I

The Christ-Life Must Be Lived

Jesus Christ lived and symbolised divine consciousness. He was the very personification of divinity. He was born at a time when ignorance, superstition, greed, hatred and hypocrisy prevailed upon India, as elsewhere. The rulers were arrogant and unrighteous. The people were avaricious, indolent and heedless. Purity was forgotten. Morality was neglected. They were more intent upon worshiping mammon than adoring God. There was no idealism.

In the midst of these conditions, Christ was born and he worked a transformation in the lives of the people, though not quite successfully in his life time but through the following centuries by the means of his teachings. He gave a new spiritual turn to the lives of his fellow-men. Thus a new era dawned upon this world, and the teaching of Jesus spread far and wide.

Before discrimination and spiritual awakening dawn within the seeker, he has bigoted outlook, selfish tendencies and no thought for God or the higher divine life. He is then immersed in the pursuit of material interests. He is a slave of his senses. He has no spiritual ideal in life. He is desire-ridden. Arrogance, avarice and sensuality characterise his personality. He lives a life of lust, anger, greed, deluded attachment, pride, egoism and jealousy.

If this state of things must cease and the seeker must enter into a new life of spiritual aspiration, purity and devotion, then the Christ spirit must take its birth within one's heart. That will be the real adoration of Jesus Christ. That will be the true following of Christianity. When the divine element that is dormant within us begins to express itself, then indeed we open ourselves to the grace of the Christ. From then onward light begins to shine where darkness was before. Ignorance gives place to the beginning of wisdom. Impurity is replaced by purity. Hatred ceases and love begins to blossom forth.

In his innermost core, man is essentially divine. But through the medium of the human personality two forces keep acting. They are the forces of good and evil, light and darkness. The divine and the undivine both operate in the human consciousness. To completely overcome and eradicate the undivine elements and to fully manifest the supreme divine Consciousness in all its radiant light and glory is to be achieved through the living of the Christ-life in the utmost faithful detail. That is spiritual life. That is Yoga. That is Sadhana. That is the path of Self-realisation.

If the Christ-life is to be lived, first of all the child Christ has to be born in our heart. Only then does the real spiritual life commence for the aspirant. The first manifestation of the divine urge to progress in the path of goodness and virtue and to cherish noble ideals and eradicate vicious, negative tendencies signifies the birth of the infant Jesus in our consciousness. From hence starts the living of the Christ-life in all its details of sublime purity, faith in divinity, mercy, compassion, love, selflessness, desirelessness, egolessness, forgiveness, prayerfulness and so on. Hence starts the life of earnest Yoga, of self-restraint and simplicity, of unbroken serenity and peace, tolerance, balance of mind in pleasure and pain, unflinching courage and determination, and perfect dedication to the worship of God through the service of humanity. This is the spiritual implication of all the celebrations connected with Jesus Christ. This is also the message of the Easter.

With the advent of this Christ-spirit within the heart of a truly earnest seeker, all mundane desires come to an end. There is a cessation of all vicious tendencies in him. He begins to influence others around him. The spirit of Jesus Christ emanates from him. Many are made aware of that spirit and a great deal of good is brought into their lives. Thus, if every individual begins to live a new life of divine aspiration, fellow-feeling and social service, spirituality will gradually overcome materialism. There will be more of goodwill, more of harmony and more of peace in this world. The tendency to help each other, to understand each other and to decrease avariciousness, selfishness and egoism will grow gradually in every sphere, which would mean greater happiness in every hearth and home.

Spiritual life is neither exclusively meant for the poor and the lowly, nor is it beyond the reach of the wealthy. To pursue the spiritual path one need not seek the undisturbed assurity of food and shelter. But there is a significant point in the birth of Jesus. He was born in a simple, lowly place, a corner of a stable. Also he was born in darkness, in the obscure hour of midnight, when no one even knew about it, except a few blessed souls. The significance here is that spiritual awakening comes to the seeker who is humble and meek and simple. The light of divine consciousness dawns only when the delusive glitters of material glamour and the corruptive influence of wealth are absent.

The quality of true humility is one of the indispensable fundamentals. Only when there are simplicity, holiness and renunciation of all earthly desires and the pride of learning, goodness and merit, the divine light manifests within. Even as Christ was born unknown to the world and in the obscurity of darkness, so also the advent of the Christ spirit takes place in the inwardness of the soul when there is total self-effacement and self-abnegation. Where the urge of aggrandisement and vanity abides, there divinity cannot unfold itself, for these expressions of egotism are permanent hindrances to any kind of spiritual growth. You can be sure, a man of vanity is far from God. A man of selfishness knows nothing of God. A man of intolerance has thoroughly misunderstood God. ‘Empty thyself and I shall fill thee,' is the advice of Jesus. The kingdom of heaven is surely for the humble in spirit.

It was this secret that centuries ago Jesus explained to Nicodemus. The good man did not quite understand what precisely Jesus meant. ‘How can it be? How can I be born again if I am to attain the Kingdom of God?' Asked Nicodemus. Then Christ explained that this birth was an inward transformation, not of the body, but of the spirit. Such inner spiritual birth is essential if one truly wishes to know Jesus Christ.

May the true implication of the Christ-life dawn within every heart. Realise fully that so long as thirst of power and arrogance of wealth infect the nature of man, until then the spirit of Christ is out of reach. As with the individual, even so with the community and the nation. It is only when real spiritual transformation occurs in the hearts of the individuals that its effects can be felt in the nations of the world. Let every soul understand the duty of the human life. Let everyone cultivate a sense of brotherhood, tolerance, charity, humility, mutual understanding, love and compassion. Let everyone aspire for greater knowledge, greater enlightenment and greater goodwill. Let the sense of evolution and perfection be eternally progressive.

II

Where Are You, O Saviour?

Jesus! Light of the world! My Saviour! Where are You?

For, in this dark hour when mankind rushes headlong towards its own destruction, there is urgent need for Thee!

Where are You, O Saviour? Have You not promised that You will never leave us comfortless and that You will come to us? This, indeed, is the time when you should reveal yourself to us so that we might follow You in peace and joy.

Alas, my Good Shepherd! Many of Thy sheep are lost. But, we don't despair. How kind and gracious You are! You take a supreme delight in bringing the lost sheep back to the fold. Each lost sheep adds to Your delight. Come, come, there is great work and greater delight awaiting You.

Where are You, O Saviour? Temples have been built for You all over the world. Literally, there is no part of the globe where people do not profess to be Your followers. Truly, my Lord, the sun never sets over Thy Kingdom on Earth. But, alas, the very people who owe allegiance to You, have surrendered themselves to the evil hands of Satan. They seek to serve You on Sundays and mammon on the rest of the days.

Lord, if a man loves You he will keep Your words, and, the Father will love him and You will come unto him and make Your abode with him. Today people remember Your name but have forgotten Your words—the comforting balm, the invaluable treasure, the fountain of bliss, the nectar of immortality, the philosopher's stone, that transformed man into divinity.

You had given us Your great Commandment: "Love one another, as I have loved you," and You have shown us by Your own life that You could (and did) give up Your life itself for our sake. Not only is such love vanishing from the face of the earth today, but in his greed, fear and hatred, man is ready to cut the throat of his brother. Where are You, O Saviour? Come, come: ere it is too late.

When will people realise that "a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth?" When will they seek the Kingdom of God and let the other things be added unto them at His will? Can there be a warning, stronger and clearer, than Your words: "Take heed and beware of covetousness."

Where are You, O Saviour? Come, come, and remind man that he has in his hands a stone with which he can get two fruits at one stroke. If only he understands aright, and practises Your precept: "sell that ye have, and give alms, and provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heaven that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth," he will not only achieve his own salvation, but will create harmony and peace around him and there will be brotherhood and prosperity in the world.

Where are you, O Saviour? Your children for whom you gave up Your life itself—the poor, the downtrodden, the faithful, the persecuted—are oppressed and are deprived of even the little they have. Their oppressors whom You sought to save through Your life-transforming Message of Love and Oneness, are once again straying away into the path of inequity. You have commended: "When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed." But, everywhere we see feasts and festivities, dinners and garden parties to which only the friends and rich neighbours are invited! And, what do they do? In Your sage counsels were the seeds of peace and prosperity. Discarding them, they gather only to plot against each other, and together against a third. Come, O Saviour; now is the time for Your clarion call.

Lord! Forget not Your Promise: "Whatever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." In Your Holy Divine Name, I pray: Come, O Supreme Monarch of the world! Enthrone Yourself in the hearts of all men. Even as You said: without You nothing can be done.

Where are You, O Saviour! "Thou art where Thy Word is." This have You revealed in Your luminous utterances: that You are one with Your Law. This Law is the Law of Unity, of Brotherhood, of Love, of Humility, of Forgiveness, of Righteousness, of Charity. I pray to You, on this Most Holy Day of Your Birth here: take Your birth once again in the hearts of all men and women all over the world and take Your birth in the form of this Divine Law. Thus would humanity be saved, and thus would Jesus, my Lord, the Son of God, be proclaimed as the Eternal Saviour.

Come, Prince of Peace! For Your Second Coming are Your chosen children, the saints and men-of-God all over the world, praying and waiting. Come in the form of Your fiery words. Come in the form of the Sermon on the Mount, every word aglow with Your Divine Light. Coming into man's heart, let Your Word become the blood of his blood, breath of his life, soul of his soul. Only thus transformed into the very images of Your Word shall men regain the Eternal Life, Infinite Joy and Perennial Peace that passeth understanding.

On this Holy Christmas Night, may the Lord be reborn in the hearts of every man and woman in the whole world!