Om Kristave Namaha: Salutations to Christ! Why do we give salutations? We look to the life of Jesus, his words, his actions, and the actions of his followers. This is the ONE who told – in Palestine – before the Romans arrived and destroyed the temple in Jerusalem that he was ONE with his Father. Perhaps it is meet and fitting to reflect on the path of Oneness with Divinity that Jesus taught in word and action, in dying and rising from the tomb.
What is the excellence of reading?
One of the more pertinent and alert things to do in life is to read to answer questions. So we should have questions in our head about the topic, the content matter as it is introduced.
The Indian concept of sutra embraces few words; words ought be unambiguous, and directly convey essence. Like Lord Brahma, it literally faces all four directions at once (suggesting many meanings), with applicability and relevance. Flow of meaning is uninterrupted, there is no intersection in the writing, and it is thus praiseworthy.
With such questions in mind and with suggested attentiveness, we look to two excerpts of Sathya Sai Baba speaking about Jesus at Christmas.
Jesus advised one of His foremost disciples, Peter to live in love, for Love is God. Man can experience God only when he becomes the embodiment of Love, which doesn’t seek anything or expect even gratitude in return. Love becomes sacrifice and service, spontaneously. When Peter listened to such exhortations from the Master, he found a new joy welling up within him and a new meaning in the word joy. ‘J’ meant Jesus and the letter directed him to love Jesus first. ‘O’ meant others who must be loved next. ‘Y’ meant yourself who ought to be loved only last. But look at the human condition today. Man loves himself first, others next and Jesus last! When God occupies the mind, the objective world or nature which is only the product of the mind loses its validity and man, the wave on the ocean, lapses in his Source.
Jesus demonstrated and preached the power of faith and, ultimately, invited on Himself the supreme sacrifice of life itself. When His disciples started abusing His tormentors, His voice warned them to desist. “All are one, my son! Be alike to everyone.” By a vision He granted to Paul who was reviling him, He transformed him into a penitent disciple, full of faith and ardour. It is only when we look upon the universe as permeated by God that we acquire the strength to fight the forces of evil.
Many persons who engage themselves in prayers and pilgrimages for years wonder why they have not been able to realise God. It is unnecessary to go round the world searching for God. God is in search of the genuine devotee. The devotee who is conscious of the omnipresence of God will find Him everywhere. He must have the firm conviction that there is no place where God is not present. That is the real mark of devotion. Meditation and prayer have value as means of purifying oneself. But they do not lead to God-realisation. Unwavering faith in God grants inexpressible Bliss. One should not give way to doubts which undermine faith. The power of Love is infinite. It can conquer anything.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, December 25, 1986
At that time, the priests of the holy temples of Jerusalem had become corrupt and commercialised. They had deteriorated into proud and selfish men. Jesus condemned them and tried to root out the evil practices. For, all forms were in the eyes of Jesus, Divine Forms and He could not tolerate any action which belied this status. So, when asked by people who He was, He could reply, “I and my Father are One.” Jesus tried to teach everyone the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.
Tradition-minded and egoistic men considered Jesus a false prophet and they tried by every means to thwart His mission. Jesus, however, did not waver. Faced with opposition, He continued to be an example of living Truth, and to purify society. Many disciples followed Jesus but throughout history, it has been the experience of Rama, Krishna, Jesus and Muhammad that disciples – however close – are seldom fully dedicated. Most are only part-time devotees. Jesus had 12 disciples, most of whom had faith in Him and lived His teachings. But Judas yielded to greed. He betrayed his Master for a mere 30 coins. He could not find joy in life after this treachery. His mind gave him no peace. He had to seek refuge in suicide. Betrayal by people who pretend to adore has been happening for ages.
Corrupt, greedy and selfish people spread falsehoods about their own Masters. We hear of a Judas, 2000 years ago. But in the Kali Age, people are obsessed with money and Judases have multiplied. They seek to amass paltry riches whereas good character, good conduct and knowledge of God are the three real treasures to be gathered. Land and buildings, silver and gold, dollars and other currencies are temporary and trivial. They are possessions only until life lasts. But those three treasures will stay on, sustain and strengthen you until you attain union with the Infinite.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba, December 25, 1979