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Yoga of the Christ Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 2

Day 1: Who is Christ?

60 min - Talk


To find your oneness with the Divine - that is the call. In Day 1, we open with a centering meditation to cultivate the relaxation needed to receive subtle energies. Ravi cites various correlations between the gnostic gospels and classical Yoga teachings, both of which assert that divinity resides within each and every one of us. As an exercise, we are asked to contemplate “What am I and Why am I here?”.
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It's good for us to find our situation in the whole cosmos. Just a reminder that there are trillions of galaxies and we are in a very average galaxy. So for any of us to really feel self-important requires lots of chutzpah. And even in that average galaxy, we are not at the center of that galaxy, just around a peripheral star. But what is much more significant from our point of view that all the sages in the history of humanity everywhere, whether it's in India or China or anywhere else, they've all said in one way or another that the entire universe is filled with conscious and subtle energies.

Naturally, the labels vary from culture to culture, whether it is filled with the Holy Spirit or with Brahma or with Allah, or sometimes simply they label it the absolute or that. Because any description doesn't quite capture this. But the idea is that those energies or forces are very conscious and they are responsible for creating the whole manifested universe, including you and I. So first of all, a very simple reminder that you or I did not create ourselves. These very large forces and very subtle and conscious forces have created us.

So the purpose of any spiritual practice, including meditation, is how can I make some connection with these conscious and subtle energies? The fundamental requirement from our side is to become more and more receptive rather than demanding something or commanding something, because these forces are not only very subtle but very conscious, much more conscious than we are, so we cannot command them. So what we need is an attitude of welcoming, inviting, prayer. But there is something from our side to make us more prepared for receiving these energies and the fundamental requirement is relaxation. Subtler the energy, more easily it is repelled by tensions.

So take a few moments first of all to see right now whether my body is relaxed. But in general, bodily tensions are actually created by emotional tensions, such as anxiety, concern for achievement or wishing for certain results, disappointments, all those create physical tensions arising from emotional tensions. And also a very important principle that no energy at any level can be without relationship. So if my emotional energy is not related with a slightly subtler or finer feeling, such as compassion, gratitude, wonder, then it naturally ends up being wasted in anxiety, resentment, expectation. So if I can now remind myself that I did not create myself, then I can internally have a little bit movement towards a sense of gratitude for the fact that I exist.

And naturally a sense of wonder, why have these energies which are supposed to be intelligent have created me for a few decades? Because whatever I usually call myself cannot last more than a few decades. So even though these slightly subtler feelings like wonder and gratitude cannot be completely determined by us, but if we slightly move towards them, then we don't waste our energy in anxiety. So take a few moments again to simply remind myself that I did not create myself. I am imagining, we always use this language, linguistic expression that I am breathing.

It is completely wrong statement because I did not create this breathing apparatus or the air that I need to breathe to be alive. Much closer to truth is that I am being breathed. These subtle forces have created this body and they are keeping this body alive by breathing into it. So deeper and deeper relaxation, mostly emotional relaxation is one of the contributions from our side to be able to receive these subtle forces and energies to make connection with us. Another reminder again by all the sages that these energies, let us simply use the word the Holy Spirit is pervading the whole universe, including this room.

So it is very useful for us to remember that I am under the gaze of the Holy Spirit. In fact wishing and eager to make connection with me, but I need to be receptive. All that I have said so far is completely universal testimony of all the sages. So the other contribution from our side is not just receptivity but indifference, a kind of a relaxation with indifference, it needs to be an active receptivity. So one other thing from our side to do is to find the right alignment.

Again initially one thinks of alignment or posture physically. So what is suggested is really corresponding to two of the great commandments of Christ also to be found in the Old Testament. Connection with higher levels with God requires a verticality so that I am oriented towards something higher than myself. But also connection with our neighbors, friends, fellow human beings at the horizontal level. So to find our alignment that if my eyes were open I should be able to look horizontally not looking down or up or sideways, literally to be at the crossing of the vertical and the horizontal dimensions.

And very strong suggestion that that vertical dimension is that as if there is a axis mundi or the world axis passes through each human being and I need to become more and more receptive to these energies by finding the right relaxation and the right alignment. So verticality without rigidity, relaxation without indifference, active receptivity. But we also have intellectual postures, not only physical postures, a simple reminder that even if I was the most intelligent person on the planet I cannot know and do not know all there is to know. Therefore to be in a state of unknowing, not a state of ignorance, but a willingness to be surprised, not pigeonholing everything I hear, oh it agrees with what I read in this book or that book, that I could actually learn something that I have never learned earlier, never known earlier. This is more difficult for those of us who have read many books because everything then gets classified into something or the other.

So an intellectual posture, physical posture, emotional alignment, all these are the contributions from our side, but again a reminder more explicitly in fact from the Quran, but it is to be found everywhere else slightly differently, that these subtler energies are eager to connect with us and that we are not available or our body and mind is not available. So take a few moments now to find more and more relaxation staying at the center of the cross of verticality and horizontal dimension and remembering that I did not create myself, I did not start this breathing apparatus, I am being breathed to keep this organism alive. Thank you.


Let me take a few minutes just first of all to mention something about my own personal engagement with the teaching of the Christ. I initially came to Canada in 1961 long time ago as a graduate student to do PhD in physics and it seemed to me rather obvious that every culture is very much driven by its major religion and so to me it seemed obvious that I should learn something about Christianity because people here in Canada seem to claim themselves to be Christians, which I soon discovered that it is mostly a label just as it is everywhere else.

In India people claim to be Hindus, but they are not necessarily following any teaching of Krishna any more than the Christians follow the teaching of the Christ. But it is also true that until I came to Canada I had never actually met a Christian, which is surprising because in a way there were more Christians in India than in Canada. But they are less than 3% of the population in India and somebody may have sat next to me in a bus but how would I know somebody is a Christian or not a Christian? So at least knowingly I had never met a Christian until I came to Canada and all my fellow graduate students who were of course physics students, they thought my interest in Christianity was absolutely absurd and stupid and non-scientific but in fact anti-scientific. So very strange attitude but nevertheless I was interested to learn because from my point of view there is no culture or religion has a monopoly of truth.

India hardly has a monopoly of truth or Hinduism because throughout every century there have been wise people everywhere really interested in finding out what is true or what is real. Naturally very few anywhere come to something grand and of course people around them right away would say this can't be a usual human being because you can't come to that kind of realization or that kind of truth. So they get declared as incarnation of God as Krishna or the son of God as Christ or somebody who is enlightened as the Buddha just because they are absolutely unusual. They can't possibly be ordinary human beings so they get labels like this and soon they get enshrined but very difficult to follow their teachings. This was my realization because I decided to go every week I would go to a church service in Canada to learn something about it.

I soon discovered that most people who were talking there the priests or the ministers as well as those who were participating in these churches had really not practicing anything that Christ taught. I may be wrong. I hope I'm wrong actually but that was my impression. But then I was very struck by many things in the Bible particularly the Gospel of John which by the way even within the Christian tradition for centuries has been regarded as the most spiritual gospel and also I was particularly struck by many of the mystics in Christianity and the mystical writings although much to my surprise most Christians actually dismiss this mystical writing. In fact one of the Protestant ministers even said to me that mysticism is a heresy and it's only the Catholics who somehow subscribe to it.

It's a Catholic heresy and I was very surprised to hear this and because there are obviously in every spiritual teaching there are great mystics. Mystic simply really means one who actually experiences something. We don't need to be fancy about its definition. This is in fact almost the definition of a sage. A sage says what he or she sees not what they read or have heard.

So I was very struck by many of the mystical oriented books in Christianity. Much to my surprise most of my so-called Christian friends in Canada have not even heard of these books such as Theologia Germanica or the cloud of unknowing. Just to remind people especially the Protestant should know this that Martin Luther who started the Protestant movement actually said the serious Christians have to learn read only three books. One of them was the Gospel of St. John and the other was was the Theologia Germanica and the third was the letters St. Paul's letter to the Romans. As far as he was concerned these were the only three things people should read but hardly any Protestant I actually met who even had heard of this book Theologia Germanica which surprises me but there it is.

So in any case gradually I got more and more interested in trying to understand what is the specific emphasis of Christ's teaching. Does it wholly coincide with the teaching of the great sages in India or is it quite different? So that is what prompted me to study more and more deeply mostly the mystical books of Christianity and especially St. John's Gospel and then a few years later whenever I would talk to my so-called Christian friends about something they said well that's not in the Gospel not that they had read the Gospel but they would just deny whatever I said is in the Gospel they would say it's not in the Gospel. So finally some of them said you better publish this. So I don't regard myself as any kind of publishing scholarly books about something I was just trying to understand something.

So in any case I wrote this and sent it to several publishers in the USA. Most of them or all of them actually said this doesn't fit into our publishing program but ironically two major editors from two main published well-known publishing houses wrote to me private letters saying they did their best to push this book but their salespeople say it won't sell because it apparently I did not even know that much to my surprise apparently no non-Christian in the last two thousand years had ever written a whole exegesis on this book which surprises me completely. So since I was considered non-Christian therefore obviously not worthy of writing anything about the Gospels and so their salespeople say therefore this won't sell. But my own my mentor actually in the Gurjeev teaching Mrs. Welch who is himself an American she said oh these American publishers they don't know so she actually asked a friend of her in England to find a publisher there. So this is when the first book was actually published under the title in England The Yoga of the Christ by Element Books and in fact much to their own surprise within a couple of months they had to have a second printing of the book and once it's almost like success leads to success within hardly six weeks of its publication I got a request from a well-known French publisher if they could publish this in French and then it has been published in Spanish in German in Croatian in Russian in Greek at Portuguese many many languages so suddenly as if the book really spoke to many people even a cardinal in the Vatican wrote to me and the bishop of in London who officiates on all the royal weddings he wrote to me even saying that he I've been preaching from this gospel for the last 20 years this came as a lovely surprise but then he said but I don't agree with everything you say there but I'm very happy that he wrote so he actually invited me to visit him etc.

So what I'm saying that in any case in many places people did not want to use that title I have a very sad note actually from the Greek publisher wrote to me in 1991 the book was published in 1990 in English so that's already now 30 years ago and this Greek publisher said if he uses the word yoga and Christ in the same title the church will burn his publishing house down maybe yoga has now become in 30 years it has changed a little bit but at that time it was even more considered a radical thing so even in USA they did not use the same title they published it under the title Christ the Yogi which surprised me completely I wasn't trying to say that Christ was the Yogi in any standard sense of the word otherwise of course we want to use the word yoga to say it's a path or a journey towards the union of one's individual self with the divine self then one could use that expression but in any case I was not very happy with this title and my son who was just graduating from law college said we should bring a legal case against that imagine being a legal case against a publisher in any case since I kept objecting to it then they republished it after they sold the previous copies they had published under the title the Gospel of John in the light of Indian mysticism which sounds very academic but that also had a certain consequence then the there is the theological association of America which has more than 1500 theologians they decided to have a special session on this book in one of their annual meetings and they asked to theologians to make comments on it and invited me to respond to their comments and the comments were to be sure reasonable one was that I'm mixing the water of the river Ganga with the river Jordan and I try to point out that if you go by a bullock cart near the Ganga or by a camel near Jordan that's a different perspective than if you fly over both of those rivers which is what I had to do to get here and then another thing that was partly one reasonable criticism that for different verses for different chapters in the Gospel I often end up using different translations because the academic consistency requires the same translation be used so I try to point out that if the translators don't agree what is the right translation why should I not choose the one that makes more sense to me then I would have I should tell you this that I read to them a letter written to me by Wilford Cantwell Smith who was the founding director for the Center for the Study of World Religion at Harvard so highly regarded academic obviously you don't he said when I read this book many times I have to wipe my tears how is it that a non-christian can read the obvious statements of Christ in it whereas the Christians have difficulty reading it so when I read this aloud there was stunned silence and I asked them that first of all I pleaded guilty to all their charges from the theologians because I was not writing a book of theology I said this is a book of theophily this word actually doesn't exist but everybody can understand it it's really love of God and that then I asked them how is it that your own children or grandchildren would much rather go to listen to the Dalai Lama than go to the church because these academics are just talking about one thing or the other they are not practicing anything that Christ taught that has been actually in my judgment the real tragedy of every religion is not only Christianity it's equally true in Islam equally true in Hinduism everywhere people just keep quoting something or going to churches or temples but don't actually practice something but in any case later on at least in India they published it under the title which I actually far prefer the original title the yoga of the Christ because from my point of view yoga is simply a spiritual journey or a spiritual path and another remark generally I should make here is many Gospels were discovered only in 1945 called Gnostic Gospels these have existed for centuries but in general the church authorities essentially have banned them or even try to burn them etc they were accidentally discovered actually in Egypt in 1945 and even now they're going undergoing several different translations so many things about them are not entirely agreed by people but the word Gnostic literally means from comes from Gnosis which is the cognate of the Sanskrit word Jain which means knowledge but very much emphasis in these Gospels which is very much part also very central to the Indian tradition that a certain special kind of knowing is required in order to really connect with these subtle higher energies and so not just a matter of believing something but finding how do I actually come to a subtler knowing but personally I mean we don't need to be against the whole church organization but in my judgment they have done more harm to spiritual search than any other institution more emphasis on just believing something accepting something and usually kids by the age of 10 or 12 have to say Christ was the only son of God and we believe in this and this they are hardly out of diapers how do they know any of this which completely surprises me that this is the kind of requirement it becomes the requirement of them to be baptized as Christians so I say all this with the kind of a sadness because the Gnostic Gospels provide many many insights and as I just said the emphasis there is very much on Gnosis knowing something subtler rather than just simply believing and very strong emphasis here I am actually reading something from the Gospel of Philip ignorance is the cause of all evil and serves death Gospel of Philip is one of the Gnostic Gospels Gospel of Thomas is another one there is Gospel of Mary even a Gospel of Judas and several Gospels ignorance is the cause of all evil and serves death nothing has been or ever will be born from ignorance those who live in vigilance will be happy when the truth is revealed the reason I am partly mentioning this because maybe most of you already know that in the whole of the Indian spiritual tradition the root cause of all our troubles is Avidya or Agyan which means ignorance so this is you can see the kind of similarities of some of these basic ideas here and whereas generally speaking in the church tradition the cause of all our difficulties is said to be not fulfilling the will of God so much more certain kind of action oriented rather than knowing oriented certain knowing so here this is why just to give you the corresponding remarks from the Indian tradition largely I will focus on the Yoga Sutras simply because I am assuming that most of you are much more familiar with this so ignorance this is quotation from the Yoga Sutras ignorance is the cause of all the other hindrances whether dormant attenuated intermittent or fully active everything that stands in our way the cause of that is ignorance and then very strong suggestion that the kind of knowledge they are speaking about in the spiritual traditions including in the Gospels Gnostic Gospels is the knowledge that transforms the knower not that the knower remains the same that actually the whole purpose of any spiritual teaching is actually to transform the structure that that's the whole purpose and the kind of knowing they are speaking about is something that transforms the person and here is another remark from Gospel of Philip it is impossible for anyone to see the everlasting reality and not become like it if you know the Christ you become the Christ you'll find very similar remarks for example in the Upanishads maybe I'll have a chance to quote them here here is from the Mundaka Upanishad in Sanskrit it is parama brahma veda brahmaiva bhavati one who knows brahma becomes brahma brahma is the label for the highest reality the subtlest reality literally it means the vastness but in English now the word vastness seems to more or less refer to space and not to time therefore sometimes for example any peasant one of the great theosophists usually translates brahma as the eternal but one thing very important to mention here eternal doesn't necessarily mean everlasting something can be everlasting that doesn't make it eternal very simple example sometimes we have many mythological stories somebody has been given a particular boon whatever they ask for they will be granted so the let us say the angel or a settler force or a deva comes and ask them whatever they want and in general people would ask for a palace they would ask for money etc etc so they are immediately granted but then the idea is that if they don't ask for anything they'll be killed so they have to ask for something and finally the one person who is in great danger that he doesn't know what else to ask for because he's got everything so he says okay bring a pole and you go up the pole and once you go there he then come down the pole and when you're done then go up the pole you can keep doing it everlastingly so you see eternal doesn't mean everlasting everlasting is simply an extension in time eternal is in fact completely free of time it is not against time it can manifest any time in time but it's not it's not does not leave a history in time a very simple if you like more or less a social kind of example don't take it too literally it's the difference between love and marriage marriage has a history love does not have a history one could be in love in marriage or outside marriage or at any time so it's not against time but it's not committed to time that's a very simple example I'm giving so the when we say somebody or something is eternal Christ's teaching is eternal that doesn't mean that it has to do with ever extension of time it can manifest any time in time to anybody but on the other hand it doesn't the actual teaching doesn't leave a history the words can leave the history but not the teaching itself then here is also a remark from the gospel of Philip Christ came not to make us Christians but to make us Christ you can well imagine how the churches are not very happy with all of this but this should not surprise us this is the central idea actually the purpose of any spiritual teaching to be sure they would say this is not an easy task but the purpose is to become one with the divine and here is an example for example the remark of the Buddha look within you are the Buddha and this is another I have quoted here from the Chando Upanishad a very old Upanishad in Sanskrit it is tat tvam asi you are that this is the call in any spiritual teaching now of course in India we would say it can take many many incarnations by the way just as this kind of a side footnote the idea of incarnation was also very much there in Christianity until the sixth century and it was Emperor Justin if you have been to Istanbul in the area Sophia the very grand building there that was built as a cathedral commissioned by him in fact when that was built the building is so extraordinary if you haven't been there I highly recommend it actually that he said Solomon I have outdone you because Solomon was supposed to be the responsible for the first temple in Judaism and then one of the ideas behind reincarnation this is not the only idea but often there is the idea is that if you are a searcher then in successive incarnations you come closer and closer to God and the Emperor was very upset about this idea because then what is the church going to do and so he asked the Pope to declare this as a heresy but the Pope actually did not want to declare this as a heresy because the Pope himself believed this and some of the very early church fathers especially in Greece very much believed this idea but the Pope then the Emperor actually jailed put the Pope in the prison so Pope then said okay I will declare this as a heresy so incarnation the whole idea of reincarnation has been removed from Christianity after the sixth century so that it doesn't bring you closer and closer to God although strictly speaking in India the idea of reincarnation is not that you are always moving upward you could also be born as a mosquito or as a tiger or anything else depending on what kind of things you have actually done so it's not always necessarily upward movement although in the Theosophical Society generally it's always an upward movement but it to some extent it makes sense if you are a searcher clearly you are searching for something true so it is therefore makes much more sense to believe that it is an upward movement but in any case the point I more wanted to make the suggestion in all serious teachings actually is to find your oneness with the divine because the whole idea is that everything in the universe including you and I everything else has been created by God or by the highest reality whatever we may label it and then that each level of reality wishes to evolve in order to come back home to come back to God because in the manifested universe obviously there are people at different levels of consciousness not only people but animals, creatures, vegetables they are all created by God but they have different levels of consciousness and therefore different levels of materiality their bodies are different but very strong suggestion that all levels of reality are trying to come back home to evolve to come back to the level of God and that is the call and in fact I should make this other remark here this is the reason why that level of consciousness or a particle of divinity or breath of God takes on a body because it needs to undertake some action in order to evolve so if we just use the word spirit or soul the soul has taken on my body it's not that my body has the soul it's the other way around the soul has the body for its purposes its own purposes and this is actually always the call in any spiritual teaching to therefore to begin to honor one's spiritual nature rather than be wholly taken by one's carnal nature these are the words of St. Paul by the way that we have two natures spiritual nature and carnal nature sometimes other words are used for example protona simply says higher nature lower nature and Krishna has a rather a very strong statement divine nature and demonic nature so different words get used sometimes for example my own teacher Madame de Sosman uses the word angelic nature and animal nature so you have varieties of expressions but always the suggestion that we have two natures and that our real nature or true nature is actually the divine aspect of it and my other nature is meant to serve it but it also means one should be realizing that therefore my body I use the word body but it also includes the mind if you remember the classical expression in John's gospel the word became flesh doesn't mean it just became a hunk of meat it clearly became the whole living person so sometimes the word body is used to include the whole being and so that this body is the instrument for the evolution of the element of the spirit first of all therefore there is no need to be against the instrument that will be completely silly there is no need to be against the body or the mind it actually needs to the instrument needs to be sharpened needs to be clean clear so that it can actually do what it is meant to do which is easier said than done because we are so the all the forces in the world are occupied with fear and desire which is all to do with the animal nature maybe later on I may have occasion to speak about it more in detail but right now let me move on to all here Aldous Huxley wrote this famous book called the perennial philosophy where he speaks about what are some of the central ideas in the whole of this what he calls perennial philosophy he hardly quotes any academic philosopher by the way he's mostly quoting mystics because they are the ones who are directly experiencing something by the way I highly recommend that book but here he mentions four central ideas I'm just quoting one here this is the third idea man possesses a double nature a phenomenal ego and an eternal self which is the inner man the spirit the spark of divinity within the soul it is possible for a man if he so desires to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the divine ground which is of the same or like nature with the spirit this is one of the four general conclusions that he comes with studying all the mystical traditions and Annie Besant also in her very famous book she wrote made this man a reflection of the manifested God and therefore a trinity fundamentally his inner and real self being eternal one with the self of the universe this is actually the basic idea in all mystical traditions and mystical teachings which are really the experiential spiritual teachings let me keep reminding you this again and again and that we are a particle of divinity wishing to evolve so that we can come back to the real nature of the divine himself or herself itself don't get occupied with the gender here in fact this might interest some of you Brahma I know in the generally in the biblical tradition God is always identified as a he there are reasons for this because the activity begins from God but Brahma which is the label in Sanskrit for the highest reality is actually a neuter not because it is not developed enough to have a gender but because it is not degenerated enough to have a gender because gender limit is limit something so don't get occupied with one language or the other because every language has to use its tradition its style but this is the reason I often recommend to people if you can learn more than one expression of a great truth it can free you from the notion that expression is the truth no expression is the truth expression is at best pointing to the truth and if you know more than one expression then you don't get stuck on the expression for example actually here maybe I'll come back to this later on Christ saying the father and I are one I have never heard anybody in India refer to God as the father even though Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita declares himself to be the father as well as the mother and everything else and but so one couldn't call him the father but nobody in India ever does at least in my hearing often they would refer to God as mother actually but that doesn't mean that one needs to get stuck on this gender business here so for example later on I will show you a great sage in India very long time ago Yajgivalak actually said I am Brahma is that different from the father and I are one if you're stuck on the expression then obviously they are different on the other hand if you see what they are pointing to both of them you would have much more sense of a symphony between the two expressions let me now begin here for a moment with the very beginning of John's gospel which by the way the scholars believe was actually a whole hymn it's sometimes called a hymn was more or less added later on in the gospel but in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God he was present to God in the beginning through him all things came into being and apart from him nothing came to be what came to be in him was life and life was the light of mankind and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it the word that is translated as the word just as a reminder every book in the Bible or in the New Testament was written in Greek so whenever I come back to some of the Greek origins of some word I'm not just being pedantic it's remind you of what is the original word the word in Greek for the word is logos which means spirit means intelligence also means word it also means fire and has several other meanings so clearly a reminder that great intelligence and when you'd say in the beginning was the word you could equally say in the beginning is the word because this beginning is not meant to be in the time axis this is one of the difficulties of the language because we can't construct a sentence without time and space etc but that this is the reason why all the great sages say one needs to be a little bit free of the language otherwise because the language itself introduces limitations such as time space whereas the whole purpose of describing something eternal is that it is beyond time beyond space not against time or against space this is something I keep reminding you that eternal is not against time but it's not stuck in time in fact just as a slightly personal reminder many years ago the Royal Society of Canada had invited a few people about a dozen of them I was invited one of them to speak about the general issue of origin and evolution of the universe evidence for design with a question mark and I presented a paper there which I the title was in the beginning is the dance of love it's in my book science and the sacred is reproduced there but and the person who was reading the the you know the people who read making sure that all the words are correctly translated etc without even consulting me he changed it in the beginning was the dance of love twice I had to keep coming back to say was or released it puts it in the time sequence but in the beginning is the dance of love meaning it is even now right now is the dance of love not only it was at some time but let me continue with reading some more of those remarks from John's gospel the world was in the world and through him the world was made yet the world did not know who he was to his own he came yet his own did not accept him but to all who did receive him to those who have yielded him their allegiance he gave the right to become children of God begotten not by blood nor by carnal desire nor by man's wishing but by God that is the purpose just like Christ was the son of God so that each one of us can be his brothers and sisters and to become children of God that is the call that is the call of the gospel itself I'm just reading to you from the gospel of John as he says nor by not by blood nor by carnal desire nor by man's wishing but by God this is actually the call of Christ to be his brothers and sisters just like him and here I will remind you this is St. Paul in the Romans all who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God the spirit himself gives witness with our spirit that we are children of God but if we are children we are heirs as well heirs of God heirs with Christ if only we suffer with him so as to be glorified with him see this is the difficulty we are willing to be sons of God or daughters of God but are we willing to be like Christ to undertake suffering by the way here I should maybe I know St. Paul uses the word suffering but actual word which is central to all spiritual teachings is sacrifice if you undertake suffering intentionally that is what becomes sacrifice otherwise just a very simple example I could be starved in a let us say in a concentration camp or I could undertake fasting what's the difference in one case I'm intentionally subjecting myself to some deprivation or to some suffering or to some handicap that is what makes it a sacrifice literally the word sacrifice comes of Latin root root to make sacred and for something to be sacred means it has to relate with a level of consciousness higher than my usual level that is what makes something sacred so sacrifice is actually absolutely at the heart of the whole spirit any spiritual teaching after all what did God sent his only beloved son because for what not for a bowl of cherries for sacrifice and maybe I'll come back to this later on in more detail the word baptism is Greek origin literally means immersion in suffering it's all very nice for Christians to say they are being baptized but is also to understand what does it mean is one willing to undertake the kind of sacrifice that Christ undertook but the call is that doesn't mean it's easy but the call and I am repeating this that in every spiritual teaching the call is to come closer and closer to the divine himself or herself or itself and here is a remark of one of the great Christian mystics sadly therefore excommunicated but that's not surprising to me Maister Eckhart he says every Christian is called to be merry and give birth to the world so what does it mean to give birth to the world obviously we are not talking about fleshly birth here that would be completely silly we are talking about spiritual birth and then here is another remark of a great Christian mystic Angela Silesius 17th century Dutch mistake he said Christ could be born a thousand times in Galilee but all in vain until he's born in me you see it's very important to understand what is the call of all these great such sages and mystics how can Christ or the word be born in me how can I become a child of God this is actually the call of Christ himself I already quoted to you from John's gospel and from St. Paul whosoever is begotten by the Spirit is the child of God but this is really the end here I am just repeating this again look within you are the Buddha that is the call from Buddhism and then from the Upanishad you are that but clearly very few people in human history can come close to that kind of actual fact we have that with Christ saying in John's gospel the father and I are one in the oldest Upanishad says I am Brahma but not I alone so are you therefore you are that that is the call and on the other hand one should also realize that that sort of realization is at the level of the highest level of awareness in oneself it's almost as if one is at the Mount Sinai top of Mount Sinai of consciousness where one can actually see one's oneness with the divine so in the same gospel John's gospel most of the time what Christ actually said the father is greater than I this is a direct quote because in general as it is said in the Buddhist tradition even the Buddha every morning needed to renew himself because very it's almost impossible to stay at that level of consciousness in which one can see one's oneness with the father because that level of consciousness does not allow you to even get your meals you're unable to actually take care of the body in fact it used to be said about Ramakrishna very great sage towards the end of the 19th century in India that his disciples he would get into Samadhi which is a state of really union with the divine and that his disciples had to shake him up to bring him back so that he can eat and survive otherwise because at that stage one is unable to attend to anything ordinarily physical level so it's a good thing to remember that even the Buddha and Christ they are not always staying at that level they wouldn't survive because they need to survive in order to help their disciples to come to something so it's not that they wish to keep surviving just before their own sake but for the sake of teaching they feel that it is necessary for them to continue living in this body and therefore they return to a slightly lower level of awareness a little lower level of consciousness to be able to act in the world and this is the remark John's Gospel 14 chapter 14 28 verse the father is greater than I Christ often reminded his people which is why he would rather be called son of God rather than one with God although at the highest level he says the father and I are one so I have this suggestion as a kind of exercise if you


like none of this is not meant to be a homework for which you get grades but really in a way I invite you to consider this if you remind yourself that you did not create yourself and also that whatever you usually call myself will definitely die in a few decades does it arouse in you an inquiry about your real identity and why you have been created if yes how do you proceed with that inquiry so we don't need to take any of this as a kind of it move work to pass a test but in all spiritual teachings sooner or later one comes down to this very question that whatever I usually call myself would obviously die why am I here or what am I what is my real identity or who am I actually this in Sanskrit there is a one single word called Koham usually translated who am I I personally prefer what am I because even who am I makes it too personal so what am I what are the energies that have come together to constitute me and why so if I return keep returning to this kind of question it brings a sense of wonder which actually takes a lot of emotional energy to be engaged with it therefore one doesn't waste energy in anxiety worry etc which is what because no energy can be without relationship it's like on a shifting slope if I don't try to move upward I will naturally go down so even to stay at the same level I need to be trying to move upward thank you very much see you in the next class


Kate M
5 people like this.
How wonderful to find Raviji here again, to share his unique perspective on the path of the Christ, and how it intersects with other spiritual paths. 
Divya S
3 people like this.
Gratitude 🙏. Thanks YogaAnytime for bringing this eternal blessing 
Maria Elena D
The most significant gift I will receive this holiday season, THANK YOU very much.
Rachel S
2 people like this.
This is an absolute gift. Thank you so much for the profound teachings. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Rufus J
2 people like this.
Jegbefume Rufus
I am full with excitement during the first segment of this chapter. Surely a gift to humanity of all faith. I am already feeling great and more vigor to continue. Thank you very much.
Ann D
Red R
Thank you Ravi, such valuable knowledge. Thank you for sharing it.
Caroline S
Thank yuo for this opening session - looking forward to continuing !

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