships, and how this might relate to “God is Love”.
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Well, as we usually begin, just to find your relaxation and the right posture and connection with your breath. As we have said earlier also, the contemporary usage of the English word breath does not quite convey the richness that is still conveyed by the Chinese word qi or the Sanskrit word prana, a very strong suggestion that prana is Brahma in one of the Upanishads or that breath is really the breath of God in us, keeping us alive, as I mentioned in the book of Genesis. Therefore very strong suggestion from a practical point of view that since breath is the connecting link between all levels of reality, for us to connect with something slightly higher than our usual level, we need to breathe with more awareness than we usually do. Another way of saying that then we can take in subtler or more all chemical substances from the same breath, same air that everybody is breathing. So from a practical point of view, now supposing we wish to breathe with more awareness than I usually do, ask yourself impartially what difference do you bring about, remembering that expression of truth is not the truth, to say to breathe with more awareness itself is not breathing with more awareness.

So take a few moments to ask yourself, now if I wish to breathe with more awareness, what is the difference than what I was doing earlier? To assist slight more awareness of our breathing, we try to watch the trajectory of the in-breath as the air enters the nostrils, where does it go? Don't rely on anything that you have read in some physiology book, but just to watch directly to experience something, and a reminder that experience is not by the mind, it is either by sensation or feeling. Along the trajectory of the in-breath, do I sense a change of temperature, a change of humidity, and a sort of touch? Take a few moments to impartially ask yourself not to believe this or that, after the air enters the nostrils, where does it go, and how do I know where it goes?

By direct experience in sensation, also be careful the mind saying this or that, keep returning to sensation in the body created by the movement of the air and the organism. Now to assist further, we are watching the trajectory of the out-breath also. Only by external knowledge we know that the out-breath and the in-breath have different chemical composition, they have different functions in the body, do they have the same trajectory or different, not knowing, not concluding but wondering, watching, relying on your own experience. Thank you. of the of the of the of the of the of the Now again reminding myself of this important principle that if I can breathe with more awareness I can take in subtler or all chemical substances from the same air that everyone is breathing and therefore can have more connection with a subtler level of existence or subtler level of reality.

Without forcing myself but wishing to breathe with more awareness intentionally I place my out breath in my right leg because whatever I receive as if I am nourishing the whole of my organism by placing whatever I receive in my right leg that carries my intention and my attention with as much sincerity as I can bring. Now I place my out breath in my left leg to see immediately if it makes any difference in the quality of life in my left leg. Again a reminder whatever I can become aware of changes in its quality so I now place my out breath in the whole of the pelvic area abdomen chest right arm again and again a reminder it's not only that I simply become aware of what already exists in my right arm awareness also changes the quality of what exists in my right arm right down to the fingertips Now the whole of my back do I sense the same intensity of energy in the upper back as well as the lower back or lower back similarly is the right side of the spine more activated or the left side and that awareness is again I am repeating by sensation not just thinking about it head now placing my out breath in the whole of my body becoming aware of the energy pervading given the shortage of time we need to stop but take three more breaths and we stop Thank you very much today we will look at two of the great miracles


also two major characters in the Gospels the two miracles that I'm sure all of you know one is bringing Lazarus from the dead to life and the other one is turning water into wine what is rather surprising that neither of these two miracles is mentioned in any other gospel other than in the Gospel of John especially the one the first one namely bringing somebody from the dead one would imagine that this is enough to blow anybody's mind that this will be mentioned everywhere and particularly when you read in the Gospel of John that that was the miracle after which the Pharisees were particularly eager to find to actually in some way to get rid of Christ or to execute him because they thought that this will really appeal to a lot of people so it is surprising that no other gospel mentions it neither of these two again the reason I wish to really focus on this a little bit is partly so that we don't get occupied just with the with the words or taking things so literal mindedly because the question of what is considered dead is a frequent expressions of this in the Old Testament as well as in the New Testament that it is really being asleep is being not awakening to real life and this is the reason why so much emphasis is placed in all serious teachings on attention or mindfulness you have heard me say that more than once already attention intention and sincerity these are really the three major ingredients of any serious searcher so first of all let me begin with the remark of the Buddha the expression that is used as a translation is mindfulness mindfulness is the way to the deathless unmindfulness is the way to death those who are mindful do not die those who are not mindful are as if already dead so what is considered dead from the perspective of the Buddha is somebody who is not mindful and I'm mentioning this because to say that Christ brought somebody from the dead I'm actually gradually getting at that it is really a spiritual awakening just to remind you quickly I'll come to this very soon Lazarus in my judgment was the most beloved disciple of Christ his name is not even mentioned in any other gospel or even in the Old Testament there is no other Lazarus literally the word Lazarus in Greek means God helps and this is the remark this is it from the Psalms Psalm 13 how long Oh Lord will thou forget me how long will thou hide thy face from me look on me and answer oh Lord my God give light to my eyes or I will sleep in death so you see these expressions are used to convey something which is really a spiritual sleep that one is speaking about and this is from letter to the Ephesians by St. Paul chapter 15 chapter 5 awake Oh sleeper arise from the dead and Christ will give you light this is important to keep reminding oneself not to use the expression dead to mean necessarily physical death in any spiritual teaching if I am dead or asleep to my spiritual reality that is death I just quoted to you three different things from a remark of the Buddha as well as from the Psalms and from lateral St. Paul to the Ephesians and then the reason I am saying that Lazarus was the beloved disciple because all levels of if you like human consciousness the Pharisees for example say oh he's the man who Christ loved and his sisters Lazarus's two sisters are Mary and Magdalene. Magdalene of Bethany but she's often has been identified with Magdalene I'm sorry Mary of Magdalene and Mary of Bethany and and the other is Martha sorry so the sisters sent word to Christ saying master the one you love is ill Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus this is in John chapter 11 I'm just quoting it directly from there let me read it again the sisters sent word to Christ saying master the one you love is ill Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus and then the expression which is used that he is dead Thomas who is called diddles which means the twin some scholars believe is the twin brother of Christ but as I said in the church generally there is no other child of Mary so it's not but scholars have a whole different perspective on many of these things but in any case this is what Thomas said let us all go there and die with him if die literally means actually committing Harakiri there would be an absurd thing for him to say and so I try to say that if you look at all levels of consciousness Christ himself says this is the person I love his sister say to Christ that this is the man you love and his disciples like Thomas as I just mentioned says exactly that and the Pharisees say that so why shouldn't one accept that this is the beloved disciple who is not identified by the way generally in the Christian tradition there has been a tendency to say it's John who is the beloved disciple although it's not anywhere specifically mentioned such so when I have published my book and I had mentioned that to me it seems obvious from the gospel that is Lazarus who is the beloved disciple and that Christ brings him to real spiritual awakening then after the book was published a year later I got a letter from the president of the Anthroposophical Society in USA Robert McDermott saying that's exactly what the anthroposophist what was his name Steiner Rudolph Steiner came to that conclusion himself so I'm just mentioning this to you as a kind of a side note that if you read the gospel carefully it actually comes through very very much that this is the one person about whom it is repeatedly said Christ loved this man and everybody else says that he loved him and in any case so Lazarus is if you like brought from spiritual sleep to awakening and that is very much like bringing from death to life and one quite well-known artist in England Rob Floyd is his name he was very struck by my book and he was commissioned by the Manchester Cathedral to paint the various stations of the cross in the cathedral so he specifically actually when he painted the crucifixion the people who stood close to him there was it is often said Mary namely sometimes three Mary's are mentioned Mary is his mother and Mary of Magdalene and Mary also one of his sisters Christ sister but this character Rob Rob Floyd painted Lazarus standing also next to him because he was very struck by my book he actually did several things he took from that book we have a remark some of you probably know this is this is in the bread our neck open issue well in Sanskrit it is very often repeated in India Asatoma sadhgamiya pama soma jyotir gamiya mrityurma amritam gamiya from the unreal lead me to the real from darkness lead me to light from death lead me to life and then the very next remark actually in that open issue death here means spiritual sleep and life means awakening so I'm just simply saying that this is a fairly common expression in many traditions and always this very strong emphasis in the teaching of Christ which we have come across several times now unless you leave yourself behind but here is another one here from the Gospel of John chapter 12 in truth in very truth by the way this is usually verily verily or amen amen that's the root of it I tell you unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies it remains just a grain of wheat but if it dies it produces much fruit the man who loves himself loses it while the man who hates himself in this world preserve it to the life eternal if anyone would serve me let him follow me where I am there will my servant be so you see again the expression if it dies it produces much fruit the man who loves it I think is rather a strong expression the man who loves himself loses it while the man who hates himself in this world preserve it to life eternal here I should make maybe a slightly more general remark among some of the major differences in the overall perspective from the Indian perspective overall attitude and from the Abrahamic tradition in the Abrahamic tradition there is very strong emphasis on good and evil and one has to be completely rid of the evil and even the suggestion that after the second coming of Christ there will be no evil in India no philosopher or spiritual teacher has ever believed this they say the very fact that the universe is going to be manifested it requires both positive and negative energies otherwise it can't manifest itself so there will never be a situation in which there is no evil that is only in the state which is beyond manifestation in if you like when one actually merges if you like with the cosmic spirit or something like this and therefore there is no suggestion that there is only good and no evil the universe cannot manifest if there was no negative and positive energies that's the general attitude therefore this suggestion that to get rid of your lower self would seem very strange from the point of view of the Indian perspective everything needs to be included if you look at any of the ancient Hindu temples for example the first story would have all kinds of erotic postures sexual pleasure is also to be included in fact a very large Upanishad begins by saying imagine a virile young man in the embrace of his beloved that is one unit of ananda ananda is said to be like one of the very characteristic of ultimate reality sat chit ananda meaning truth consciousness and delight ananda is delight or bliss or happiness is difficult to find one single word for it and but that doesn't exclude ordinary pleasure that's also included but then higher stories of the temple would not have the same kind of images and for example this Upanishad as I just said begins by this remark imagine a virile young man in the embrace of his beloved that's one unit of ananda then it goes on multiplying it by thousand and thousand ultimately one who truly knows himself is truly has ananda so but it's always even the so-called lower self in the Indian tradition is not excluded in fact another Upanishad sexually says use the lower self as the arrow so it hits the destination and resides there not to be cut out but this is one of the philosophical differences in practice it may not make much difference I don't know that but theoretically it actually tends to have slightly different implications now then the other character I just want to look at is Judas as you know there is a strong tendency in fact this is almost the general understanding in the overall Christian tradition that Judas betrayed Christ and ultimately he committed suicide now first of all to remind you Christ himself said you did not choose me I chose you he chose all these disciples and it is really an insult to Christ that this character is hanging around for three years with him and he would not know his real nature considering first of all in the very beginning of John's gospel there is an expression Nathaniel who is standing far away at least 100 meters or far away under a tree and Christ tells him what's in his mind and Nathaniel is actually surprised by this so Christ says to him you know very little once you see me more then you would understand more so he can read his mind 100 meters away standing under a tree how would he not read the mind of Judas and furthermore to remind you Judas was the keeper of the treasury of the family of Christ by family here I don't mean mother but family meaning his disciples you know they were often traveling or walking so he was the keeper of the treasury and then Christ also washed his feet as he did of the other disciples and he himself makes this remark that anybody whose feet he washes will never go to perdition so why should we disbelieve Christ so I say here it surprises me that Judas is regarded as somebody who betrayed Christ as if Christ did not know this I'm suggesting to you something I have probably mentioned more than once that major events first of all take place in the spirit world then a whole drama is needed for them to be manifested in the material world for example in the Bhagavad Gita some of you may know this already this is in the 11th chapter when Krishna shows his great form to Arjuna, Arjuna is surprised that the very warriors he's supposed to fight have already been killed so he says to Krishna what am I supposed to do so then Krishna says to me you become the the instrument of its manifestation this idea is even in the western world I think Swedenborg I think I mentioned his name earlier he was a well-known scientist who had done some many mystical experiences he very much believed in this idea and so did William Blake and that major events first of all take place in the spirit world and then a whole arrangement is required for them to be manifested and this is the reason why for example you find in the book of revelations the remark the Lamb of God was slain from the foundations of the world he's already been slain but now we need to find an occasion or a drama in which his crucifixion will take place and therefore my own impression is certainly I have spoken to some film directors Peter Brook I know him quite well he actually says to me that the film directors or theater directors have the the greatest actors are required to play the role of the villain the villain's role is harder than any other role so the actor has to be really great to play the role of the villain so I'm suggesting to you it's at least worth considering that Judas was the most advanced pupil he was the treasure treasurer of the or keeper of the treasury and he and the way it is said at the last supper he was given the place of honor along with the beloved disciple so there are only three of them namely Christ and I'm suggesting Lazarus and Judas are sitting special places given to them so given all this I mean would he betray Christ for 30 pieces if he's keeper of the treasury does it make any sense to say that but he has to play this role that's the point that I'm trying to make and because he's the most advanced pupil therefore he's the one selected to play that role and he undertakes it even knowing the cost he has to pay for it he's obviously immediately ridiculed or belittled and people that are against him so much so that he goes and commits suicide that's the way it is said and but there is another possibility that I should mention here not to be completely taking this perspective just to remind you I think I mentioned this at one stage Lucifer who was the highest of all angels literally meaning the light bearer he was expelled from heaven why because of a certain kind of pride he wished to be like the most high so it's a possibility here since Judas was really the highest of all disciples and there is a sort of often a kind of a parallel between the new testament the old testament like the even the word old testament new testament partly comes from that and genesis and the new new life new beginning and it's possible that Judas being the highest of all the disciples now wish to be like Christ and pride entered into him so that possibility needs to be allowed so I'm not trying to just simply say there is only one but in either case one needs to not take it so cheaply as if just for 30 pieces of currency he betrayed Christ that would seem completely surprising and then this will be contrary to Christ's own suggestion that he chose the disciples they didn't choose him and that anybody whose feet he has washed will never go to perdition so why should Judas go to perdition I'm inviting you to not sort of easily buy many of these things so this is the remark of Christ in John chapter 6 no one come to me can come to me unless it is granted to him by the father it was not you who chose me it was I who chose you and this character Rob Floyd that I mentioned this well-known painter he's got all kinds of awards in England he was again this part also struck him so he painted a special painting in this Manchester Cathedral of Christ and Judas having a sort of special conversation with each other then again why as I've mentioned earlier that the Lamb of God was slain from the foundations of the world let me remind you again and again what is the purpose of Christ's birth classical expression this is actually in John's gospel but it's very strongly repeated in the Christian tradition God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son it's in it's actually in John's gospel that remark what did he give his son for for crucifixion or did God had no idea what is he doing and Christ himself refers to crucifixion as his baptism this is what he undertakes and the suggestion is very strong suggestion that the maintenance of cosmic order requires periodic sacrifice sacrifice coming from the Latin word sacre for care to make sacred perhaps the simplest example of this for us to at least relate with since earlier we came across this expression God is love any of you who actually have ever been in love would you not see that maintaining a state of love requires periodic sacrifice on the part of the people maybe there will be one way to approach this that the world order or the cosmic order cannot be maintained without periodic sacrifice which is why for example Rig Veda says I am Yagya Bhavanasya Navi sacrifices the navel of the cosmos and here I should also say as you all know that the Jewish people are called the chosen people and they have gotten into more trouble because of that expression than for anything else what were they chosen for here is actually a remark of Rabbi Hillel hardly a negligible rabbi he said God offered this choice to all the nations Jews were the only foolish ones to accept it this is Rabbi Hillel why were they foolish ones because the what is the choice to undertake periodic suffering periodic sacrifice throughout Jewish history that has been their undertaking and again a reminder Christ was a Jew this is what he is undertaking and you look at any of his Christ disciples we don't know very much about all of them but whatever we there are a few about whom we know something they all undertook one form of suffering or the other so to imagine why is are they wasting their time with Christ why don't they just have a nice palace to live in afterwards so I think it's completely silly not to realize that Christ's own birth is to undertake the kind of sacrifice that will maintain the order in the cosmos and that is what he's training his disciples to undertake and as I just said one of the meanings in Greek of the word baptism what gets translated as baptism is immersion in suffering and if you undertake any suffering intentionally that's what becomes sacrifice I gave this example the other day I could be starved somewhere or I could take undertake a fast what's the actual difference in one case I'm intentionally undertaking it in the other case I'm forced to undertake something actually some of you may know the author who got a Jewish author who got a Nobel prize for literature Eli Wiesel I he wrote a book called the night I met him in fact in 1968 you people are all so young I have to remind you this was a long time ago in Princeton and he had just returned from India I was asking him why was he in India and his main concern why he was in India he said he met several of the ascetics there who were practicing the very kinds of things which they were forced to do in the concentration camps so he wanted to understand what is the difference that they are intentionally undertaking the same kind of thing that they were forced in the concentration camps that's why he went to India to study this so the reason I'm saying all this that not every suffering is sacrifice but if it is intentionally undertaken then it because it then brings your intention into it that makes it a sacrifice and certainly it's a very common practice at least among practically all the mothers in India that I have ever encountered if their child is sick the mother somehow undertakes a fast or something or she will stay awake at night or something as if that then at least they certainly very much believe and it may be true I don't really know of this that it actually assists the child but the overall suggestion actually is that whosoever undertakes the sacrifice this is the one way for them to relate with the divine but also for whoever's sake they are undertaking the sacrifice that it also helps them this is a very large idea and I invite you not to easily buy it but to consider it very much and continual sacrifice is necessary for the maintenance of cosmic order the Greek word for baptism is immersion in suffering it's all very nice for Christians to say they're getting baptized but if they could really understand what Christ is trying to teach they won't be so eager to be Christians no really I think all everything is so cheap and I mean I feel the same thing is true about yoga what goes on the name of yoga just increase your sex appeal this is hardly what yoga is about on a cosmic scale Christ is perpetually engaged in a struggle against the forces of darkness in this struggle his chief contribution lies in his own sacrifice and suffering by which he lessens the suffering of those whom he loves and wishes to bring into the light this is the reason why he was saying to love each other as I have loved you he's loving them by sacrificing himself for their sake to the extent that the disciples participate in the suffering of Christ they help decrease his sorrow and burden if they are not crucified themselves he will have to be crucified again and again and here is an example this is again becomes acts of Peter by the way there is a whole text very ancient text called from the second century Peter as you perhaps know this is one of the disciples of Christ and he was incarcerated in Rome he was going to be crucified somehow he managed to run away he escaped the prison he ran away so here is the report Peter while fleeing from Rome and the danger of martyrdom meets Jesus Christ and asks master where are you going Christ tells Peter that he's going to Rome to be crucified again in the place of Peter because Peter has run away so the conscience of Peter is troubled and he returns to the city to face his own crucifixion so to imagine that these disciples were just having nice palaces to live in like the pope having a summer palace and a winter palace this is all very nice but this is nothing to do with the teaching of Christ you look at his all immediate disciples all of them underwent suffering of one kind or the other anything that we know any any of them about Christ's own consecration is for the sake of sacrifice as is the consecration of his apostles his incarnation was a sacrifice as was his crucifixion from beginning to end he was the lamb of God slain from the foundations of the world this is revelation chapter 13 verse 8 and check and Christ seems to have understood his crucifixion as a rite of passage to a higher state of being an initiation and a payment which alone will bring him to oneness with the father two of his disciples asked him because when they realized the greatness of Christ that he will be glorified after his death so they asked whether they could sit on either side of him in his glory this is by the way book gospel of mark chapter 10 you can read it there Jesus said to them you do not know what you are asking can you drink the cup I shall drink or be baptized in the same bath of pain as I you see for him that is what his baptism is exactly that so his disciple two of his disciples want to sit next either side of him they were just like the rest of us quite self-centered very often and so this is his response to them you do not know what you're asking can you drink the cup I shall drink or be baptized in the same bath of pain as I it's easy for anybody to imagine that I'm just making these things up that's the reason I give these precise references you can this is canonical gospels mark book chapter 10 and this quotation is 35 to 38 verse sacrifice is necessary for the maintenance of order in the universe Christ prepared all his disciples for that also the baptism of Christ is that of fire and his way is that of the cross only those willing to pay the price of admission to the chamber of eternal life a price exacted by the cross which guards the narrow gate opening to the vastness can respond to his call for others it is just mere fantasy I think there is no point just being pussy pussy footing about it or wishy washy one needs to really understand what is true etymologically namely sacrifice comes from sacrifice that I just mentioned is evident throughout the teaching of the gospel in order to relate to the sacred we must sacrifice ourselves Jesus Christ issues a call and an invitation and sets a model to suffer with him is is his baptism to die to ourselves in overcoming our self-will to take up our cross as he did his so that our old self may be crucified and we may do the will of him who sent him and us this is the general remark I try to make here here this is from Romans this is Paul writing letter to the Romans chapter six have you forgotten that we who were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death through baptism into his death we were buried with him so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the father we too might live a new life if we have been united with him through likeness to his death so shall we be through a like resurrection this we know our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed and we might be slaves to sin no longer a man who is dead has been freed from sin if we have died with Christ we believe that we are also to live with him this is not me making it up this is Paul in the letter to the Romans and this is a remark in the gospel of thomas he who is near me is near the fire he who is far from me is far from the kingdom it's very nice to become disciples of one to be chosen by Christ but are we willing to be near the fire fire for what to burn our usual self our ordinary self that we are addicted to are living from so let me just repeat this he who is near me is near the fire he who is far from me is far from the kingdom that is also true so one needs to be near him but is willing to put up the corresponding fire so various phrases get used fire suffering baptism crucifixion and as i said if you look at any of the disciples what actually took place with them and question really more is can one willingly undertake a sacrifice which means willingly undertake the word suffering can sound maybe too too demanding but let me first of all give very simple examples an athlete who has a race tomorrow will sacrifice going to a film tonight or drinking a lot of wine tonight what but now that sacrifice we use the english word sacrifice but that on the other hand is not a change of level what is more implied by in the spiritual context by sacrifice is to make something sacred to make something sacred requires that one relates with a different level of consciousness as i said earlier also different levels in the universe or different angels if you like as i mentioned the other day that there are the whole meaning of the word spiritual is something subtler than the mind but that the spiritual realm is very large there are nine orders of angels in the bible they're all different they're all spiritual but different levels but so an archangel is at a higher level than a simple angel another thing i should mention here this is another cultural difference if you like in the biblical tradition especially at the two lower levels of angels meaning angel than arch angel the way the difference is made higher the angel more the wings arch angels would have four wings or the angels will have two wings wings meaning what freedom more freedom from so but in the indian tradition the word by the way it's rather ironic the word angel actually if you look in the large dictionary like maybe oxford english dictionary the etymological root of the word angel comes from the sanskrit word angiras which means messenger of god but the corresponding words in india will be devas uh very much related with the word divine many common words are there in the languages and so higher the deva in india it's not shown i have hardly ever seen any deva shown with wings it's rather interesting they are usually shown either with more eyes or with more arms so more power or more vision very strong attitude in india is that higher the person clearer their vision or clearer their knowledge which is why ultimately the root of all our difficulties a vidya ignorance and therefore the solution is vidya from which we get the english word vision as well as video so very strong sense that more and more clear understanding clear knowledge clear vision that is the requirement and here i will take another moment to just indicate to you the kind of difficulties one has a remark of einstein very happily very often quoted by religious people it is science without religion is lame religion without science is blind and religious people often quote this from the indian perspective this is completely dumb statement if religion without science is blind the whole idea of religion is to be vision you see the point i just try to make that from there it's only in the abrahamic religion one would say this kind of remark it cannot make any sense from the perspective of indian religion whereas the whole problem is a vidya so one wishes the kind of knowledge which is a great vision so to say that religion without science is blind and that whole purpose of religion is action and science without religion is lame this is a very famous remark of einstein very often quoted especially religion people just love it that it at least makes room for religion but i try to point this out if you contrast this with the remark which i think i quoted probably the first talk or second talk here this is the author of ishwar the name of the author is ishwar krishna the book is called sankha karika the great philosophy of sankha which is the sister philosophy of yoga this is what he said spirit without the body is lame but body without the spirit is blind so you see their spirit has to do with the the vision rather than with the action in fact the whole suggestion that i mentioned last time krishna even says to remain actionlessness action is needs to emerge out of the right right being rather than you decide to do certain kind of action as i mentioned earlier also even compassion or love or good works it needs to emerge out of you rather than that you decide to do this so to be in a state of actionlessness nash karmaya is what krishna repeatedly emphasizes so i think one needs to understand there are some actually major differences that i have repeatedly said but there are many things which are common here i am much more interested in trying to understand the emphasis of the of christ teaching so that's the part i'm trying to focus on here but so very important suggestion again and again that that whosoever is going to undertake in fact in maybe even let me quote christ's own remark whosoever does my follows my commandments will understand the doctrine so you see there even the teaching is understood by following certain kind of action it's very much a remark of this is the remark of christ so but it is silly on the other hand to get occupied with which is the right thing because nobody can be without action nobody can be without some kind of knowledge or some kind of a vision and if you look at the any of the great sages both of these are included in their life in their action but it is true that something or the other one gets emphasized by a great teacher then that just becomes the doctrine and after that people just keep repeating it and put down the other side now i repeatedly remind people that if you look at the actual life of the great sages many things which seem contradictory for example they love everybody on the other hand you look at the buddha or look at christ they also have a beloved disciple they love everybody but that doesn't mean that they don't have a distinction among their disciples so one can get the reason why one says it so that christ also loves me i don't have to do anything he loves me just it's a free choice you know but forgetting that even christ also had a beloved disciple same same did the buddha similarly there is much emphasis in the indian tradition on oneness and in the abrahamic tradition on uniqueness of everything and i often try to remind people you look at actual experience or description of any sages lives they repeatedly would say that everything comes from the same divine energy so there is a sense of oneness but everybody is unique so everybody needs to bring their unique song of praise for the divine energy so both things exist it's just that one thing gets sort of emphasized and then it gets fossilized in the tradition right in one fact the only reason i personally believe there is a good idea to know more than one tradition sympathetically not dogmatically is that it can free us from the notion that expression of truth is the truth every expression is leading to some kind of a truth or classical example at best any tradition or any teaching whether it's the teaching of the buddha or of christ or of krishna at best they are like a finger pointing to the moon if you get so attached to the finger you can never get to the moon but it is good to know more than one finger then you realize that finger is not the moon no in my judgment that's almost the only reason really for studying other religions that you we have many examples of this in physics actually is ultimate particles waves or particles much confusion about it people were stuck on one side or the other but then it turns out that in some experiments they behave like particles in some other experiments they behave like waves and i feel cultural references are frames of reference in some frame of reference uniqueness gets emphasized in some frames of reference oneness gets emphasized but they are neither this nor that there is something else it just depends on the frame of reference how one say so i recommend to you not to get so attached to any frame of reference because at best they are fingers pointing to the moon don't get stuck to the finger


here i have an exercise to suggest to you you the exercise is reflecting on your relationship with someone whom you love do you sense a need of some sort of sacrifice in nourishing love how would you relate this with the remark in the first letter of john that god is love it's a large exercise but if you're interested in it if if love is really the very fundamental nature of reality so how does the notion of sacrifice relate with this really the question so we will stop now thank you very much


Maria Elena D
Learning that the root word of Sacrifice is Sacred while caregiving my mom changed the whole experience from one that is innately prone to great stress, to one that was filled with great JOY, ( and a little stress,).  Which led me to researching more root words and translations, especially from the bible and I think you are absolutely right Mr. Ravindra, the Christian world, for the most part, has the whole thing wrong.  Would you be willing to recommend a Bible with the Greek and Aramaic translations? I've been looking for one to continue my studies, but am not sure which one to pick, do you have a favorite one? thank you for this work, I really appreciate you. 
Elizabeth M
Hi, Maria Elena D! Please see the following response from Ravi:
Hi Maria! You are blessed to be deeply struck by some aspects of the teaching of Christ, perhaps brought to your attention by some remarks of mine. I don't know Greek or Aramaic, but I studied John's Gospel in Greek with Professor Hilary Armstrong, the great Plotinus scholar who did not have to even look at a Greek dictionary. You can find many translations of the Bible in many languages on the internet. 
Also I recommend not to be against the Christian world. As in any other religious tradition, there are many scoundrels who claim to be twice born, born of the Spirit, but there have been some remarkable sages in the Christian history also.
Best wishes in your journey!
Ravi Ravindra 
Caroline S
There are so many favourites in this talks one is "oneness and uniqueness both exist".  What I really like about the series is how many sides are considered, particularly the Indian and the Biblical traditions highlighting both differences and similarities.  And I am starting to see the benefit and the richness of studying many traditions, I have been inspired thank you !

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