The Silence of Buddha and his Contemplation of the Truth


Gautama Buddha
Gautama Buddha
"Buddha was born in or around 563 B.C. into a religious milieu which had in its tradition two distinct approaches to the pursuit and personal discovery of the Truth. The first approach was that of sharpening one's intellect through active engagement in philosophical inquiries. Truth was sought through metaphysical debates and discussions. This approach placed strong emphasis on the power of rational knowledge. The second way was to enter into seclusion and solitude and to search for the Truth in personal silence. Here the emphasis was placed on renunciation, detachment, and an ascetical way of life. Eschewing the first approach, Buddha deliberately and decisively chose the second. Mauna, rendered in English as"silence," was the chief characteristic trait of this path.”- A. J. V. Chandrakanthan

SPIRITUALITY TODAY
Summer 1988, Vol.40 No. 2, pp. 145-156.
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Fr. Chandrakanthan earned his doctorate in theology at St. Paul University, Ottawa, where he also teaches Eastern Religions. This article is based on a talk he gave in July, 1986, at the Christian Meditation Centre, London.
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A. J. V. Chandrakanthan:
The Silence of Buddha and his Contemplation of the Truth

In the life and teaching of the Buddha, true Silence leads to Truth by avoiding both wordiness and wordlessness because such Silence is Truth.

A philosopher once visited Buddha and asked him: "Without words, without the wordless, will you tell me the truth?" Buddha kept silence.

After a while the philosopher rose up gently, made a solemn bow and thanked Buddha saying: "With your loving kindness, I have cleared away all my delusions and entered the true path.”

When the philosopher had left, Ananda, a senior disciple of Buddha, enquired: "O, Blessed one, what hath this philosopher attained?"

Buddha replied: "A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip!" (1)

This little anecdote eloquently illustrates the manner and method by which Gautama Buddha sought to experience and express the truth. Buddha's entire life could be briefly summed up as a relentless search, a revolutionary discovery, and a revealing experience of Truth. Stories and anecdotes attributed to him in popular Buddhist legends, like the art, architecture, and sculpture that endeavor to capture and contain the radical mystique of the person of Buddha, often, if not always, present him as a serene, sober, and silent sage. His first disciples and followers also perceived these qualities of serenity, sobriety, and silence as indistinguishable traits of his enlightened personality.

A brief exploration of our little anecdote will unfold to us the importance and the necessity of Silence as an indispensable means towards an interior experience of the Truth. Because as we shall illustrate later, silence at the interior and exterior levels is a sine qua non condition for both meditation and contemplation. In fact, despite the doctrinal differences that separate the various schools of Buddhism,(2) a remarkable unity exists among them in recognizing the indispensability of silence as a powerful catalyst for dhyan or meditation.

BUDDHA: THE SILENT SAGE

Buddha was born in or around 563 B.C. into a religious milieu which had in its tradition two distinct approaches to the pursuit and personal discovery of the Truth. The first approach was that of sharpening one's intellect through active engagement in philosophical inquiries. Truth was sought through metaphysical debates and discussions.(3) This approach placed strong emphasis on the power of rational knowledge. The second way was to enter into seclusion and solitude and to search for the Truth in personal silence.(4) Here the emphasis was placed on renunciation, detachment, and an ascetical way of life. Eschewing the first approach, Buddha deliberately and decisively chose the second. Mauna, rendered in English as"silence," was the chief characteristic trait of this path.

The word mauna is one of the few terms used commonly by all language and religious groups in India. In religious treatises and traditions, this word has a history of its own. Mauna, from which the noun muni, meaning"sage"or"hermit"Is derived, has a meaning exorbitantly wealthier than its English counterpart"silence.”Mauna means blissful calmness, joyous recollection, tranquil quietude, and peaceful stillness.

In many of the legends and stories ascribed to Gautama Buddha,(5) he is referred to as Sakyamuni. Literally this means," the silent one of the Sakya clan.”But the popular use of this name for the Buddha also contains a dual significance. For besides referring to Buddha's clan, in certain Indian languages the word sakya also refers to something "graceful"or"pleasing.”Thus Sakyamuni can also mean"one who is gracefully silent.”

Buddha began his search for the Truth as a muni walking on this graceful path of mauna, whereas the philosopher referred to in the above story symbolizes one who has chosen the first path, that of rational inquiries and metaphysical investigations. A philosopher paying a visit to Buddha to learn about the Truth was thus an exceptionally uncommon event. And because the path opted for by Buddha and the way chosen by the philosopher are two parallel lines that never meet, one can only jump from one to the other. It was indeed a rare event.

The decision of the philosopher to swerve from his path is indicative of his tacit acknowledgement of the limitations and even failures of reason and logic. It points to the philosopher's gross disappointment with metaphysical discussions and debates. He had resolved to eschew both, words (discourses and debates) and the wordless (signs and gestures), and humbly requests Buddha to tell him of the Truth, without using either words or the wordless.

Thus, in the penetrating eyes of the Lord Buddha, the philosopher had become a receptacle ideally prepared to receive the treasure of the Truth. In his humble request, Buddha astutely recognized the sense of defeat and despair.

A great mystic like Buddha could easily sense the interior preparedness of the philosopher, who had unreservedly surrendered himself, with profound trust, docile humility, and audacious hope. The very decision of the philosopher to come to him asking for an experience of the Truth was already a revolutionary step of personal conversion. Thus Buddha did not need any external force to teach him or lead him to the Truth. Neither was there any need to prescribe techniques and exercises or lessons on meditation. For Buddha, the philosopher's sheer openness, the sublime emptiness that could now be filled to the brim, was enough. He therefore compares this philosopher to a good horse that is so watchfully alert and aware that it begins to run if it merely sees the shadow of the whip. The master has only to touch the whip and the horse nearly flies. Buddha has only to look into the eyes of the philosopher and all the teaching that can ever be imparted is readily received.

TRUTH AND SILENCE

In the stories and discourses attributed to Buddha, one can clearly see a close link between Truth and Silence. Wherever Truth is mentioned in reference to Buddha it is always said in relation to Silence. In fact, popular Buddhist religious tradition attests that whenever someone asked Buddha to explain the Truth, he invariably answered by Silence. Thus he gave a new and deep significance to both Truth and Silence. His silence was not a mere absence of speech or words. Buddha's silence was eloquent! It was so blissful and ecstatic that it always provided the perfect answer to those akin to the philosopher in the above anecdote who sincerely sought for the Truth.

For Buddha, Silence as the inevitable path that leads to the Truth is not distinct from the Truth itself. That is, as the way to the Truth, Silence already contains the reality of the Truth. They are two aspects of the same reality.(6) It is no wonder that even in Christian tradition silence is spoken of as the language of God.(7) In Christian terms, we may say that for Buddha, Silence is the sacrament of the Truth.

Satya, the word translated"truth"In English, is one of the oldest words in the Indian religious heritage. It too has a wealth of meanings. Derived from the root sat, meaning"being," "existence," "pure," "holy," "perfect;" (8) etc., satya signifies the Truth in all its unlimited perfection and plenitude. As the ground of all existence, satya can only be experienced through the medium of Silence. It cannot be expressed. The moment one tries to express it, one runs the danger of falsifying it, of rendering it asatya, "untruth.”The fountain of Silence is the sole medium that is capable of delivering the Truth.

Buddha did not communicate any knowledge with his Silence, but he nevertheless communed with seekers of the Truth. He did not offer them a part of his knowledge, but imparted to them an aspect of his being. He used neither words nor the wordless (signs and gestures). Rather, the language he used was Silence in the sense of an effulgent mauna. That is why even a philosopher who counted rational power as the sole source of true knowledge could accept the failure of logic and reason and surrender to Buddha, asking him for the Truth in a medium that does not involve words and the wordless. Perhaps the experience disclosed to the philosopher both the poverty of words and concepts and the paucity of wordlessness, thereby motivating him to choose a medium that transcends them.

Buddha's Silence was not wordlessness or noiselessness. It had a transforming power, permeating and filling the atmosphere around him with such intensity that people seated at his presence experienced "The ineffable and the inexplicable.”His Silence had no movement, yet people around him moved closer to the Truth just by being in his presence, permeated and filled by the effulgence of his joyous stillness. His Silence was contagious. It was like the unseen powers of a magnetic field or the invisible sound waves that travel in the atmosphere.

The close affinity that is said to enjoin Truth with Silence is not uncommon in the mystical traditions of other religions including Christianity. Whether it be in the Sufism of Islam or in the Hasidim of Judaism, silence is always referred to as the prerequisite for an interior experience of the divine. Silence is often eulogized as the language of the heart. Buddha's Silence reveals to us the nature and significance of an ideal form of silence. This becomes more evident when we contrast the mauna with our ordinary experience of silence.

UNQUIET SILENCE

The silence which most of us have experienced or know of is an exterior absence of words or a stillness from noise. During such an experience we may not use words audibly and externally but the mind is unquiet, filled with words and noise, ideas, questions, desires, doubts, and conflicts. All this clouds and confuses the mind; silence is only on the surface. Quietude is only on the periphery. It is only a mirage or a deceptive appearance of Silence, because there is calamity inside and a pretense of calm outside. Such silence can easily be tilted by the least external noise. Instead of resulting in peace this forced stillness will explode into annoyance and irritation.

SPEECHLESS SILENCE

Persons under sudden shock or deeply excited by fear also experience a brief spell of silence. This silence may be wordless or it may render someone momentarily speechless. But there is no lasting peace or quietude. It only causes confusion and chaos, besides accelerating anxiety and tension. It is a silence thrust onto a person from outside and therefore has no natural flow or spontaneity.

TRANQUIL SILENCE

Buddha's Silence is of a third category. His Silence is not forced by any internal or external factors. It is natural and spontaneous, active and sublime. It wells up from the depths of his personality and overflows with a certain rhythm. It is mauna in the fullest sense of the term. It radiates energy and emanates vitality. Peace and joy are inseparably interwoven in its very essence. This Silence is not negative; there is no"Absence"of something. It is wholly positive, pervading the entire atmosphere around him, so that he can just sit without uttering anything and the people around him can receive wisdom. It is this pattern of Silence that the early Buddhist sculptors and artists endeavored to convey in their images and replicas of the Buddha.

Buddha's Silence was the result of a profound harmony within himself and with the world outside. It pointed to a deep concord between the center and periphery of his self and his states of awareness or consciousness. Buddhism refers to seven layers of such consciousness. A joyous quietude is attained when these seven layers throb harmoniously, pulsating in sublime awareness. Buddha is silent because he knows the narrow boundaries of rational knowledge and the blind alleys of metaphysical queries. He knows the frailty and feebleness of words and concepts. His discovery of the language of Silence helped him dispel the inner darkness and void created by a rational thirst for knowledge.(9)

SILENCE AND CONTEMPLATION

As we mentioned earlier, in the Indian languages a contemplative is a muni. Literally, this means"The silent one.”Muni refers to one who is so totally and intensely silent, calm, serene, and recollected that his very presence becomes a pool of energy, radiating an ineffable spirit of stillness. Buddha was a muni par excellence. The strength of his contemplation was rooted in his power of Silence, which led him to enlightenment.

In the Eastern contemplative tradition, the act of doing something is already the thing done. The goal of life for Buddha was the act of living it. Thus Silence as the way to the Truth is itself the Truth. In fact, in Buddha's teaching the four-fold salvific truth(10) incorporates"The path"As one of its constituents, while"The eightfold path" (11) leads to the realization of the Truth.

Buddha persistently refused to define or describe the Truth. It can only be experienced and assimilated. It was part of his very being. It cannot be communicated by words, but can only be shared with someone who possesses the right prerequisites for receiving it into his or her being.

People who came to Buddha with adequate inner preparation received at least some experience of the Truth through their trustful silence. Otherwise it is hard to give any proper interpretation to the"cult of meditation"that is integral to Buddhism and eventually blossomed into Zen. Paintings and sculpture over two thousand years old portray Buddha as a serene and silent sage, a phenomenon found in almost all countries where Buddhism claims adherents.(12) It further confirms that this elegant and eloquent trait of Buddha's personality had a universal attraction and appeal for over the millennia.

In the Christian mystical and contemplative tradition, silence is strongly recommended as an ingredient of the religio-spiritual quest. The Desert Fathers and the later monastic tradition stress the role of silence for interior spiritual growth. St. Benedict advises his followers," Monks ought to be zealous for silence at all times ...” (13) Silence creates an atmosphere and an attitude for listening and receptivity, for response and recollection. Only thus can the Truth, that is, the Divine Reality, be able to permeate our entire being.

EMPTINESS

A major question arises: how is this ideal form of Silence to be embraced? Can anyone experience it? Buddha himself provides the answer. It lies in the Buddhist understanding of the richness of emptiness.(14) As long as a person is willing to become empty(15) of all forms of desires and attachments, both within and without, and learns to avoid using any self-suppressive force, the path of silence is very accessible. It should be undertaken in an attitude of total self-surrender, humility, and trust. Otherwise it is very hard to quiet the mind, which is always clouded with thoughts and concerned with the deceptive power of the ego. This is possible only by incessant practice induced by the desire to reach into the very core of one's"Inner-self.”

A story of one of the Buddha's disciples can help us to discern how the process of achieving emptiness is an ideal means of attaining the Truth:

Subhuti was one of Buddha's disciples. He was able to understand the potency of emptiness: the viewpoint that nothing exists except in its relationship of subjectivity and objectivity.(16)

One day, when Subhuti was sitting under a tree in a mood of sublime emptiness, flowers began to fall around him.

"We are praising you for your discourse on emptiness;' the gods whispered to him.

'But I have not spoken of emptiness;' said Subhuti.

"You have not spoken of emptiness, we have not heard emptiness," responded the gods.”This is true emptiness.”

And the blossoms showered upon Subhuti like rain.(l7)

This is the only story that exists about Subhuti. There is nothing remarkable about him simply because he was one of Buddha's numerous disciples. Tradition affirms that already during his lifetime, Buddha had some outstanding persons, kings and scholars, as his disciples. But the gods did not choose them. They chose the unknown Subhuti. Herein lies the key to the Buddhist notion of emptiness, which can be understood and cherished only by being empty.

Like tranquil silence, emptiness cannot be expressed. The moment an effort is made to express it, it loses its value. It is no longer emptiness. Because in"true emptiness"even the experience disappears. This is the significance of the Buddhist notion of sunyata, the attitude that Buddha had when he left the palace and chose to become a sage. It is not a negative emptiness, but a sublime emptiness that becomes the firm foundation on which the edifice of silence can stand.

For a few elusive moments, all of us have had glimpses of emptiness and experiences of silence. But as long as the mind is there, or the ego is there, such moments pass like a dream. The closer we move towards silent emptiness, the more elusive it becomes. To grasp this moment one has to be securely rooted in openness and humility. Only then can we who are temples of the Holy Spirit can become the sanctuary of the Truth.

JESUS AS THE WAY AND THE TRUTH

The striking affinity that binds truth with silence is not uncommon in Christian tradition. We come to experience Jesus the Truth by following Jesus the Way.(18) The challenge is to travel with Jesus in our own historical context. Through this same process we can also come to experience Jesus as the Truth.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus reveals the subtle dimensions of the Truth when he says," The Truth shall set you free"And"you shall worship in Spirit and Truth.”This gospel also presents an incident not very dissimilar to that of the story at the beginning of this article. On the very eve of Jesus' death, a knowledgeable Roman governor asked him," What is Truth?" (John 18:38). Little did Pilate realize that Truth in its plenitude was standing before him. Jesus' answer to Pilate was very similar to that of Buddha to the philosopher—communing or conveying the Truth in Silence. But unlike the philosopher, Pilate lost the greatest opportunity he was ever afforded.

SILENCE TODAY

More than ever before, people today feel the need for silence, meditation, and contemplation. The growing number of Christian mediation groups in Europe and North America, like the mushrooming of ashrams and hermitages in South Asia, very clearly indicates their deep spiritual longing for an interior experience of the Truth through a process of silence and stillness.

Mahatma Gandhi entitled his autobiography Satya Sodhana," an experiment with Truth.”Regularly observing one day of the week as a day of mauna viradha," fasting by silence," Gandhi described it as one which filled him with the vitality and strength necessary for him to generate Truth to others. For him, satyagraha," insistence on truth," was an inseparable part of life. Gandhi is also reported to have said that on this day of silent fast, he was more in contact with his inner self and feelings than with the reality of God. It was thus not so much a day of prayer as one of personal reconciliation with his inner conflicts. When these conflicts are resolved, prayer blossoms as its joyous result. Such prayer gives peace and solace, comfort and consolation. Prayer and meditation are not just ways of learning to relax with God.

Today's world is a world of the outer. It has sought and bought the outer at the cost and expense of the inner. Hence the need to return to the source and the center of ourselves in Silence and solitude to discover the treasure of the Truth buried within. As a priceless statement attributed to Buddha has it," As long as I had no knowledge of the treasures within me, all outside things seemed valuable. Now since I have found the diamond within, all earthly diamonds have paled into insignificance.”

A. J. V. Chandrakanthan:
The Silence of Buddha and his Contemplation of the Truth

Notes
1) Paul Reps, (ed.), Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (London: Penguin Books, reprinted 1982), pp. 119-120.
2) The major schools of Buddhism are known as Mahayana (practiced in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam), Theravada or Hinayana (practiced in Burma, Ceylon, India, Laos, and Campuchea), Ch'n or Zen (China and Japan) and Tibetan Buddhism.
3) R.E. Hume, (ed.) The Thirteen Principal Upanishads (London: Oxford University Press, revised and reprinted, 1934), p. 30. See also Brihad-Aranyaka Upanishad, 5.1 to 6.5 and Mundaka Upanishad, 3.1.1 to 3.2.11.
4) For some pertinent religious texts see R.M. Panikkar, (ed.), Matranmanjari: The Vedic Experience, (University of California Press, 1977), pp. 250, 264, 412, 629-630.
5) Gautama was the family name of Buddha. Siddhartha was the name given to him by his parents.”Buddha," in fact, is a title rather than a name, meaning"The blessed"or"enlightened one.”The name Sakyamuni is used in later legends and literature.
6) See Joel Giallanza," Silence as a Second Language"In Review for Religious, 46 (1986: 453-457.
7) Ibid.
8) R. M. Panikkar, op. cit., pp. 60-66, 110-111, 123-124, 716-720, and 740-742.
9) Ninian Smart, The Religious Experience of Mankind (London: Collins, 1986), pp. 109-117.
10) Buddhist traditions maintain that"The Four Noble Truths"Were pronounced by Buddha when he delivered his first sermon. Briefly the Four Noble or Great Truths are: 1) Sorrow is associated with all stages of life (i.e. birth, aging, death etc.). 2) Selfish desire is the cause of all sorrow. 3) Emancipation from sorrow is possible only by abandoning all selfish desires. 4) The Eightfold Path is the means by which human beings can overcome all selfish cravings or desires. I have translated the word duhkka as"sorrow"but it also means"misery," "pain," and"Anguish.”For more on this see P.L. Narasu, The Essence of Buddhism (Delhi: Bharatya Publishing House, 1979), pp. 128-133.
11) The Eightfold Path is said to contain the scheme of spiritual self-development leading to enlightenment. It consists of 1) right understanding, 2) right aspiration, 3) right speech, 4) right action, 5) right pursuits (including means of livelihood), 6) right effort, 7) right attitudes, and 8) right concentration or contemplation.
12) The paintings and sculptures of Buddha found in Burma, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Vietnam are illustrations of this phenomena.
13) Rule of St. Benedict, Chap. 42.
14) The word sunyata is used in Buddhism to refer to the notion of emptiness. The religious significance of this term is very much similar to that of the Greek word kenosis, used by St. Paul, (esp. Phil. 2:6). Sunyata means emptiness as openness, freedom and fullness. See A.J.V. Chandrakanthan," The Richness of Emptiness in Religious Life," a talk given on the occasion of the Silver jubilee celebrations of Sr. Anne Leonard, R.S.C.J., Canadian Provincial of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, (mimeographed), Ottawa, 1987, pp. 2-9.
15) For more on the Buddhist understanding of emptiness, see F.J. Streng, Emptiness: A Study in Religious Meaning (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1967), pp. 43-81.
16) In Buddhism and Zen, the distinction between subjectivity and objectivity means that reality is to be understood in terms of its impermanent relationships, e.g. a middle-class rich man compared to a millionaire is a poor man.
17) Paul Reps, op. cit., p. 43.
18) Jon Sobrino, The True Church and the Poor (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1984), p. 24.




THE APOCALYPSE OF THE SPIRIT-PARACLETE
The fulfillment of the promised divine eschatological instruction
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2) An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity   
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost Robert Kysar, John, the Maverick Gospel 
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament In Spirit and Truth, Benny Thettayil
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17 Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John
Eric Eve, The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles D. R. Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God: an exploration into the Johannine understanding of God
Michael Welker, God the Spirit Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
Tricia Gates Brown, Spirit in the writings of John Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit: pneumatology and Pentecostalism
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel John F. Moloney, The Gospel of John
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith Robert Kysar, John
Robert E. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament 
“The teaching of the Paraclete, as the continuation of Jesus' teaching, must also be understood as the fulfillment of the promise of eschatological divine instruction.”
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity

“Jesus therefore predicts that God will later send a human being to Earth to take up the role defined by John .i.e. to be a prophet who hears God's words and repeats his message to man.”
M. Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur'n, and Science

“And when Jesus foreannounced another Comforter, He must have intended a Person as distinct and helpful as He had been.”
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost

“The Paraclete has a twofold function: to communicate Christ to believers and, to put the world on trial.”
Robert Kysar, John The Meverick Gospel

“But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete...—will teach you everything.”
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ)

“Grammatical nonsense but evidence of the theological desire to defeminize the Divine.”
Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything

“The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15... are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree.”
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel

“The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world's reaction was to Jesus.”
Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology

Bultmann calls the “coming of the Redeemer an 'eschatological event,' 'the turning-point of the ages.”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament

“The Paraclete equated with the Holy Spirit, is the only mediator of the word of the exalted Christ.”
Benny Thettayil, In Spirit and Truth

“The divine Paraclete, and no lessor agency, must show the world how wrong it was about him who was in the right.”
Daniel B. Stevick , Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17

Stephen Smalley asserts that “The Spirit-Paraclete ... in John's Gospel is understood as personal, indeed, as a person.”
Marianne Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John

“The Messiah will come and the great age of salvation will dawn (for the pious).”
Eric Eve, The Jewish context of Jesus' Miracles

“The remembrance is to relive and re-enact the Christ event, to bring about new eschatological decision in time and space.”
Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God

“The Spirit acts in such an international situation as the revealer of 'judgment' on the powers that rule the world.”
Michael Welker, God the Spirit

The Paraclete's “Appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed.”
Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament

“While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors.”
T. G. Brown, Spirit in the writings of John

“The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit.”
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit

“The pneuma is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life.”
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John

“The gift of peace, therefore, is intimately associated with the gift of the Spirit-Paraclete.”
Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John

“This utopian hope, even when modestly expressed, links Jesus and the prophets to a much wider history of human longing.”
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith

“Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present.”
Robert Kysar, John

“They are going, by the Holy Spirit's power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation.”
R. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary

“The Kingdom of God stands as a comprehensive term for all that the messianic salvation included... is something to be sought here and now (Mt. 6:33) and to be received as children receive a gift (Mk. 10:15 = Lk. 18:16-17).”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament


“But today is the day I declare that I am the one who has to save the humanity. I declare I am the one who is Adishakti, who is the Mother of all the Mothers, who is the Primordial Mother, the Shakti, the desire of God, who has incarnated on this Earth to give its meaning to itself; to this creation, to human beings and I am sure through My Love and patience and My powers I am going to achieve it.

I was the one who was born again and again. But now in my complete form and complete powers I have come on this Earth not only for salvation of human beings, not only for their emancipation, but for granting them the Kingdom of Heaven, the joy, the bliss that your Father wants to bestow upon you.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
London, UK—December 2, 1979


“I am the one about which Christ has talked... I am the Holy Spirit who has incarnated on this Earth for your realization.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
New York, USA—September 30, 1981


“Tell all the nations and tell all the people all over the Great Message that the Time of Resurrection is here. Now, at this time, and that you are capable of doing it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Cowley Manor Seminar, UK—July 31, 1982


Guest: “Hello Mother.”
Shri Mataji: “Yes.”
Guest: “I wanted to know, is the Cool Breeze (Pneuma) that you have spoken about, you feel on the hands the Cool Wind of the Holy Spirit, as spoken about in the Bible?”
Shri Mataji: “Yes. Yes, yes, same thing, same thing. You have done the good job now, I must say.”
Interviewer: “Is it the Holy Spirit?”
Shri Mataji: “Yes, of course, is the Holy Spirit.”
Guest: “Aha... I am feeling it now on my hand through the [not clear]”
Shri Mataji: “It’s good.”
Interviewer: “Did you want to say anything more than that?”
Guest: “No, I just... That’s all I wanted to know because I...”
Shri Mataji: “Because you are thoughtless now. Enjoy yourself.”
Guest: “Thank you.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Talkback Radio 2UE, Sydney, Australia—March 31, 1981
(The guest experienced the Cool Breeze [Pneuma/Prana/Chi] of the Spirit through the baptism [second birth by Spirit/Kundalini awakening] given by the Comforter Shri Mataji over the radio. )


Second Guest: “I just want to ask Mother about a quotation from the Bible.”
Interviewer: “Yes, what’s that?”
Guest: “It says, ‘But the comfort of the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in My name would teach you all things.’ I would like to ask Her about that.”
Interviewer: “Could you just repeat the quotation again?”
Guest: “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things.”
Interviewer: “And that’s from where?”
Guest: “John chapter 14, verse 26.”
Shri Mataji: “I think you should take your realization and then you will know the answer to it. Because, logically if it points out to one person, then you have to reach the conclusion, isn’t it? That’s a logical way of looking at things. But I am not going to say anything or claim anything. It is better you people find out yourself.”
Interviewer: “Does that answer your question?”
Guest: “Is the, is the Comforter on the Earth at the present time? Has the Comforter incarnated? Mataji should be able to tell us this because She said that through these vibrations on Her hands, She ...”
Shri Mataji: “Yes, She is very much here and She’s talking to you now. Can you believe that?”
Guest: “Well, I feel something cool [Pneuma/Prana/Chi] on my hand. Is that some indication of the ...?”
Shri Mataji: “Yes, very much so. So that’s the proof of the thing. You’ve already started feeling it in your hands.”
Guest: “Can I?”
Shri Mataji: “Ask the question, ‘Mother, are you the Comforter?’”
Guest: “Mother, are you the Comforter?”
Shri Mataji: “Ask it thrice.”
Guest: “Mother, are you the Comforter?”
Shri Mataji: “Again.”
Guest: “Mother, are you the Comforter?”
Shri Mataji: “Now, what do you get?”
Guest: “Oh, I feel this kind of cool tingling [Pneuma/Prana/Chi] passing all through my body.”
Shri Mataji: “That’s the answer now.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Talkback Radio 2UE, Sydney, Australia—March 31, 1981
(Another guest also experienced the Cool Breeze [Pneuma/Prana/Chi] of the Spirit through the baptism [second birth by Spirit/Kundalini awakening] given by the Comforter Shri Mataji over the radio. )


Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011): Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage and Paraclete by duty.
The Paraclete and the disciples (vv. 25-26): The theme of departure (cf. vv. 1-6; vv. 18-24) returns. There are two "times" in the experience of the disciples: the now as Jesus speaks to them (v. 25) and the future time when the Paraclete, the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in the name of Jesus, will be with them (v. 26). The Paraclete will replace Jesus' physical presence, teaching them all things and recalling for them everything he has said (v. 26). As Jesus is the Sent One of the Father (cf. 4:34; 5:23; 24, 30, 37; 6:38-40; 7:16; 8:16, 18, 26; 12:44-49), so is the Paraclete sent by the Father. The mission and purpose of the former Paraclete, Jesus (cf. 14:13-14), who speaks and teaches "his own" will continue into the mission and purpose of the "other Paraclete" (cf. v. 16) who teaches and brings back the memory of all that Jesus has said. The time of Jesus is intimately linked with the time after Jesus, and the accepted meaning of a departure has been undermined. The inability of the disciples to understand the words and deeds of Jesus will be overcome as they "remember" what he had said (cf. 2:22) and what had been written of him and done to him (cf. 12:16). The "remembering" will be the fruit of the presence of the Paraclete with the disciples in the in-between-time. In v. 16 Jesus focused on the inability of the world to know the Paraclete, but in v. 26 the gift of the Paraclete to "his own" is developed. As Jesus was with the disciples (v. 25), so will the Paraclete be with the disciples in the midst of hostility and rejection (v. 16). As the story has insisted that Jesus' teaching has revealed God to his disciples, so will the Paraclete recall and continue Jesus' revelation of God to the disciples (v. 26).” (Harrington 1998, 412)

“This is the transformation that has worked, of which Christ has talked, Mohammed Sahib has talked, everybody has talked about this particular time when people will get transformed.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Chistmas Puja, Ganapatipule, India—25 December 1997


“The Resurrection of Christ has to now be collective Resurrection. This is what is Mahayoga. Has to be the collective Resurrection.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Easter Puja, London, UK—11 April 1982


“Today, Sahaja Yaga has reached the state of Mahayoga, which is en-masse evolution manifested through it. It is this day’s Yuga Dharma. It is the way the Last Judgment is taking place. Announce it to all the seekers of truth, to all the nations of the world, so that nobody misses the blessings of the divine to achieve their meaning, their absolute, their Spirit.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
MAHA AVATAR, ISSUE 1, JUL-SEP 1980


“The main thing that one has to understand is that the time has come for you to get all that is promised in the scriptures, not only in the Bible but all all the scriptures of the world. The time has come today that you have to become a Christian, a Brahmin, a Pir, through your Kundalini awakening only. There is no other way. And that your Last Judgment is also now.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh


“You see, the Holy Ghost is the Mother. When they say about the Holy Ghost, She is the Mother... Now, the principle of Mother is in every, every scripture — has to be there. Now, the Mother's character is that She is the one who is the Womb, She is the one who is the Mother Earth, and She is the one who nourishes you. She nourishes us. You know that. And this Feminine thing in every human being resides as this Kundalini.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Radio Interview Oct 01 1983—Santa Cruz, USA


The Paraclete Shri Mataji (1923-2011)

Total number of Recorded Talks 3058, Public Programs 1178, Pujas 651 and Other (private conversations) 1249

“What are they awaiting but for the Hour to come upon them suddenly? Its Signs have already come. What good will their Reminder be to them when it does arrive?” (Qur'n, 47:18) “As the above verse indicates, God has revealed some of Doomsday's signs in the Qur'n. In Surat az-Zukhruf 43:61, God informs us that 'He [Jesus] is a Sign of the Hour. Have no doubt about it...' Thus we can say, based particularly on Islamic sources but also on the Old Testament and the New Testament, that we are living in the End Times.” Harun Yahya

Good News (An Naba) of Resurrection (Al-Qiyamah): Videos 3474, Audios 1945, Transcripts 3262 and Events 2413

“Concerning what are they disputing?
Concerning the Great News. [5889]
About which they cannot agree.
Verily, they shall soon (come to) know!
Verily, verily they shall soon (come to) know!”

surah 78:1-5 An Naba (The Great News)
5889. Great News: usually understood to mean the News or Message of the Resurrection.

Abdullah Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'n
Amana Corporation, 1989


[Moderator]: “Any other questions?”
[Audience]: “Pardon me for asking this question, but, earlier you talked about the Resurrection and you mentioned about the scriptures, where like in the Hindus scriptures they talk about the Kalki Avatar who will come for the Resurrection, and for the Christians, I know they talk about the return of Christ and all the religions talk about this Resurrection and the belief in the coming of the Messiah. So I just want to know since you say you are going to give the resurrection to us, what is your station?”

Shri Mataji: “In Russia?”
[Audience]: “And are you the promised Messiah? Shri Mataji, are you?”
Shri Mataji: “I see now I am not going to tell you anything about myself, to be very frank. Because see Christ said He was the Son of God, and they crucified Him. I don't want to get crucified. You have to find out. When you become the Spirit you will know what I am. I don't want to say anything about myself.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Toronto, Canada—October 5, 1993

“Jesus then goes on the offensive against the scribes and Pharisees, pronouncing seven woes against them (Matt. 23:1-36). The final woe identifiers them with all those in Israel's history who have murdered and opposed the prophets. From Abel to Zechariah, all the blood of the righteous will come on them as they typologically fulfill this pattern in the murder of Jesus (23:29-36). They are the wicked tenants who think to kill the son and take his inheritance (21:38). They are seed of the serpent, a brood of vipers (23:33). Their house (the temple?) is desolate, and they will not see Jesus again until they bless him as he comes in the name of the Lord (23:37-39). Somehow, through the judgments Jesus announces against them, salvation will apparently come even for the people of Israel. As Olmstead puts it, Matthew "dares to hope for the day when many of Israel's sons and daughters will embrace Israel's Messiah (23:39), and in that hope engages in a continued mission in her.”” Hamilton 2010, 377


“It is the Mother who can awaken the Kundalini, and that the Kundalini is your own Mother. She is the Holy Ghost within you, the Adi Shakti, and She Herself achieves your transformation. By any talk, by any rationality, by anything, it cannot be done.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


“She is your pure Mother. She is the Mother who is individually with you. Forget your concepts, and forget your identifications. Please try to understand She is your Mother, waiting for ages to give you your real birth. She is the Holy Ghost within you. She has to give you your realization, and She's just waiting and waiting to do it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Sydney, Australia—Mar 22 1981


“The Kundalini is your own mother; your individual mother. And She has tape-recorded all your past and your aspirations. Everything! And She rises because She wants to give you your second birth. But She is your individual mother. You don't share Her with anybody else. Yours is a different, somebody else's is different because the tape-recording is different. We say She is the reflection of the Adi Shakti who is called as Holy Ghost in the Bible.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Press Conference July 08 1999—London, UK

The Great Goddess is both wholly transcendent and fully immanent: beyond space and time, she is yet embodied within all existent beings; without form as pure, infinite consciousness (cit) ... She is the universal, cosmic energy known as Sakti, and the psychophysical, guiding force designated as the Kundalini (Serpent Power) resident within each individual. She is eternal, without origin or birth, yet she is born in this world in age after age, to support those who seek her assistance. Precisely to provide comfort and guidance to her devotees, she presents herself in the Devi Gita to reveal the truths leading both to worldly happiness and to the supreme spiritual goals: dwelling in her Jeweled Island and mergence into her own perfect being.” (Brown, 1998, 2)





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