THE SYMBOLISM OF THE CROSS
HOW TO LIVE LOVE
Jesus stood for love. What is love, how can it be gained, how can it be acquired, how can it be lived? That is the entirety of any religion, and I am talking of true religions and not the interpretations of religions.
Love can only be brought about by self-integration, and I have said this many, many times before. I will say it repeatedly that through spiritual practices, the body, the mind, and the Spirit act in oneness, in unison, integratedly, and when we can function integratedly, then we realise the meaning of love. For it is the integrated person that will know the meaning of the commandment that says, “Love thy neighbour as Thyself.”
If you are not integrated within yourself, you are not loving yourself, and if you cannot love yourself, how can you love your neighbour? The purpose of life, the purpose of Jesus’s teachings, is this become integrated, become whole. Find the wholeness, and in the wholeness, you find Divinity, for Divinity is the wholeness. And everyone has the right to reach that stage of Christ Consciousness where “I and my Father are one.”
RADIATING THE PEACE FROM WITHIN
We that have faith, we that believe; not blind faith or blind belief, a reasonable belief, and more important than that, the experience that one gains within oneself. That peace that comes automatically will bring peace to others around you, and you emanate it from yourself.
You have had this experience, all of you. You could go to someone’s home; the atmosphere is such that you do not want to stay there for a few minutes. The atmosphere is so beautiful at someone else’s home that you would not mind sitting there for an hour or two. It is the very emanation, the radiation of the atmosphere in that house, and it is the people who live in the home that radiates that.
When we find that peace within ourselves, we radiate that peace to others, even unconsciously; please give me one person with a troubled mind and let him sit with me for five minutes, and that person will feel calm and peaceful. Not to say that the person’s troubles will disappear as if waving a magic wand. No. But the person will feel peaceful, and it is only by having that peace within ourselves that we can tackle the greatest problem that might face us in life.
Peace comes with this unfoldment of consciousness. Peace means not to be asleep; that is dead peace. We want peace to be alive, awakened peace, where we are conscious of everything around us. To be in the world and yet not of the world. We live in today’s time and age, our ordinary lives. We do the work that we have to do. We earn the bread and beans and carry-on life.
Yet, because of spiritual practices, there is a specific strength in the background, there is a certain peace that is there, and that pulls you through, for whatever might happen inside you are steadfast and still. “Be still and know that I am God.”
The ocean exists peaceful, quiet underneath, and the waves on top are turbulent. What Jesus taught was the attention, where is your attention, on the turbulence of the waves or is your attention on the calmness of the ocean deeper down. It is just a few feet deep, that is all. Not even six feet that is something else. So, one of the great men that lived in this world brought this message to us in such few words.
GOD IS LOVE; LOVE IS PEACE
If you read the whole Bible, you will find only twenty-four words spoken by Jesus. The rest were books, interpretations; you know the four books, Matthew, Markus, Luke, John, you know that. But the power and force of those few words are still alive today, just as much as they were at that time because they came with the full force of that Universal Consciousness. “Love Thy neighbour as Thyself.” “Do Unto others as you would expect to be done unto you.” These injunctions are so beautiful. But without gaining that consciousness, that Christ Consciousness, you will never be able to appreciate those words. You would think about them, analyse them, and mull over them, but it is a different story when it comes to practising them.
Only when one can love one’s neighbour as oneself can we know what religion stands for? It binds you back to your source, God, and God is Love; love is peace.
THERE ARE SO MANY THEORIES ABOUT THE PHYSICAL LIFE OF JESUS
We can go on and on and on. There are so many theories on the physical life of Jesus. About two years ago, in your Observer newspaper, there was a two-part article on the physical life of Jesus. I did not agree with everything, but they said another scroll was found in the desert by an Arab, and he found it in an earthen jar, and they deciphered it. According to the articles in the Observer, they say in the scroll that Jesus had a son with Mary Magdalene. They also say that Jesus did not die on the cross, but he went into a coma, and when he was buried in the tomb, he regained consciousness from the coma and escaped through the help of Nicodemus.
The first person he went to see was Mary Magdalene, and she took him to his disciples, where he was nursed. Then he went to the East, and he lived to seventy-three.
It is also said that a few of the significant Upanishads of the Hindus were written by Jesus; not written actually but spoken, and people had recorded them.
These are various theories put forward by people. It is not for us to accept them or deny them. Let there be a million theories. But I am not interested in all that. I am not interested in Jesus the man; I am interested in Christ. I am interested in Christ Consciousness. That consciousness is a stage that everyone can reach. For did He not speak of hope. I hope you achieve that stage of consciousness so that you can experience to be one with the Father.
NO MAN GOES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH THAT CONSCIOUSNESS
No man goes to the Father except unto me, or through me or some words like that, I am using my terminology. Krishna said the same thing. What does it mean? It does not refer to the physical man that existed but to that consciousness, for one has to reach that consciousness level, that integrated consciousness before one could become one with the Father. So, our main concern is to unfold that consciousness that is already there within us and experience that consciousness.
Whatever I speak to you is never from books. I might quote certain things to make it easier for people to understand instead of using abstract terms. I speak of experience. For experience is my real teacher. None other. The experience that I gained within myself, although being awakened through the help of my guru, but once the experience of eternity is gained, when once a person reaches that state of consciousness, then you yourself are your guru. You yourself are your teacher. Outside, gurus and teachers start you off on the path. But you have to reach there yourself, and there are no miracles.
WE HAVE TO BE READY ALL THE TIME
Christ healed not very many people. Why did he only make a few blind people see, or a few lame people walk when at that time, there were thousands and thousands that there blind and lame? Why did he not cure them all? The reason is simple. They were not ready, and I am asking you now to be ready. When Maranatha came to fetch me from the other room, she said, “Are you ready”? I said, “Yes, I am ready, I am ready all the time”. Do you understand now what I meant?
Everyone has to be ready all the time and have the thought in mind that this moment might be my last. It is a beautiful thought, and we do not think it in a pessimistic way; we believe it is a hopeful, glorious, optimistic way that if this moment is my last, how much have I progressed in my consciousness, how much unfoldment has there been within me? How much of this world can I cognise? How much do I separate myself from everything that I see around me? Or how much can I identify myself with everything around me? And when that identification comes here on this mundane level, if you can identify yourself with the beauty of this flower, the beautiful green grass and find that the very energy that keeps this flower alive, that makes this grass grow, that makes these trees grow, is the same energy that keeps me alive. And this is not just by mental thought. It is not logical. You do not need logic for that. You have to feel the life of the flower. You have to feel the sap, the invisible sap that gives this flower its beauty, size, and shape. So an invisible sap concretises itself into the form that we give a name.
Identification must be with the essence, the sap, and that is what Jesus achieved in the last seven days of his life before he was crucified. He was in total identification with all existence, and that is why he never escaped or ran away. For he knew his soul to be immortal, that there is no death, death is only of the body, where we chuck off one garment, one suit, and you put on another suit.
BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER
The soul within man, the Spirit, is forever immortal, and if you have that sense of immortality, when you can feel it in every cell of your body, in the marrow of your very bones, you feel that immortality, then there is no fear left of death. That does not mean that we have to become hermits and leave our homes and go to the Himalayas or some unknown caves somewhere. No. No. We live in this world, and like the other Biblical saying, ‘Give unto Caesar which is Caesar’s and give unto God which is God’s.
Give unto your body and mind that which should belong to it. But at the same time, give to the inner Self what belongs to the inner Self. It has to work together. To live a beautiful happy life, nothing wrong with that. If you are given a choice of a dry piece of bread or a King’s feast, take the King’s feast; why not? But at the same time, the realisation must be there that there is no difference between that dry piece of bread and that King’s feast. For how far does that King’s feast go? Just three to four inches. Just from there to there and after that, it no more remains a King’s feast or a dry piece of bread.
TO BE IN THE WORLD BUT NOT OF THE WORLD
What I am telling you is the attachment a person has towards things. The preconceived ideas one has been that this is better than that. Because of the mental patterns, we become attached to the flesh and mundane things. Attachment! There is no attachment when one has or reaches that stage of Christ Consciousness, for he willingly gave his body. He was not even attached to his body. The secret of joy forever will be non-attachment, in the world and yet not of the world. That is the secret of joy and happiness. And that is how even if we go through some crucifixion. Crucifixion does not only mean being nailed on the cross. Every day people go through all kinds of problems in their lives, and they are crucified. They are crucifying themselves.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE CROSS
Crucify fine, but do not stick to it, rise, resurrection, the cross, a beautiful symbol. Every time I see a cross, my heart bleeds. Do you know the symbolism of a cross? The vertical and the horizontal. The vertical is the absolute rising from the ground, and the horizontal is the relative life that we live. But without the Absolute, the vertical, the horizontal beam cannot be supported.
This life which we live on the horizontal plane is supported by the vertical so deeply planted in the ground and yet rising up. Do you see the beautiful significance? So, every time we pass a church or anywhere we see a cross, the thoughts that must go through our minds is that “Lord, you are my support, the vertical, I am but the horizontal bar and if the vertical was not there, how could the horizontal bar be there.”
Every time we pass a church or see a cross, those are the thoughts that must go through our minds. That the relative is supported by the Absolute all the time means that the Father supports the Son and being together, the Father and Son forms the whole unit of the cross.
He suffered for our sins, they say. Very true. It does not mean absolution, as many people interpret it, because he died, all our sins are forgiven. That is what many teachers teach; they do not know what they are talking about; it is ignorance. He died for our sins, meaning that he gave forth even at the point of death, for his entire was destined to die that way. If his teachings are grasped, then we can say that I have rid myself of those sins for which he gave his life. Do you see the interpretation?
MY TEACHING IS TO FILL THE CHURCHES AND THE TEMPLES, AND THE SYNAGOGUES
We want practicality, not going to Church Sunday mornings, wearing our Sunday best. And then, of course, the attention of Joan is more on Jean or Jacqueline – “Oh, what is she wearing today?” No. No. Rather not indulge in that hypocrisy because churches today have just become social gatherings and have lost their true meaning.
According to which Church you belong, people go through the various rituals and what have you. But the mind is not in that worship but somewhere else, not feeling that real peace that should be felt. In Church, we do gain experiences that could be very valuable to us, very valuable for the peace of the mind. I have said this many times repeatedly that my teachings around the world are to fill the churches and the temples and the synagogues and not to empty them.
These churches and synagogues and temples could be filled if the priests and the pastors and the church ministers could impart some experience to the parishioners, to the people that attend Church. But here is what I found, and I have a lot of ministers and Pastors amongst my friends and meditators as well, that they spend a whole week taking a portion from the Bible and preparing a sermon parrot-like. When a man of experience lives with God, in God and He in Him and when he speaks of that experience that he receives, your heart is immediately touched. You do not fall asleep in Church.
… Gururaj Ananda Yogi: Satsang UK 1983 – 11