The Resurrection of Christ within You
"The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita are satisfyingly complete, containing the science of life, the eternal principles of truth and philosophy of living that make life beautiful and harmonious. Philosophy is the love of wisdom; religion, as taught by the scriptural prophets, is likewise devotion to highest truth. The personal realization of truth is the science behind all sciences. But for most persons, religion has devolved to a matter of belief only. One believes in Catholicism, another believes in some Protestant denomination, others assert belief that the Jewish or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist religion is the true way. The science of religion identifies the universal truths common to all—the basis of religion—and teaches how by their practical application persons can build their lives according to the Divine Plan."- Paramahansa Yogananda
The Second Coming of Christ - Part 1 & 2 of the Introduction
"In titling this work 'The Second Coming of Christ', I am not referring to a literal return of Jesus to earth. He came two thousand years ago and, after imparting a universal path to God's kingdom, was crucified and resurrected; his reappearance to the masses now is not necessary for the fulfillment of his teachings. What 'is' necessary is for the cosmic wisdom and divine perception of Jesus to speak again through each one's own experience and understanding of the infinite Christ Consciousness that was incarnate in Jesus. That will be his true Second Coming.
There is a distinguishing difference of meaning between 'Jesus' and 'Christ'. His given name was Jesus; his honorific title was"Christ."In his little human body called Jesus was born the vast Christ Consciousness, the omniscient Intelligence of God omnipresent in every part and particle of creation. This Consciousness is the"only begotten Son of God," so designated because it is the sole perfect reflection in creation of the Transcendental Absolute, Spirit or God the Father.
It was of that Infinite Consciousness, replete with the love and bliss of God, that Saint John spoke when he said: "As many as received him [the Christ Consciousness], to them gave he power to become the sons of God."Thus according to Jesus' own teaching as recorded by his most highly advanced apostle, John, all souls who become united with Christ Consciousness by intuitive Self-realisation* are rightly called sons of God.
A small cup cannot hold an ocean within itself. Likewise, the cup of human consciousness, limited by the physical and mental instrumentalities of material perceptions, cannot grasp the universal Christ Consciousness, no matter how desirous one may be of doing so. By the definite science of meditation known for millenniums to the yogis and sages of India, and to Jesus, any seeker of God can enlarge the caliber of his consciousness to omniscience—to receive within himself the Universal Intelligence of God.
What Jesus gave as chronicled in the New Testament of the Bible very few people understand. They just read what he said and quote it; and because it is written in the biblical Scripture they believe it blindly, with little effort to realize the wisdom therein through personal experience. Realization is to attune one's consciousness with Christ; then the right comprehension will come. When persons try to deduce the meaning of Jesus' words by intellectual analysis alone, or from the perspective of a specific dogma, they inevitably distort his sayings to suit their purpose—however well-intentioned—or to comfortably accommodate their level of understanding. Christ-wisdom has to be grasped by communion, not by rationalization.
The only reliable standard of scriptural interpretation is the testimony of actual perception—to go into that state of consciousness in which the prophets perceived the truths they expounded and thereby witness the meaning they intended. The words of Jesus fully unfold their wisdom only to those who meditate deeply on the Christ Consciousness that Jesus possessed. Then one understands Jesus in the light of his spiritual experience of the Cosmic Consciousness of the Heavenly Father, realized through the Father's Christ-Intelligence reflection present in all creation.
The detailed knowledge of the heavens as discovered by great astronomers through study and the use of telescopes could not have been acquired by lay persons lacking that training and equipment. Likewise, what enlightened sages know about Truth and Spirit through the clarifying telescope of their intuition can be known by ordinary individuals only when they have similarly extended their vision by the use of their inner telescopic intuition erstwhile hidden in the chamber of their souls.
Christ did not go through the sublime drama of his life merely to provide sermon material for generations of preachers and their Sunday audiences. He lived, died, and was gloriously resurrected as an inspiration to others to live a divine life and attain in themselves his experiences of God and the afterlife.
Jesus Christ was crucified once; but his teachings are crucified daily at the hands of superstition, dogmatism, and pedantic theological misinterpretations. My aim in offering to the world this spiritual interpretation of his words is to show how the Christ Consciousness of Jesus, free from such crucifixion, can be brought back a second time into the souls of all who make the effort to receive it. Surely, with the dawn of this more enlightened age, the time has come to stop the crucifixion of the Christ teachings as given by Jesus. His pristine message should be resurrected from its entombment by Self-realization, the inner enlightened experience of truth.
In these pages I offer to the world an intuitionally perceived spiritual interpretation of the words spoken by Jesus, truths received through actual communion with Christ Consciousness. They will be found to be universally true if they are studied conscientiously and meditated upon with soul-awakened intuitive perception. They reveal the perfect unity that exists among the revelations of the Christian Bible, the Bhagavad Gita of India, and all other time-tested true scriptures.
The saviors of the world do not come to foster inimical doctrinal divisions; their teachings should not be used toward that end. It is something of a misnomer even to refer to the New Testament as the"Christian"Bible, for it does not belong exclusively to any one sect. Truth is meant for the blessing and upliftment of the entire human race. As the Christ Consciousness is universal, so does Jesus Christ belong to all...
The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita are satisfyingly complete, containing the science of life, the eternal principles of truth and philosophy of living that make life beautiful and harmonious. Philosophy is the love of wisdom; religion, as taught by the scriptural prophets, is likewise devotion to highest truth. The personal realization of truth is the science behind all sciences. But for most persons, religion has devolved to a matter of belief only. One believes in Catholicism, another believes in some Protestant denomination, others assert belief that the Jewish or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist religion is the true way. The science of religion identifies the universal truths common to all—the basis of religion—and teaches how by their practical application persons can build their lives according to the Divine Plan. India's teaching of 'Raja Yoga', the "royal"science of the soul, supersedes the orthodoxy of religion by setting forth systematically the practice of those methods that are universally necessary for the perfection of every individual, regardless of race or creed.
There is a vast difference between theoretical religion and philosophy and their actual practice. Practically speaking, philosophy may be divided into three parts—ethics, psychology, and metaphysics. These three departments are covered in both the Hindu and Christian Bibles.
Ethics—scriptural truth as applied to material life—sets forth the science of human duty, moral laws, how to behave.
Psychology—truth applied to mental well-being—teaches one how to analyze himself; for no spiritual progress is possible without introspection and self-study by which one endeavors to find out what he is so that he can correct himself and become what he should be.
Metaphysics—truths pertaining to the spiritual dimension of life—explains the nature of God and the science of knowing Him.
These three, taken together and put into practice, constitute religion. The ethical moral principles prescribed in the New Testament are the same as in the Gita. The psychology and the metaphysics of these two scriptures, rightly interpreted, likewise coincide in every respect. The superficial difference is that the Hindu scriptures—of which the Gita is a sublime summation—were written in a higher age of civilization, against a background of greater understanding among the general populace. Though Jesus himself embodied the highest wisdom, he expressed truth in simple, concise language; whereas the scriptures of India are composed in Sanskrit terminology of extraordinary depth and scientific precision. Point by point I have compared the salient message of the Bible and Hindu scriptures, and have found only harmonious unity between them. It is from this understanding that these explanations of Christ's words have been written. By way of example, some parallel or complementary verses from the Bhagavad Gita are cited. I have given a detailed explanation of these verses and the entirety of the Gita in a separate work, to which I encourage readers to refer for additional insight into the truths implicit but not elaborated in Jesus' words that have come down to us in the four canonical Gospels. Had Jesus himself written his teachings, they might indeed have been expressed in greater depth than in the generalities of a conversation with his disciples or a discourse to the multitudes. Certainly in the Revelation of St. John we are led by means of metaphor into the profound insights of the yoga science in which Jesus initiated his advanced disciple John, and others, whose consciousness thereby ascended to the exalted Self-realized state of the kingdom of God within."
Paramahansa Yogananda, The Second Coming of Christ (The Resurrection of the Christ within You)
Volume I, Introduction-Part 1 & 2, Self-realization Fellowship (2008) pg. xxi-xxvi.
* "'Self' is capitalized to denote the soul, man's true identity, in contradiction to the ego or pseudosoul, the lower self with which man temporarily identifies through ignorance of his real nature."
The Paraclete "In that ego they get lost, and they cannot see what's wrong with them(selves), with their own community, with their own people, who claim to be such and such a thing. So, this ego has really dominated so much. So far in the history, so many countries, nations have been really tortured and butchered, because of the ego of some people....Once they will realize how horrible they have been, how satanic they have been, how aggressive they have been, they'll give it up! But, they have to realize (that) and for that I said - 'You have to have your resurrection'. Without the resurrection you will not know at all; you'll not be conscious of what wrong you have been doing. It is very, very surprising how people go on doing wrong things, advertise them, and come out as egos. When I read the newspapers, I say: 'They're all stupid people all around' - absolutely very, very stupid, in the sense that they have no understanding of what they are doing! They are just killing people, enjoying the killing, and they're so violent it is impossible to understand what sort of life they are going to have after death—even before death!"
Easter Puja. Istanbul, Turkey—22 April 2001
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The Resurrection of Christ within You
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