Amma: a Living Satguru . . . Is SHE Your Guru?
"Amma," the reporter asked, looking at the line of thousands of who'd come to recieve darshan. "Do all these devotees worship you?"
"No," Mother smiled, pulling another devotee close for a hug. "I worship them!"
Gu and Ru are the Sanskrit words Darkness and Light and put together as GuRu or Guru they mean: One who dispels Darkness or ‘the Light that dispels darkness.’ Guru does not “mean” teacher. However, a Guru can be a teacher, but only if there is a student or devotee, one who will ACTUALLY follow (live and embody) the Guru’s teachings.
Amma is a living Satguru. Sat or Sadguru means "true" Guru, a Self-realized Spiritual Master. The term helps distinguish a true Spiritual Light and Guru from a music teacher "guru" or mundane or worldly guide.
All the GottaGettaGuru.com™ Gurus are living examples (though not necessarily currently the body) of HOW to live in order to achieve a life of true peace, love and spiritual bliss, a life connected to God. The Guru’s LIVES are their textbooks.
A Guru will probably not simply “give” you God-realization. However, it has been know to happen on occasion, and is called shaktipat. The expereince is bestoyed on the devotee by the Guru. But, developing a spiritual relationship with the Self (God, everywhere and always, within and without) with the help and guidance of a Guru remains the surest way to get on a concrete path toward achieving God or “Self-realization.” *
(* Note: Throughout this site, the lower case “s’ in self indicates you in the typical, physical, body/mind sense while capitalization of “S” in Self will indicate God or the One “of” which we are a part and “in” which we all exist, your personal Higher Self.)
Why do I need a Guru?
You had a Math teacher, didn’t you? And, you had an English teacher? They helped you learn, not just by reading and studying and listening to lectures, but by doing, by practice.
If a teacher is needed for learning something as mundane as addition, don’t you think you’ll benefit from having the power and guidance of a Spiritual master to help you acquire spiritual knowledge and Self-realization?
How about this: If you were going some place you’ve never been before, would you take a map? If you could, would you bring along a guide, someone who has been over the roads, learned how to avoid or remove the obstacles, someone who will love you and encourage you to keep going on to your destination?
Well then, you need a Guru!
This site will support your faith . . .
GottaGettaGuru.com™ will support your faith, not supplant it or undermine it in any way. In fact, we hope you will LIVE your faith and TEACH it by example with the help and inspiration of a Guru!
We hope to help you more ACTIVELY love, serve, and realize the Oneness of All – isn’t that the message of every major world religion?
At its heart, GottaGettaGuru.com™ strives to serve as a CELEBRATION of the ENLIGHTENED, of the many Gurus – literally: those who dispel the darkness of an ego/self-centered life – those who have graced the earth with their incarnations in order to be living lights that dispel the dark clouds of ignorance, pain, suffering and death.
Perhaps you already “know” which Guru calls to you? Perhaps you will find your Guru here. Either way, expect to be challenged, and called to ACTION!
The mission of GottaGettaGuru.com™ is to introduce spiritual seekers to the divine lives of the world’s great Gurus and their teachings, and to help these seekers become living examples of Love in action. We hope to encourage spiritual growth, world peace and religious harmony by promoting prayer, meditation, selfless service, spiritual and yogic education and active, world-changing Guru-disciple relationships. One hundred percent (100%) of the profits generated by this business are distributed to feed hungry children, provide assistance to families in need, and/or reinvested in this mission. Thank you for your support!
God's Love in a Human Body
by Ram Gian Singh
Out of deference to AMMA, and because she is my Guru and the inspiration for this site, we will direct all inquiries about AMMA to the Source.
All that's left to say is this:
Please, do not miss the opportunity to meet AMMA.
I believe the experience will change your life. It has changed mine!
Amma is the radient embodiement of the Love of the Eternal Mother.
Amma inspiried this work, this site, and our mission.
Again, I implore you: Go to AMMA.
AMMA will hug you, love you and ecnourage you.
AMMA will teach you meditation, inspire you to Seva and guide you to enlightenment.
What more can be said?
Om Namah Shivaya!
You will find, at AMMA's annual darshan visits to the U.S., all you want to know, read, experience is available. AMMA's love? It flows to all!
Love and Serve
AMMA teaches an acive faith.
Do you have to give up your faith to have AMMA as your Guru?
AMMA's religion is LOVE and SERVICE.
AMMA accepts all who come to her to deepen their own faith and practice!
But, AMMA is the only one to speak for AMMA, so, please visit AMMA immediately if you truly feel called to AMMA!
Go to: www.AMMA.org to find out more!
Ma Om and IAM Meditations
Want to learn to meditate?
AMMA will teach you or refer you to a teacher AMMA has trained and authorized. She offers two meditations and you can learn and practice them at AMMA's U.S. retreats. They are: Ma Om meditation and the IAM meditation.
Both are WONDERFUL and UPLIFTING!
Want a Mantra?
AMMA will give you one, if AMMA accepts you as into a Guru/disciple relationship.!
AMMA is a living Satguru.
DO YOU UNDERSTAND
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE ALIVE WHEN AMMA IS ALIVE?
IT MEANS YOU CAN LEARN AT THE FEET OF A LIVING MASTER!
Please do not miss the opportunity to meet AMMA!
What do YOU want to “BE” when you grow up?
We are often asked to proclaim what career we’re going to follow when we “grow up.” This, however, is not the most important question we face. In fact, it is a bit of a trap, for because we are asked this “career choice” question so often during the course of our early life, a false sense of its importance arises due to the emphasis.
What if, when asked, “What do you want to “be” when you grow up?” you simply answer: “My life’s purpose is to know and serve God, so I will find a career that serves that purpose.”
Wow! How cool would it be to have the courage to say that? Doing so would convey the Sage-like wisdom that your life has a purpose, that you are not just here to work like a dog, play like a monkey, and sleep like a lion after gorging on the spoils of the hunt.
You are not an animal with a soul.
You are a soul here to have the experience of being a human.
Because it is a TRAP to focus on your career and to tell yourself that once you’ve made it you’ll have time to find and focus on the real purpose of your life, we’re going to encourage you to get clear about your purpose now. If you don’t do it NOW, you’ll probably never get around to it!
However, if you do, and you embark on a journey where the most important thing is to live your purpose, you will learn the skills, discipline and values necessary to live prosperously! The sages guarantee it!
What’s a great way to get clear about your purpose?
Talk it over with your parents! Then, sit with it. Think about it. Read about the lives of great, inspiring spiritual leaders in the world. You’ll find many here on this site and many more elsewhere, in books, on the Internet, at your place of worship or with the help of our teachers if you need it!
Read about great sages and saints and Gurus, and talk to your parents about any of the great souls that really speak to your soul. Then, act!
Write down your thoughts, feelings, and inspirations! Keep a journal of your thoughts as you learn more and more about your purpose. Then, with the help and guidance of your inner voice, commit to a Guru!
Once you do, we’ll help you get started with a course of study designed especially for you (as long as we have your parent’s permission)!
The training is FREE for everyone under the age of eighteen-years; so don’t let that worry you! Focus on your heart center, pray for clarity and guidance, and ask to be accepted by your favorite Guru. The Guru will see to the rest!
Ready? Okay, you start by writing a short email to the Guru CEO, RamGian@GottaGettaGuru.com -- Tell him what the purpose of your life is and ask him to offer help getting you prepared.
REMEMBER: YOU MUST GET PERMISSION FROM YOUR PARENTS FIRST.
And, your parent or guardian MUST be cc’d on the email! Okay?
Oh, and if you really like to write, here’s a contest for you:
Get Published! Win a Prize!
Kids, this is your page!
If you love to write, and you have your parent’s permission, here’s your chance to be published!
Write up your essay, based on the topics below and then ask your parent, guardian or teacher to email us your essay (or cc your parent or guardian with your submission) and if your parent or guardian approves, we’ll publish your work on the GottaGettaGuru.com™ blog!
Plus, if you are one of our DAILY WINNERS, we’ll send you a “I’m Published on GottaGettaGuru.com™” T-shirt and display your essay right here on our teaching site!
1) Why AMMA is my Guru.
2) What my Guru teaches me.
3) Why I love my Guru!
Tell your friends! Tell your teachers!
Tell everyone you know who’s 18 and under to submit their essays now!
Email your essays to: RamGian@GottaGettaGuru.com
Type: I wanna be published! in the subject line.
If you are the Daily Winner, you’ll receive a personal email from our CEO, Ram Gian, asking you for your T-shirt size and your physical mailing address.
So, what are you waiting for?
Get to work! And Get Published!
Note to Parents: by submitting your child’s essay, you grant GottaGettaGuru.com™ the right to publish the work on our blog and teaching site. You will have to confirm and acknowledge via email that this permission is granted before the essay will be posted or considered for our daily prize.
The GottaGettaGuru.com™ Internet Ashram
Perhaps you’ve heard: Experience is the Best Teacher?
Amma is a living Guru! You can go directly to AMMA!
Don't want to go alone the first time?
Write to OmMommy@GottaGettaGuru.com and tell Vandana you want to go with a group! She'll help you with all the details!
Is Buddha Your Guru?
Are You A God?
The villager froze, for the approaching traveler glowed with a luminescence he'd never beheld before, except in the heavens at night.
"Are you a celestial being," the villager asked.
"No," replied the traveler, pausing for a moment to smile on the man.
"A wizard then or a magician?"
"No," the traveler said firmly.
"Are you a . . . man?"
"No," the traveler replied.
"I am awake," replied the traveler.
Buddha identified “Four Noble Truths.”
Three followed from the realization of the first: Dukkha.
Dukka is a name given to a condition of existence. Often, this condition is translated as: Suffering exists. However, this is insufficient. If we think of our individual experience of consciousness as a Wheel (or the tire of an automobile), we immediately realize this wheel is imperfectly formed. It is out of balance. So, when this wheel is in use, we feel a wobble. The ride becomes unpleasant. We suffer. And as long as life keeps rolling along, the wobble, the suffering, is there.
Every satisfied desire brings a new one to the fore.
Every banished sin returns to us once more!
What causes this wobble, this, the source of our suffering?
Buddha says (2nd Noble Truth): Cravings, desires, attachment to a particular outcome cause it. For example, the desire to be good, to defeat evil, to achieve a particular, perfect result, especially a permanent one in this imperfect, impermanent world.
However, hope exists. Buddha also says (3rd Noble Truth) a cessation of the suffering caused by this wobble is possible.
How may we end suffering?
Be still. The wobble only exists when you are one with the wheel in motion.
Detach from the cycle, stand back, watch it from a little distance and you will be free.
And how do we do that?
Buddha says, by The Eightfold Path (the 4th Noble Truth).
Put Down Your Weapons
There is a war waging inside you.
You are trying to be good.
You want the good in you to defeat the evil in you and in the world.
But, it never will . . .
Good and Evil are opposite sides of the coin of creation, like light and darkness, engaged forever in a battle, each, ironically, owing its existing to the one it would vanquish. Both are built into the creation, and necessarily so or there would be only the stillness of non-being, of unity, unanimity, and Oneness.
Realize that, like quicksand, the harder you fight, the deeper you sink, for the world is a duality war machine and all soldiers are expendable! Good vs. Evil! Light vs. Darkness! Fight! Fight! Fight!
This is a TRAP.
You must stop and ask yourself: Why do I fight?
Is the answer: to achieve Nirvana, enlightenment?
Okay, a lofty goal!
Is it: to make yourself good or even perfect?
Purge your body from all sin and all unseemly desire and it still will not bring you to enlightenment! Nor will your mind, even if you rebuke yourself a thousand times a day for your sins. Focus on your body/mind all you want; you will still never be perfect!
What’s worse: Your body cannot deliver enlightenment. Nor can your mind. So, stop tilting at windmills!
Enlightenment is not a thing to be achieved or delivered, not by battle royal or war internal. It is a thing to be accessed!
Like the water at the bottom of a deep well, the rubble created by the body/mind constantly at war must be removed if you want access to this drink! And if you do want this drink, you must take responsibility for your own digging. Only you can clear your rubble!
If each of us does the same, we will never have to worry about Evil in the world again.
This is the only way to win: one at a time!
Stand back, detached from the workings of the duality war machine and watch. Free yourself to shift your attention to your highest consciousness, to the real you. Realize all that exists is impermanent and so unreal. Anything you can see, hear or touch is ultimately unreal! Only the higher Self is real, only it is unborn and never passes away, only it is permanent.
Be awake to the Self, experienced in moments of stillness and satisfaction when the mind has paused and the body is satisfied. Feel the peace that prevails.
This is the only, the true you, and it is all that really exists.
This Self is One with the One and so One with ALL. It is infinite and immortal.
This, true you, is Buddha.
The Eightfold Path
1) Right View
2) Right Intention
3) Right Speech
4) Right Action
5) Right Livlihood
6) Right Effort
7) Right Mindfulness
8) Right Concentration
Volumes have been written in ages past and present on this Path. It is one each must travel alone, yet one may go with a Guru. If Buddha speaks to you and you hope to have him as your Guru, our Fall 2010 Practicum will take you step by step down this path. We stress the Three Jewels of Buddhism (Buddha, Dharma or the teachings, and Sangha or a like-minded spiritual community), and provide all the necessary materials and support to help you embark.
In the meantime (or if you just want to know more), some of our favorite titles are:
1) Deepak Chopra's - The Ultimate Happiness Prescription
2) Dalai Lama XIV - The Dalai Lama's Little Book of Inner Peace
3) Thich Nhat Hanh - Living Buddha, Living Christ
4) Walpola Rahula - What Buddha Taught
5) Pema Chodron - How to Meditate
Copy & paste any of these titles into our Million Books, CD & DVD Store or search 100's of titles on Buddhism. Remember: We donate 100% of the profits from the sale of these books to help feed hungry children, so buy lots of books and help feed lots of kids - it's good for your Karma!
Article by Ram Gian Singh
Million Books, CD & DVD Store
May All Beings Be Happy
The word Buddha means one who has achieved perfect enlightenment, one who is awake in the highest sense of the word. Buddha suffered, tried various austerities, and nearly died while attempting to achieve enlightenment and freedom from the never-ending cycle of cause and effect, of karma. Finally, he realized God-consciousness could never be achieved by him as "a man," for all his approaches had failed because he practiced his various methods while still attached to his personal identity and with the frame of reference of a separate individual. To merge with the One, he found, requires a non-otherness, otherwise the realization of God remains inaccessible.
Once he had achieved this exalted state, Buddha wished for all the same freedom from suffering he had achieved, and he spent the rest of his life promoting a way to achieve this freedom.
Buddha said: 'if you see me, you see the teachings.'
And what are these teachings?
They are often referred to as The Middle Way, a way of being, a state of oneness achieved through balance, detachment and mindfulness of our true identity: one with the One. Thus, to have Buddha as your Guru could prove beneficial to anyone of any faith.
Here is an example of applying the principle of detachment:
What Use Did You Make of the Pain?
“Someone hurt me,” she said. “I mean really hurt me.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “What use did you make of it?”
“What?” She said.
“The pain,” I replied. “Did you put it to good use?”
“What are you talking about? I wanted to—kill him! To tear the flesh from his bones! “
“Oh,” I said. “So, the pain made use of you.”
Pain is a fact of life. We all inflict it. We all receive it. It is a condition of the phenomenological world, a necessary capacity for bodily preservation, psychological, and yes, even spiritual development.
It is difficult, in the heat of the moment, to have the presence of mind to ignore pain. Yet, we must. And we must learn to avoid falling victim to the impulses that spring from it: revenge, hatred, jealousy, retribution. In short, we must make use of pain or it will make use of us. Thus, the question should not be:
“Why do bad things happen to good people . . .”
“What use do good people make of pain when bad things happen to them?”
This is a state of being.
How is this accomplished?
How does one achieve steady, mindful composure that transcends even the most profound torments?
Look to the Buddha and to all the great Gurus, but first, know thyself:
Pain is “felt” in the brain, and only the brain, according to science. In other words, we think, when we stub our toe, our toe “hurts.” However, this is a trick of the mind. The brain merely tells our consciousness the body it inhabits has sustained an injury, in this specific instance, an injury to a far off extremity and we “feel” the pain there. The knowing consciousness above it all is present, watching this exchange of messages, but this higher mind feels nothing. The lower mind (in a different physical part of the brain, an older, more primitive part) registers that it does, that "we" do, in as much as it registers the event as “OUCH.”
This, too, is true in cases of lesser traumas, experiences merely uncomfortable, whether physical or psychological. The mind and body want to react, and they want an immediate remedy. They want to get comfortable again and they conspire to insist that we withdraw from whatever it is we are doing that is causing the upset, regardless of whether or not “we,” the higher consciousness that some would argue is a spiritually directed part, want to do so.
In the case of real physical danger, the registration of pain in the body/mind is, of course, a valuable fiction for the higher self to be aware of, as it is a useful self-preservation mechanism. However, in the case of discomfort, especially self-imposed discomfort (e.g., a meditation or yoga posture) the “tête-à-tête” between the body/mind and the “we” that wants to keep going, keep running, keep fasting, keep chanting or praying, hold the yoga pose, or tame the tiger of our volatile and dangerous temper, etc., etc., can be a wonderful spiritual training tool.
If the higher mind can remain in the debate long enough to win it, we gain an opportunity for self-mastery.
Here the world’s great scriptures agree.
“Turn the other cheek . . .” said Christ. Then, from the cross, he said: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” This is perhaps the greatest use of pain in recorded history! It caused a change of heart (to borrow from Fulton Sheen’s “The Life of Christ.”) too salutary to regret.
‘Grab the reigns and control the horses (senses) that race out of control . . .' Said Krishna to Arjuna in the Bagavad Gita, as Yogananda explains in his two volume treatise: “God Talks With Arjuna -- The Bhagavad Gita: Royal Science of God-realization."
And, in the Dhammapada:
They insulted me; they hurt me;
they defeated me; they cheated me.
In those who do not harbor such thoughts,
hate will cease.
For hate is never conquered by hate.
Hate is conquered by love.
This is an eternal law.
And where is it conquered, this hate, which is arguably a by-product of pain?
Answer, again: In the well-trained mind.
We do not know the author of the Dhammapada, not in the usual sense of the word (e.g., the one who wrote these words down). However, as the Gospels are believed by many to be an ostensibly accurate record of the teachings of the “Son of God” or that causal spiritual force OM or the Word incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth, here Buddhists and students and followers of the Buddha believe these are the words of “The Enlightened One” himself.
The verses that precede the two excerpted above are actually the start of what is known as the Twin Verses of the Dhammapada.
Here they are:
What we are is the result of what we have thought,
is built by our thoughts, is made up of our thoughts.
If one speaks or acts with an impure thought, suffering follows one,
like the wheel of the cart follows the foot of the ox.
is built by our thoughts, is made up of our thoughts.
If one speaks or acts with a pure thought,
happiness follows one, like a shadow that never leaves.
Thus again: If the higher mind can remain in the debate, we gain an opportunity for self-mastery.
As an example of training oneself to ignore discomfort and embrace sacrifice, abstaining from meat on Friday’s was once a tradition of Catholic families like my own. During Lent, the season that precedes the aforementioned and perhaps greatest example of intentionally enduring suffering so as to make good use of the pain (the Crucifixion), the rigors are more intense. We actually have to give something up for forty days, in order to suffer along with Christ (in a way of course that simple pales by comparison), for a higher purpose. Oh, how we wrestle with our minds during this time if we truly follow this spiritual exercise! And: Oh what control we suddenly find we may have if we but try!
In Hinduism, especially in physical Yoga (the act of “yoking” yourself to God), we train the body/mind to transcend the messages of fiction (e.g., I can’t or This hurts) that flow in a steady stream from the lower mind, and, at the direction of the soul, the whisperer Krishna, telling, into the ear of our inner consciousness, that our “needs” and passions are really just the “wants and desires” of our earth-bound body/mind, just an illusion of the body/mind that must be pierced through practice to achieve enlightenment, we achieve an actual experience of transcendence or God-consciousness.
And, in Bhuddism, the process is seemingly simple, yet actually Herculean: still the mind through meditation.
Try it some time!
In any event, whether you follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Gita or the Enlightened One, soon you will have to jon the battle, for, in virtually all spiritual practices (as in all of life), opportunities to “make use of pain” exist. Happily, all guarantee the same result: The practice of self-mastery brings us closer to God.
So, whether the restaurant gets your order wrong, someone “really” hurts you, or you suffer terribly on the very cross of Christ for those you love, remember: You may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. You can lash out and demand retribution or forgive, with the utmost poise and control!
Summing up: Remember to make good use of your pain!
If you want to learn more about making Buddha your Guru for the endeavor, please visit the Practicum page above.
May all beings live in peace!
Ram Gian Singh
Click to purchase the recommended titles below. 100% of the profits generated by this business are donated to organizations that feed hungry children, assist families in need, or reinvested in the mission of this site! Thank you!
"The Life of Christ" by Rev. Fultton J. Sheen
"God Talks with Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita" by Paramahansa Yogananda
"The Dhammapada" by Eknath Easwaran
We have over a MILLION titles to choose from!
AKA: Siddhartha Gautama
Born: in what is now Nepal, India
Date of Birth: 563 B.C or 623 B.C.
Died: Age 80
Claimed to be: Awake
When Prince Siddhartha was born, Indian civilization was already at least twenty times older than American civilization is today. So, its traditions were deeply entrenched. The Hindu faith, a primary constituent part of which was and remains the practice of meditation, informed the lives of the people of young Siddhartha’s times and was inseparable from their culture.
And what is the essence of this faith?
One may assert it was and is a liberal view of religion, in as much as one of its earliest and most revered scriptures, the Rig Veda (circ.: 1500 B.C.), documented the culture’s ancient wisdom teaching that “Truth is one, the wise call it by different names.” Truth, here, is, of course, an attempt to name the ineffable God or Source.
This teaching should not be construed as an assertion that “anything goes” (an easy mistake, given the diversity of the Hindu pantheon), nor is it an assertion that all beliefs are valid. Rather that Truth Itself, being ineffable, will necessarily be seen, known and realized by each sentient individual consciousness in a different way, due and owing to a delusion of separateness. This operation of naming/defining Truth for one’s self is an essential quality of separateness, it is called a point of view (not to be confused with "opinion," the term means here a particular and unique frame of reference), and each separate, sentient being has one.
The ancient sages and avatars of Buddha’s culture taught: Only by shedding this delusion of separateness can one achieve realization of Oneness and escape the world of duality in which this delusion (a function of Maya or the active, intelligent force that upholds the delusion, thereby making the experience of separateness possible) persists or at least seems to exist -- "seems" because it is, after all, a delusion!
In this delusory state of consciousness, one that imparts the experience of a “phenomenologically active” world, the laws of cause and effect (or Karma) operate, and thus suffering exists.
The “Way” to transcendence is said to be by “yoking” (the root of the word Yoga is from this “yuk”) yourself to the Truth (God). To do so, we are to use the tools, teachings, trainings, meditation, etc. of the Sages to till the soil of the self and plant therein the seeds of the divine. Yoga is thus not merely the physical exercises practiced by thousands in the west today. Rather, it is a complete system of preparation of the self to meet the higher Self in meditation, to harvest from the effort, and from the grace of the Truth, Oneness, and by so doing to bansih suffering forever.
This is the way of Dharma, and through Dharma we banish Karma.
As elusive as Truth, and perhaps as difficult to define, Dharma can mean duty, path, way, or any word or phrase an individual can come up with to describe doing, living and being without duality, with intentional devotion, and for the purpose of serving the One in all. Of course, this description is inadequate, too! However, the essential point is: Following Dharma means undertaking the process of training the body/mind, securing control of wandering thoughts and the impulses of the flesh, transcending the drama of Maya and Karma, and living a life of active devotion to the One in all.
Here’s the good news: Prince Siddhartha, in a story that is well-known to many, left the cloistered world of his father’s palace grounds to find the Dharma, the Way. He searched and withstood countless austerities, and practiced and suffered to get beyond the reach of suffering. He did so in a culture that was literally built over centuries just for this task. And (more good news), Siddhartha not only found “the Way,” becoming the Buddha, he taught it to others.
He can teach it to you!
The principle repositories of this Way are the Buddhist scriptures, passed down orally for about 400 years before eventually being written down. These works are significantly more voluminous than the Christian Bible. Among them are the Dhammapada, a collection of verses from Buddha’s own disciples, taken down in an effort to preserve his esssential teachings; and the Vinaya Pitaka, the "Basket of Disciplines." It is an apt title for the contents, yet not quite a complete one.
For those who wish to explore the methods of the Buddha, and commit to a guru-disciple relationship with him, these and other teaching are covered deeply, over time, in the GottaGettaGuru.com™ practicum.
It is NOT necessary to leave your existing faith (if you are not a Buddhist) to practice the spiritual exercises and meditations of the Buddha. A deep and abiding calling to sit at the feet of this Master, it is believed, is the only commitment the devotee necessarily brings, other than the heartfelt desire to honor not the man, Siddhartha, but the One Self that resides within him and within you, and to realize that Self everywhere, within and without all creation, always.
For a great read enter The Life of Buddha in the search windon on our Million Books Store - One hundred percent (100%) of the profits from our store go to feed hungry children!
You Are Buddha
by John Lehman
Imagine you’re wandering a path along a rocky coast
at dusk. There are windswept trees and a touch of fog
in the air. It is beginning to grow dark when you spot
a robed figure ahead who obviously knows the way.
You follow, getting closer and closer. Finally you
catch up to the guide and discover that he or she is
not a stranger, but you. The follower is your ordinary
nature; the true nature you come to be, is the real you.
Buddhism is not learning far- away beliefs, it is looking
and thinking about our own lives. Sidhrtha Gautama,
was troubled by the same thoughts we are today. Why
wishes do not come true, people get old or sick and
happiness, like beauty, seems outside our grasp. On a
trip from his castle the young prince saw a monk who
had given up everything to find love and compassion.
Sidhartha realized, “You and I can do that too.”
Nothing is lost in the universe. A seed becomes a plant,
We are born of parents and our children come from us.
Life is ever changing, like the water that at times flows
slowly and at other times fast. And what happens to us
is what we deserve—our thoughts and actions determine
the life that we have. Every moment we create new
karma by our thoughts, deeds and words. There is
nothing to fear. The fruit is determined by the seed we sew.
What of suffering? True, it is all around. But we can share it,
knowing all things change. The answer is enlightenment.
We learn how to let go. No longer driven by expectations,
ignorance or greed, we can walk a focused path. Clear
our thoughts and speak kind, helpful words. Before we
criticize, we must learn to see ourselves. Harming others,
harms only us. Right mindfulness focuses us. One thought,
one object at a time. Seek quiet. Attain peace of mind.
Buddha is the guide, Dharma is the path. Sangha are
our teachers and companions along the way. It is like
cultivating a garden, but we are cultivating our wisdom
instead. The mind is the ground, and thoughts, the seeds.
Deeds are how we care for the garden, our faults are
the weeds. Pulling them out is like weeding a garden.
And what blooms is our lasting happiness. The harvest
is ours for the asking. In a world of illusion this is real.
Buddha, wins the hearts of people because he deals
with their feelings. “No one is to accept my word,” he
says, “but decide for themselves whether they are right
or wrong for their your own lives. Do your own work.
I can only teach you the way. We all have Buddha in us.
There have been manly Buddhas before me, there will be
many Buddhas in the future. All living things have Buddha
nature. You are the Buddha, and the Buddha is you.”
Buddhists do not believe that death is the end of life.
When you die your consciousness leaves and enters
a different path. One leads to the heavens, where
everyone is happy. Below are the hells where suffering
dwells. If one does good deeds, one will be born into
the paths of gods. From one life to the next we change
from human to animal to devil, according to things we
have done. There is only one escape from this wheel.
And that is enlightenment. Acceptance. The lotus has
its roots in the mud, grows up through the deep water,
and rises to the surface. It blooms into perfect beauty
and purity in the sunlight. It is like the mind unfolding
to perfect wisdom and joy. Sidhrtha Gautama never
wrote anything down, but his disciples did. The Buddha
lived a complete life. Today there are monasteries and
shrines, but it is Buddha’s teachings that are the flowers.
in the air. It is beginning to grow dark when you are
aware of a another figure who now is following you.
Sit in a comfortable position, keep your eyes half-closed.
Breathe in and breathe out. Concentrate on your breath.
It is a bridge between your body and your mind. You
relax, the wheel stops, your mind overflows with peace.
Buddha: You must be 'born again'
In the Vinaya Pitaka (III, 4), the Buddha gives detailed descriptions of the four states of the meditation that brought him to enlightenment and nirvana. Let's look first at the last and the few words that follow it . . .
". . . going beyond the duality of pleasure and pain and the whole field of memory-making forces in the mind, I dwelt at last in the fourth meditative state, utterly beyond the reach of thought, in that realm of complete purity which can be reached only through detatchment and contemplation.
"This was the first successful breaking forth, like a chick breaking out of its shell . . ."
So, to reach the fourth and final and deepest state of meditation and achieve Oneness with God, a Oneness beyond all duality, takes a second birth, for until this state is reached our life takes place as if within a shell, in a cramped world where we have no more idea of what life is really like than a chick before hatching.
Christians: From whom have we heard this before (or actually, after -- about 500 years after, to be exact)?
. . . to be continued.
“Passage Meditation” (PM)
A method developed by acclaimed author and spiritual teacher
PM is easy and ecumenical: it works with any spiritual passage or text or inspirational poetry. You start by personally choosing and then reading a passage repeatedly, and then committing it to memory through an exercise of sustained, deep attention. In this way, you repeatedly deliver the passage to your higher consciousness, where it becomes and essential part of you. Through this practice, and the application of its content in your daily life, you endeavor to become the embodiment of the passage.
PM is a universal practice, available to everyone, regardless of religion. To learn more about it, and Easwaran’s eight-point program, please purchase his book wonderful, inspiring book here.
We donate 100% of the profits from this store to help feed hungry children.
Basic Instructions, according to Easwaran, are:
Read the passage over and over, one word at a time, taking time to really feel and understand each word. Sit in solitude and consider the words, the vibration they create within you. Commit the passage to memory and repeat it daily, as part of your spiritual practice, then ACT on it, in the phenomenological world, the world of people, places and things, the world of duality (hatred and love; doubt and faith), in order to transcend that world and go within, where Jesus tells us we find the Kingdom of God.
The Dhammapada (translator Thomas F. Cleary) -- 8: Thousands
Better to live in virtue and wisdom for one day
than to live a hundred years with an evil and undisciplined mind.
Better to live in goodness and wisdom for one day
than to lead an ignorant and undisciplined life for a hundred years.
Better to live in strength and wisdom for one day
than to lead a weak and idle life for one hundred years.
Better to ive in freedom and wisdom for one day
than to lead a life of conditioned bondage for a hundred years.
The Dhammapada ( Eknath Easwaran) -- 15: Joy
Let us live in joy, never hating those who hate us.
Let us live in freedom, without hatred even among those who hate.
Let us live in joy, never falling sick like those who are sick.
Let us live in freedom, without disease even among those who are ill.
The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way
(by Nagarjuna/ Jay L. Garfield)
Those who see essence and essential difference
And entities and nonentities
They do not see
The truth taught by the Buddha
And from other traditions . . .
The Prayer of St. Francis
from Passage Meditation by Eknath Easwaran
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where the is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
Note: the author/creator of this method, Eknath Easwaran, makes an emphatic point in his book, Passage Meditation, about the use of the word “Lord” in this prayer. He translates the word from St. Francis’ prayer and explains that he (Easwaran) means by the use of the word, not an Old Man/God in a physical heaven, but the “very ground of existence, the most profound thing we can conceive of . . .”
Let Nothing Upset You
Let nothing upset you;
Let nothing frighten you.
Everything is changing;
God alone is changeless.
Patience attains the goal.
Who has God lacks nothing.
God alone fills every need.
St. Teresa of Avila
If you are interested in Guided Experience in these or any other Spiritual practices, please sign up for the GottaGettaGuru.com “Spiritual Commitment Curriculum” here. You will have an opportunity to choose from a variety of traditions, all of which are based on the teachings of the world’s great Guru’s or Lights.
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Radiant is the World Soul
Radiant is the world soul,
Full of splendor and beauty,
Full of life,
Of souls hidden,
Of treasures of the holy spirit,
Of fountains of strength,
Of greatness and beauty.
Proudly I ascend
Toward the heights of the world soul
That gives life to the universe
How majestic the vision –
Come, find peace,
Taste and see that God is good.
Why spend your substance on what does not nourish
And your labor on what cannot satisfy?
Listen to me, and you will enjoy what is good,
And find delight in what is truly precious.
Abraham Isaac Kook
Meditation for a Sacred Marriage
Calls me to you
One True Abode
We dwell together
Chanting the Names of the Lord (Hindu)
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Notes: Hare is pronounced “ha-rey” and is a name for God that means “thief” for it is God who steals our hearts. Rama, another name for God, means God as the source of all joy. Krishna is the aspect or incarnation of God that draws us to a closer relationship with the One.
Mantrams as Meditation – from Passage Meditations by Eknath Easwaran
Barukh attah Adoni (Blessed art Thou, O Lord) – Hebrew
Ribono shel olam (Hasidic mystic tradition: Lord of the Universe) – Hebrew
Om mani padme hum – (alludes to the “jewel in the lotus flower of the heart) – Buddhist
Ma – Om (AMMA’s recommended meditation: inhale and say “Ma” mentally – exhale and say Om . . .)
We are often asked to proclaim what career we’re going to follow when we “grow up.” This, however, is not the most important question we face. In fact, it is a bit of a trap, for because we are asked this “career choice" question so often during the course of our early life, a false sense of its importance often arises due to the emphasis.
However, if you do, and you embark on a journey where the most important thing is to live your purpose, you will learn the skills, discipline and values necessary to live prosperously! The Sages guarantee it!
Talk it over with your parents! Then, sit with it. Think about it. Read about the lives of great, inspiring spiritual leaders in the world. You'll find many here on this site and many more elsewhere, in books, on the Internet, at your place of worship or with the help of our teachers if you need it!
Read about great saints and sages and Gurus, and talk to your parents about any of the great souls that really speak to your soul. Then, act!
Write down your thoughts, feelings, and inspirations!
Keep a journal of your thoughts as you learn more and more about your purpose. Then, with the help and guidance of your inner voice, commit to a Guru!
Okay, you start by writing a short email to the Guru CEO, RamGian@GottaGettaGuru.com -- Tell him what the purpose of your life is and ask him to offer help getting you prepared.
1) Why Buddha is my Guru.
If you wanted to be an architect, you’d study at the elbow of the best. A doctor? A writer? You bet! You’d want to be a train-ee with a train-er! You’d want to intern, watch, listen, learn and above all PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE under the watchful eye of a Master, right?
Now: We are not going to be your guide.
If you feel a close spiritual affinity to Buddha and choose to embark on a Guru/disciple relationship, congratulations, it means: Your Guru has chosen you! Your Guru is your Guide, your Teacher, and your own Personal (Spiritual) Trainer! We’re just the mailmen, delivering the lessons!
Committing to this relationship will undoubtedly deepen your faith and transform you!
GottaGettaGuru.com™ will help with a weekly (emailed) course that includes both general and specific (to your Guru) information and instructions. Additional course materials will be provided as part of the course fees, and may include electronic, video, audio or printed materials, so your email address and physical address are both required. Online chats and Podcasts may also be included. In addition, our instructors may recommend additional classes (yoga, meditation, etc.), retreats and emersion weekends, or offer travel with a group to Holy sites around the world. If so, participation is optional and additional costs may be incurred.
All courses include study, but stress experience, and each will begin with a brief but broad introduction to spiritual philosophy and an exploration of a number of spiritual disciplines (e.g. fasting, prayer, etc.). In addition to these initial studies, Seva (selfless service) and meditative and yogic exercises will be recommended and should be undertaken immediately, if possible. Of course, if you have any health concerns, you should consult a physician before beginning any regimen of physical exercise.
GottaGettaGuru.com™ hopes to guide you to a closer relationship with God, help you build community and find support with a network of fellow spiritual seekers, and help you participate in efforts to protect our planet.
Congratulations for making the deep, personal commitment to do so!
Now, click here to sign up and get started!
PS: It is said you only get this calling from your One Guru ONCE IN YOUR LIFE, so for heaven’s sake (and your own) HEED THE CALL! Act NOW!
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Is Jesus Your Guru?
They Underestimated Him
(He is not a Suit of Clothes)
Jerusalem – about 1975 years ago
You saw Jesus three times, the first, from a distance. He was teaching, addressing a multitude of your fellow Jews, hundreds of whom had crowded around him. This throng had pressed so close that Jesus had to physically retreat to a little fishing boat in order to put some distance between himself and the crush of his followers.
You saw Jesus that day and you kept right on walking.
You thought: ‘Oh, another Messiah. Maybe this one will deliver us from the Romans!’ Then you blushed: ‘Yeah, right.’
You kicked a stone in your path. It tumbled, raised a little cloud of dust, and so did your heels. You kept on walking.
The next time you saw him, you did not recognize him at first. You saw a man or what was left of a man. The bones of his back and hips and legs were laid bare by a scourging. Administered by a Roman guard with a whip that had many leather straps in which were embedded metal balls and pieces of sharp bone, the torturous punishment tore his skin off, ripped into his muscles and sinews and shredded him, stroke by stoke, as you watched.
Clearly, he was bleeding to death.
“Another one” you muttered. The Romans had maimed then crucified 30,000 Jewish men in this manner during the last few years alone, and you had personally witnessed this punishment, and the one that followed on the cross, too many times. These things you thought to yourself as you looked down and saw a small, round stone in the dust at your feet. It reminded you of that day by the sea and a chill rose up your spine as you realized it was him, the “Messiah” you’d seen teaching from a fisherman’s boat.
You looked up and realized they’d crowned him with thorns.
You turned away.
Yes, you turned away and you remembered the ridiculous tales you’d heard of him since that day, the tales of the “miracles” he was purported to have performed, healing the lepers, feeding thousands from a few loaves or bread and a bushel or two of fish, and even raising the dead! You recalled the fact that he claimed to forgive sins, too, which only God himself could do. And then there were the claims by many of his followers, your fellow Jews, that this man was in fact was the chosen one, the promised Messiah of your people.
You’d had heard these claims, but you’d never bothered to check into them yourself. Why should you have? You knew the Jewish prophets had promised both that the Messiah and the “end of the world” was coming “soon” over a thousand years ago now! And, perhaps most importantly, the Rabbi’s and Pharisees and leaders of your faith had warned this man Jesus was an imposter . . .
Wouldn’t they know the Son of God if He came?
The Roman guard struck him again and he nearly collapsed from the pain.
“Some Messiah,” you said, glancing contemptuously at him. He turned to you. Your eyes met his. It was as if could see into you. You were afraid.
You were ashamed.
They dragged him off.
For some reason, you followed in his bloody footsteps.
Maybe you went because so many others were going.
Maybe you hoped they’d let him go.
Whatever the reason, you followed and watched as they whipped him onward, he staggering under the weight of his cross, towards a hill called Golgotha, “the place of a skull.” The authorities had reserved this place for the most hellish of public tortures, pain and humiliation, a cruelty that always ended the same way: in death.
The uprights of the well-used crosses stood like tree trunks bare of branches, rooted deeply in the earth. The Romans retrieved his cross bar from a passerby, for he was too weak to bring it all the way up himself. They laid it on the rocky soil. Then they laid him down and drove the first nail directly through one of his wrists, crushing the large nerves. The pain of this cruelty was so unfathomable, a new word, rooted in the act itself, had been coined to describe it: ex-crux, meaning 'of or from the cross.' Today, we know the word as: excruciating.
He cried out.
They did it again, to the other hand, piercing him now twice.
When they lifted him up, you thought of Moses and how he had been told by God to fashion and affix an iconic serpent to a pole and lift it high for all to see, the serpent forming a cross against the pole, a cross . . . like this one. And God had said to Moses that this cross would save all who looked upon it in faith from the plague that they then suffered.
Could it be? Thought you. Could this somehow relate to that?
They nailed his feet now, too, to the upright, parting the bones, crushing the tendons.
After a while, you heard him pray to God to forgive them.
Never, in the thousands of crucifixions here had that ever happened before.
You stood and watched, and marveled at him for six hours as he was thus hung.
Yes, death thus came slowly on the Roman cross. When it finally did come, it usually came by suffocation. The executed were nailed through the wrists, not the hands, so the flesh would hold, for the weight of their entire bodies hanging down was so strong it pulled their shoulders from their joints. Then, without the help of their disjointed arms, the crucified would push up from their nailed feet in order to breathe, for the weight and position of their bodies collapsed all the air from their lungs, and each time they needed to inhale they had to relieve this pressure by pushing against the nails.
You watched as he tried at first in vain to push himself up again, to take another breath. You watched him struggle and gasp and die a little more.
It was true, some lasted days on the cross, if they’d not been scourged ‘til their flesh hung like ribbons, but a few minutes more of this was all he’d have hanging there this day after what they’d done to him.
You heard him cry out, quoting the ancient Jewish Psalmist, who, and this now seemed astounding to you, wrote centuries before crucifixion was even invented:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
My bones are out of joint . . .
They pierced my hands and feet . . .
And you thought: How could this be? You looked at him. Was this not that prophecy fulfilled, too?
“Who are you?” You shouted up at him.
Then, you saw him slump, and say, with his last breath: "It is finished."
“Finished! What is finished?” You shouted up at him. “What!?!”
The whole earth shook. You were knocked off balance and staggered. You stumbled, and fell to your knees. Many did. You turned to see the face of one who could see the Temple as he shouted a report: the veil had been rent asunder. And, inexplicably, it began to grow dark. Then, the Roman Centurion himself shouted: “Truly, this man was the son of God.”
At this, another soldier leapt up and thrust a spear into his side. A woman shrieked. Blood poured from his already still heart.
And now everyone looked to the heavens, for it was as if the sun itself had refused to shine down on this murder.
Panic ensued, but the guards had unfinished business.
Wooooosh! A Roman swung a metal rod and struck the knee of one of the two thieves crucified with him, shattering the man’s leg.
Wooooosh! With this second blow, to the top leg of the two nailed to the upright, shattered the bone at the shin.
Wooooosh! Wooooosh! The second thief, too.
Having been denied the legs with which to push up and gasp a frantic inhale, both men suffocated quickly. It took only minutes, and death was certain. A Roman guard could take no chances, for, if the condemned somehow survived, the guards themselves were put to death.
No. There was no question about it.
He was dead.
All three were dead.
It was finished. And, it was if the sun itself had now gone out, day was night. You departed quickly, deeply troubled, your soul sinking.
You passed many women, all of them weeping. One of them, you heard someone say, was his grieving mother . . . Mary.
She, you beheld through tears.
A week later, YOU are a Christian.
What has happened?
You have given up your place and status in the Jewish community; you have in fact abandoned your father and mother, your temple and your faith.
You have abandoned your whole family and culture and your most cherished religious customs. You no longer offer burnt offerings for the forgiveness of your sins, you no longer pray to God as a single creator, you no longer worship or keep holy the Sabbath on Saturday.
These were the hallmarks of your whole life!
These were the things that made you and your family Jews, one hundred generations of your family! Yet, you have left them all behind?
Because of this, you are an outcast and are actually, physically hunted by the same people who put Jesus to death! Yet, you are ready to be scourged yourself, prepared to suffer the very same death by crucifixion, that excruciating death, because you now believe in Jesus as Christ, as the Messiah of your people and ONE with God the Father.
Are you crazy?
What exactly has happened during the course of these few intervening days to cause this change in you?
What on earth could have happened to cause such a change, given the risks, the costs?
How, having seen all this, personally witnessed his death and humiliation, could you call a man put to death with common thieves, the Son of God?
How could you suddenly, irrevocable believe that this dead, humiliated Jesus was the Messiah of your people?
You saw him alive?
You say you saw him whole and healthy and full of light and spoke with him and ate meals with him and physically touched him, and he taught you and forgave you and preached love and forgiveness to you after they had scourged him, hobbled him, crushed his nerves, pierced his heart and entombed his lifeless, shredded, bloodless body?
You saw Him overcome His own Death, and you knew He could be none other than the Messiah of your people, the Son of God?
You say not only you, but hundreds of Jews sat with him as he preached and now thousands of Jews believe as you do now, just weeks after the crucifixion?
Would you do so if you knew it was a lie?
I say: either you and they are crazy and everyone present suffered a mass hallucination each time they saw him or this did happen.
This did happen.
What do you think?
If this had happened to you, could you be but a Christian? Wouldn’t you reject your old religion, your position in society and even your family and follow Christ?
Well, according to the Gospels and backed up by more evidence than you can even imagine (See our About section), it did happen to many, many Jews, including the very Apostles who ran away and hid when Jesus was seized, who denied him, watched him whipped and crucified, executed and buried. In fact, it is well documented that within a few short weeks of Christ’s crucifixion, 1,000's of Jews became Christians because they were certain he was the Messiah of the Jews.
Now, one may die for what one believes to be true, but no one dies for a lie he knows to be a lie, and most of the apostles and hundreds of others in the days and weeks and years and even centuries that followed did die for this truth: those who were there say they saw this man raised from the dead.
They had the audacity to say so, under the pain of death, to say: He was who He said He was . . .
How do we know?
Today, we have historical (as well as Biblical) sources, written testimonies of what happened, of what we have described here, and according to many ot the world's most eminent scholars, these accounts remain among the most reliable in all antiquity (For a great read on this subject, get The Case for Christ - Paperback / 1998 by Lee Strobel). Some of these accounts have come to be known as the Gospels, not because they were carefully selected by some conspiratorial group of deluded believers. Nor because of Constantine’s desire to use the teachings for political purposes. But, because they were the most well documented and thoroughly verified histories of the actual events taken down with a few short years of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, and they were taken down by eye-witnesses.
Now, having said this, and having helped to bring you to a better experience of what it meant to be a Jew who became a Christian, we have to make a big time leap forward now and ask: wouldn’t it be natural for those Jews of that day to believe that their Jesus was the only form and incarnation of the Christ, literally? After all, he said: ‘I am the way, the truth and the light. No man cometh unto the Father but through me.’ (See our Teachings sections for a look at this passge).
And, what world did they live in, what frame of reference did they have to think he could possible mean these words in any way other than: I, Christ as Jesus the Carpenter (as opposed to as the Spirit and Christ-consciousness eternal that inhabited the body of that carpenter) am the way?
They had none, no other way to understand Him or the “universe of that time” – for their world was still thought to be flat, the universe pretty much that flat world plus the sun and the visible stars. And we know from the Gospels the ideas and teachings Jesus presented often confused them, they often got them wrong, and much to His great frustration!
Do we also underestimate Him?
Have you ever heard this?
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the promised Messiah of the Jewish people whose birth, life and death had been foretold in scores of sacred Jewish prophecies. He said He was the One who could forgive sins and remove the penalty (or karma) associated with offenses against God by taking the punishment, the pain, and the suffering wrought by sin and due the sinner, unto Himself. This, claimed Jesus, He would do by dying, by delivering Himself as an exculpatory sacrifice, on the cross.
Yes, He asserted that He alone would redeem all mankind. And, because Jesus Christ assuredly made these claims, we are confronted with the fact that either Jesus was a liar or He was and is who He said He was and is. And what did He say? He said: “I am the (definite article) Way, the (again definite) Truth and the (yes, again, definite article as in He and only He) Light. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
So, believe it: Jesus is “the” only way to God.
Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior or spend eternity in Hell.
Have you heard this? Wow!
Maybe you actually believe it?
It’s awfully black and white, no?
Most importantly, it is the greatest underestimation of Jesus imaginable! It means, for those who believe this that Jesus incarnated as the carpenter from Nazareth, was and is only capable of showing himself once to the world in one form, that of theJewish Carpenter from Nazareth!
A suit of clothes.
What happens to the Jesus as eternal Christ-consciousness, the very Word of God, eternal, omniscient and omni-present, the "One with the Father" Jesus if you so confine Him?
Would that Jesus be so confined?
No! That Jesus, that Christ is certainly not going to be put and kept in the little box those who make these claims hope to confine Him to, oh no!
So, isn’t HE, eternal Christ-consciousness, The Way, not his body, not just his incarnation as a carpenter?
Human beings have existed as homo sapiens, sub species sapiens (modern humans) for just about 200,000 years on earth. Jesus came to this earth as the man from Nazareth about one hundred and ninety-eight thousand years into “our” history. In other words, after 99% of it had already passed! Now, we have to ask: Did He NEVER manifest His eternal presence before that, never, to anyone, anywhere else on planet during the 198,000 prior years of human history here on earth?
If He did come before or has come since, then isn’t it conceivable He didn’t come as the Jewish carpenter those other times, He came in another form, which of course is His right and within His power as the Word of God and which, of course, would make sense. After all, if a Jewish carpenter showed up in India 5,000 before there was a crucifixion to teach the people there and then about God, who would have listened?
No, Jesus is:
a) Probably compassionate enough to have wanted to help us at least once or twice more in our 200,000-year history and . . .
b) Probably smart enough to know that, in order to do so, He’s have to come or reveal Himself as someone the people he came to help could relate to . . . don’t you think?
Would you rather have Him confined to a single place and time?
If so, you underestimate Christ-consciousness, Christ-spirit, and God.
Consider this, next: Today, nearly seven BILLION people live on planet earth and scientists estimate that at least (10) galaxies exist in the universe for each and every single one of us! Science also suggests there may be as many as 10 “planet earths” in each of those galaxies, ten planets that might support human life or at least intelligent, sentient beings.
This means one hundred (100) planets (10 galaxies X 10 terrestrial planets per galaxy) with seven billion people each may exist in the universe now, for each of us alive today on earth. And that means it is likely that for EACH of us, there may be as many as one hundred planets with 7 billion people each in the universe right now!
Do the math: That means there could be up to 700,000,000,000 (700 billion) people “out there” in the universe, for each one us, and the next logical question follows: has God consigned all of them to eternal ignorance of Christ?
With all due respect to the people who make the above (italicized) assertion, we ask:
If you believe people can only know Christ the way you know Christ, haven’t you underestimated the eternal Christ, not the carpenter, but the all pervasive Word, the eternal Spirit of omnipresent Christ-consciousness, the One who can create and recreate for Himself any body at will, with any appearance He desires when it serve His purpose?
He did so, according to the Bible!
The Apostles themselves did not recognize the physical form of Jesus at times after the resurrection, according to the Gospels, while other times He was in the physical form of the crucified Christ, wounds and all? Thus: Jesus thus took on more than one physical form and body according to the Gospels!
Did He not also, according to the Gospels, come and go transforming into physical form from spirit right in the midst of them inside a locked room according to the Gospels and Acts, and then de-materializing back inot spirit and disappear, transcending time and space?
If you believe the Gospels, if you believe the Bible, you must also believe this, too!
Thus: Christ is not His suit of clothes!
He cannot be confined to the Jewish Lamb, not by man!
And, so we have to ask again:
• Did the Word of God, the ever-living, omniscient and omnipresent Jesus as Spirit, never appear anywhere else, as anyone else, to anyone else, ever?
• Did HE never, in any other form (spirit or otherwise), visit anywhere or anyone else in His galaxy of 700 Billion worlds, to “love” them, to “guide” them and to “save” them, ever?
Christian saints will tell you they have seen him, and He appears to them as one of their own people! Other spiritual saints have seen Him, too, in a form and by a name they relate to!
If you deny Christ this power, you underestimate him!
If you believe in Jesus as the Word, and not just the man, then you cannot rationally deny Him this power. And, unless you claim to speak for God, you cannot deny the possibility that Christ did and does come and go as He pleases. And if it is likely that this same Word, Jesus, that came to the Jews 2,000 years ago or so, may have ‘come’ in some way or other to someone or others, somewhere or other, maybe even here, maybe even last week or yesterday, Christians must stop underestimating Him and condemning others to Hell for not acknowledging their one brief glimpse of Him incarnate as a Jewish carpenter.
Christ was not the physical body of the Jesus. God-consciousness, the Word immortal and immutable, God the Spirit, used that body, took it on and shed it and picked it up again like a suit of clothes! That is the story of the resurrection!
The Guru of all Gurus
Christ was and is eternal Spirit. Thus, as the Word emanating forth from God-consciousness, as the causal force of creation in a phenomenological sense, Christ may be seen as the Guru of all Gurus. “He” is the incarnation of the omnipotent, and causal, God-consciousness who once put on the body of Jesus, of the one we crucified. That physical body was but the Temple of the Son of God. The essential aspect of God that we call the eternal Christ was untouched by that carnage, and so could rather simply rebuild the temple of His body as all of the universe was built and is rebuilt daily, by a Word -- just as God spoke the universe into existence, God could speak the body of Jesus back from the dead! And so, we should never be surprised by the power of words.
Further, Jesus Christ, the true knowable human form of the Word, came to the Jews of those days in the form they expected and could recognize and even then, with all the prophecies fulfilled, only some of them recognized Him!
A word of CAUTION:
Do not make the same mistake some made 1975 years ago made.
Do not fail to recognize Him in places you do not expect Him or in garb or positions foreign to you!
Do not underestimate Jesus as Christ-consciousness eternal and unfathomable.
Do not confuse God with the temple, or the Spirit with its suit of clothes and say to others: If you do not worship the suit of clothes, you do not worship the spirit!
Judge not (for the ways of God are a mystery to man) lest ye shall be judged!
And thus acknowledge this:
Any discussion of the Guruship or Lordship of Christ as the Word must be inclusive of ALL Christ traditions if we are to give Jesus as Christ-consciousness, Sacred Word and eternal Spirit, His due.
It is here, we begin.
If you would like more information about making Jesus your Guru, please visit the Paracticum section above.
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This article was written by Ram Gian Singh - write to him at RamGian@GottaGettaGuru.com
'How to Be Like Me'
The example and story of Jesus are of such magnitude and significance, that few would dispute him as one of the most polarizing figures in world history. No other person has been more quoted, more discussed, more analyzed, or more interpreted in various ways regarding His purpose and message. While the words of Jesus are commonly used to support numerous perspectives or positions, his sayings are many times quoted in isolation, failing to interpret the actual context in which Jesus intended them. It is only by understanding the actual meaning that Jesus of Nazareth intended that one can truly learn from Him and attain to the commandments and doctrine which he taught. In this study, we will look at 12 pithy quotes from Jesus’ many teachings.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).
Chief among His teachings was Jesus' firm belief in an afterlife. The teachings and words of Jesus are filled with references to Heaven and “my Father's house.” (Christ often referred to God the Father and their relationship as one being, yet with distinct identities.) Paradise and other expressions were also used by Jesus to refer to a literal place of spiritual rest and comfort. Christ's teaching was replete with challenges to look past this present physical world to one that would follow. While many sought for Christ to stage an overthrow of the repressive Roman regime of his time, instead, He pointed to a spiritual kingdom, established in the hearts of men that would allow him and the Holy Spirit (the third member of the Trinity) to reign in their lives, controlling their thoughts, words and actions. It was only through this process that men could truly lay up treasures for eternity that would never fade away.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:12).
One tenant of Jesus' teaching was to oppose the most natural of our human tendencies—the exaltation of our own desires and needs above those of others. Jesus taught that the way to exaltation was actually through the humbling of one's self in order to follow his commandments. In one of the most poignant of scenes in the life of Jesus, he knelt to wash the feet of his disciples—the twelve men who were actually following him to learn of his ways. This act of selflessness was so impacting that one of his disciples initially refused the gesture, but Jesus was teaching his followers an important lesson. The way to exaltation is not through aggrandizement or personal glory. It is through the humbling of oneself before the needs of others. It was ultimately through the most humbling of experiences—His own death on a torturous Roman cross—that Jesus would attain his most exalted state at the right hand of his father in Heaven.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).
Jesus taught that actual thoughts and words of our heart would not be hidden indefinitely; they would ultimately display themselves, revealing the true contents of one's nature. This teaching was actually one that was central to Jesus' teaching and ministry. Though he was always compassionate to the most grievous of sinners, this mercy was always balanced by a clear message that every person is born with the inherent capacity to sin, a problem which must be remedied. The mission of remedying this problem was one that Jesus considered his personal responsibility, evidenced in his words that "the son of man [a reference to himself] is come to seek and to save that which was lost." It is evident in Jesus' teaching that his final sacrifice in death was a crucial component to the remediation of the sin problem and he spoke of his impending death on numerous occasions to his own disciples. This thought was one that was so abhorrent to them that they at first refused to believe it, but after his death, they specifically remembered it as the words he had spoken earlier. It was actually Jesus intention to die in order to provide a permanent solution for the evil that is present in the hearts of all men.
“Look at the birds of the air; your heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
Jesus' was not someone who lived in wealth and glamour for the time he walked on earth. Rather he lived as a transient, residing in fields, deserts and sometimes in the homes of his followers. On one occasion, Jesus remarked that "the foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man has no place to lay his head." Likewise, Jesus encouraged his own followers to cease from worry regarding their own needs. As a living example, he pointed to the birds of the heaven and their worry-free existence with provision of all their needs. In an almost ironic question, Jesus asks if we are not more valuable than these woodland creatures. The implied point is how foolish it is to think that each person is not important enough that their heavenly father will not care for their needs. Rather than waste precious energy and time fretting about what will take place tomorrow, a trusting person will rather be faithful to fulfill their own responsibilities, yet trust that his or her needs will be fully met.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:4).
In one of the most mystical of all relationships Jesus described, he spoke of our need to remain in him in a spiritual sense. In fact, as Jesus described this need, it was so important, that a failure to do so would make it impossible to bear fruit (the good works that Jesus commanded and demonstrated by example). This command highlights the futility of seeking after personal enrichment independently of Jesus' instruction. Instead, Jesus instructed his followers to abide in him, following his commandments and committing their ways to the path he instructed. According to the words of Jesus, attempts to "find one's own way" would be unsuccessful without truly learning and following while abiding in him.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).
In one of his most famous quotations, often referred to as “The Golden Rule”, Jesus highlights the way that one is to know how to treat others. In many instances, we might claim that we are doing what is best for others or what they would want us to do, but this is the ultimate test of that principle. By asking ourselves whether in all honesty we would want these actions done to ourselves, we will have a true indicator of whether or not we are actually working in the interest of others rather than disguising our own self-interest by claiming it is really theirs. Were this principle to be truly applied by individuals the world over, it could serve to transform society as we know it. It is worth nothing as well that exercising this principle in our own lives is one of the best ways to encourage it in others. Their observation of our selflessness has the potential to encourage them toward the same ideals and standards of behavior.
“Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for "of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Luke 18:16).
This statement of Jesus was actually in response to his disciples turning away young children who were seeking to come to the Master. In his disciples’ eyes, these young followers were simply distractions who were pulling Jesus away from his important ministry of healing and teaching to older followers. Instead, Jesus used this experience as a teaching tool for those around him, commanding not only the acceptance of these young devotees, but also pointing out the ideal nature of their innocent acceptance toward him. As Jesus pointed out on many occasions to his disciples, the complications of one’s preconceived notions and personal presuppositions were actually hindrances to accepting his doctrine and way of teaching. Before one could enter the Kingdom of Heaven (truly following the reign of Jesus in their hearts) they had to first become as a little child and accept his teaching wholeheartedly and without reservation—an important principle for all who would follow Jesus teaching.
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6).
According to Jesus’ teaching, a casual pursuit of righteousness was not sufficient to truly find peace and contentment; it required a pursuit that was only comparable to the most fundamental of human pursuits—the human need for food and drink. Indeed, this command explains why in so many instances, pursuit of a higher spiritual level is ultimately unsuccessful. While many would claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, their efforts are only half-hearted if they follow certain commands he taught, yet choose to omit others they prefer not to follow. This “selective” obedience is not evidence of someone following on the level of which Jesus spoke. Until one’s commitment is as strong as their desire for the basic necessities to sustain life, they will not be successful in finding their true spiritual satisfaction.
“Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).
This statement of Jesus was made in response to one of his disciples, most commonly referred to as “doubting Thomas,” who refused to believe in the resurrection of Jesus. According to the gospels, Jesus was crucified for his teachings, but did not remain dead. Many would disagree on the true nature of Jesus resurrection, but the gospel accounts teach an actual physical resurrection of his body to life, after which he was seen by many witnesses. In fact, the Roman government of the time, fearing a revolt, paid the soldiers who were guarding Jesus’ tomb to report that his still-dead body was stolen by his disciples—a propaganda effort which was ultimately unsuccessful since millions still believe in his literal resurrection to this day. When Thomas heard the reports of Jesus’ resurrection, he refused them as bizarre or beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, his response was that unless he placed his fingers in the nail holes of Jesus hands and sword wound in his side (evidences of his crucifixion) he would not believe that was actually alive. According to the gospel accounts, Jesus actually appeared to his disciples. When he did so, one of his first words to them was asking Thomas to place his hands in these wounds as he had asked to do. Collapsing in shame, Thomas no longer needed to verify what his eyes were now showing to him and professed his trust in Jesus’ power over death. Though Jesus was quick to accept Thomas’ restored trust in his Master and forgive his unbelief, commendation was given to those who are able to believe in that which they have not seen—to have faith that is based on the spiritual rather than the physical world they see around them.
“But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15).
How quick we are to point out the failure of others to forgive us; yet how often do we ignore the question of whether we have truly forgiven them? True forgiveness is not merely abstaining from retribution while remembering that someone did us wrong. It is actually coming to the point that even if we could have revenge on them anonymously, we would still choose not to do it. In truth, the response we should have to those who have wronged us is sorrow for them and the spiritual state they are in. If their wrong-doing is part of a lifestyle, they will inevitably wrong others as well as us and eventually pay the consequences of that wrong-doing. Our sincere response should be to desire to help and encourage them toward doing right instead of wrong. It should be pointed out that sometimes the most loving response of helping someone may involve something that is not pleasant for them, because it may be the path to their ultimate recovery and achievement of a happier state of life. The most important thing, however, is that while enforcing these consequences, we must do so with a true spirit and desire to help the person rather than an attempt to hurt them as they have hurt us.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).
Yoga means "to yoke" your self to God. It is interesting that Jesus’ path to peace and rest for one’s soul was illustrated in the image of a yoke, something normally associated (in the west) with burden and captivity. But, we must remember, Jesus of Nazareth was a middle-easterner, who, acording to many historical and spiritual accounts, studied and taught in the east, specifically in India. So, Jesus was not a westerner and much of His teaching is informed by eastern traditions and perspectives!
By the example of his life, Jesus maintained the highest levels of obedience to his heavenly father and the commands he taught. This obedience was not always something that represented the easiest of lifestyles. At times in Jesus’ ministry, he was hungry (almost starving), and thirsting to the point of death. Yet when a decision to relieve this suffering meant going against the will of his father, his decision was always to remain under the yolk within which he had placed himself. This same kind of dedication must be true of Jesus’ followers if they would seek to follow his way. While many would imagine that the first step to spiritual achievement is to cast off all restraints, in reality, Jesus declared it to be submitting to his commands. In this true submission comes rest—the absence of resistance to the principles of Jesus’ teaching.
“But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (Luke 6:27-28).
Love for enemies? Prayer for those spitefully use us? These principles would fly in direct opposition to those observed in the world around us. Movies depict the sweetness of revenge as protagonists wreak havoc on those who brought them grief and suffering. Unfortunately, such obsession with “payback” for wrongs done ultimately does more harm to the avenger rather than the avenged. As someone becomes focused on how they will repay their enemies, this desire for evil eventually becomes something that consumes them. If these same people had chosen to seek the welfare of their enemies rather than retribution, they could have lived lives that were rewarding—even helping others learn to forgive their own enemies. In fact, kindness to one’s enemies may ultimately be the path to helping those enemies make a change in their lives. The powerful example of one of their victims who chooses to respond with kindness rather than anger may touch their hearts and cause them to follow a different path in the future.
“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money” (Matthew 6:24).
It is interesting that Jesus uses the example of slavery to illustrate one’s devotion to his principles in contrast to serving money. How interesting it is to observe that those who most earnestly seek to obtain greater wealth and protect desperately the wealth they have are often the ones who have more money than they could ever possibly spend. What a fascinating observation that for these individuals, money is their master. They make almost every decision in response to what “their master” dictates they should do. In contrast, many of those who live in abject poverty find joy in the simple things of life because they are content to accept the state in which they live and not follow the bondage of a mindset that is always striving for something better. Jesus’ own life illustrated this principle. While he could have exercised his healing powers for great gain or sought to obtain large amounts of wealth from his numerous followers, he rather chose to help them without compensation as an example of how they should help others. As a result, thousands of years later, the actions of Jesus continue to serve as a pattern for people the world over and an example for us as well.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Note: Please see, read and study our opening explication of this critical passage!
While undoubtedly one of the most controversial of Jesus’ teachings, on numerous occasions he taught that He (in our view, as "Christ-consciousness" personified, not necessarily as the "suit of cloths" -- the body of the carpenter from Nazareth) alone was the means to spiritual enlightenment. In fact, Jesus opposition to the spiritual leaders of their day (calling them vipers, serpents, and even whitewashed graves) was the source of much of the conflict throughout his life on earth and ultimately led to his death on the cross.
It is important to note that Jesus’ argument was not with the doctrine of the Pharisees (the religious leaders of the day), but rather with their profound hypocrisy and imbalance of emphasis. He said he came, not to destroy the Law, but to Fulfill it!
While they Pharisees would vigorously enforce the proportioning of offerings right down to the smallest seeds of spices and seasonings, they would turn a blind eye to the most immoral offenses and grievances. Jesus called them out on this!
While the seeming exclusivity Jesus’ is highly controversial, when understood in a broader sense, as explicated here,, we believe it is perhaps the most interesting of all Gospel doctrines, and it allows for a fresh look at Christ, the eternal Word who came as Jesus of Nazareth.
Ram Gian Singh contributed to this article.
For an interesting academic look at the life of Jesus and the history of the early Christian movement, please visit:
NOTE: The views expressed are those of the participants and not necessarily in accord with the teachings on this site.
“I Am the Way” Unraveled
Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Many, many people cite this passage to “prove” Jesus as the carpenter of Nazareth said he was the only way to God. And many have tortured and killed others, invaded their countries, burned their sacred texts and converted them ("for their own good") because of it.
If you believe that Jesus as the carpenter from Nazareth is THE ONLY WAY to God based on John’s scripture, then You Underestimate Christ.
However, we’re sure your heart is in the right place!
Let’s break it down and have a look
at what John tells us Jesus said.
First: “I am the way . . .”
Okay, that phrase does not mean anything if just taken literally.
Okay. What does it literally mean when Jesus says: “I am the way. . .”
The Milky Way? The Way, Street, Avenue?
There is no way to make sense of it, is there, or to take action on it unless you read into it or access the meaning with your spiritual intuition? As always, Jesus doesn’t come out and say it. He makes us contemplate, go inside, meditate, think, hunt for meaning!
Then, Jesus, according to John, says: “I am . . . the Truth . . .”
Come on! You can’t possibly say that phrase is NOT a metaphor! Truth, in human terms (literally) is a concept. Jesus was not just a ‘concept’ was He? Plus, think about this again: Metaphor IS the way Jesus taught, through allegory, story and metaphor! So, are we incorrect to say it? (Important note: in many traditions, including Sikhism, Sat or Truth is a name for God – as in Sat Nam – Truth is one and Truth is His name. It is more likely that THIS is what Jesus meant. However, He certainly did not mean it in a literal, earthly sense for that sense limits Him).
Again: “I am the truth . . .” Metaphor.
Next: “I am . . . the life . . .”
Meaning? Correct! It’s a metaphor!
And finally: “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me . . .”
Hmmmm. Stumped? Not by now! It is a metaphor, too, isn’t it?
Since we love Jesus, too, perhaps we can help!
The ‘Father’ to whom Jesus correctly assumes here we all wish to ‘come’ is NOT to be reduced to some old man in a physical place called Heaven.
So, what may we do to uncover meaning?
To Whom (if not a physical Father) are we going and how do we get there?
According to the Lord’s Prayer, Our Father art (is) in Heaven. Heaven is the place where God resides, it is the Kingdom.
Now, here's the KEY: Jesus told us: The Kingdom of God is within yo
(Click here for a complete examination of the Lord’s Prayer.)
Now, let’s substitute: “No man cometh unto ‘that place inside themselves where the Father aspect of God dwells— Or, to put it another way: “No man ‘approaches and communes with that aspect of God we metaphorically call "the Father" who dwells there, inside,’ but by me . . .”
And what does “by me” mean, exactly? Does Jesus mean through me, the physical body of the carpenter from Nazareth?
Does He mean by believing in me (Him)?
Here’s where many may be led astray, because belief alone does seem to be what Jesus is saying is sufficient. However, TRUE belief results in actions and you cannot simply “believe” in Christ without it taking over your life! Once you actually believe, you are essentially changed and a life of action is inevitable. Thus it is also said: Faith without works is dead. (James 2:20) and 'Ye shall know them by their works' or fruits. (Matthew 7:16).
So, anyone who tells you to simply profess you are a believer and be saved is not telling you the entire story! Check your works they are the measure of your belief!
Perhaps this whole passage (John 14:6) is a clarification of the “saved by faith” doctrine. The way to God is “by” way of Jesus, because you so believe, your belief has changed you and HE has become the way or BLUEPRINT for your life, and unless you live like Jesus, LITERALLY (e.g.: Live for others); Love others in TRUTH, which is to say selflessly turning the other cheek like Jesus and forgiving like Jesus and not loving because you want something in return (after all love is not supposed to be a transaction) . . . unless all of this, you will NEVER get to that blessed place inside and be One with GOD in Heaven, because your are not really a believer. After all, what fruits (works) do you have to show for your words of belief until you change your life?
By the way, why do I say all this will bring you to that blessed place inside? Again, because Jesus said: The kingdom is within you.
In order to do so, in order to actually believe to the point of transformation, you will have to be in complete control of your ego and become completely responsible for your actions and your reactions. You will have to train yourself or be so overtaken by devotion that it changes you. In fact, you will have to dispel your ego entirely and truly live to serve others. To do so, you will have to be in control of your mind and harness the power of God within you. Many ways to achieve this control are available to you. They include: Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bajan, SRF lessons, prayer groups, selfless service, etc. etc. But remember: Faith without works is dead, so get to work!
That is one way to be on “the way,” to get there “by” Jesus, as the way: Start acting that way now, His way, right now, as if you are a believer. Set your intention and begin! The power of service to others is such that it will change you, deepen your faith and transform you.
Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi).
Go “by” way of the One who is One, and yet the one whom the sages call by many names, for that One calls you to do so! And, if it is truly the Word of God, Christ-consciousness incarnated as Jesus the carpenter of Nazareth who calls to you, first, remember not to underestimate the Word for the Word is not limited to that human form, then ask, pray to that incarnation of the Son of God, that human form of the ineffable, infinite Christ-consciousness, that you may follow Him, that He will accept you as his disciple and be your dispeller of darkness, be “by” you as the LIGHT (Guru) of your all too often dark inner world, and help you as you do your best to live like the Guru you love!
Visit: our Meditations pages for more help on this subject.
And, go to: www.gottagettaguru.com/store/Jesusdoll for a happy, plush murti (spiritual icon/doll) of the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth. Take Him with you wherever you go as a constant reminder to live a life of love and service!
What must it be like, O Lord, for You who are the source, Consciousness Itself, expanded to every far reach of the universe and beyond, for you are not only outside of all created things but within them as well, what, I say, must it be like for You to “come down from heaven” and be human?
And if solitary confinement is the worst of all human punishments, condemned and disallowed by civilized people as torture for the mental effect it provokes, which is to say, insanity, then how can it be that you possessed such a love for us that You, the very Word of God, infinite and omniscient, would confine yourself to the solitary, finite and ignorant space of one human mind inside one tiny, frail and infant, speechless, powerless, human child’s body?
Oh, Lord, is it so?
Can any of us even imagine such a Love as this? A Love so pure and indeed infinite that It will enter willingly into such a prison as finite and confining as a baby’s human body? And there, because of that assumed outward appearance and the inward corruption of others so attired, though innocent, be seen not as your infinite Self but judged merely one of us, nay, worse: as one who is a criminal, hated and despised and condemned?
Condemned because a jealous few bring the scorn of those yet blind upon you by accusing You of claiming to be who You are?
Were you, oh Christ-consciousness though infinite, being so confined, not, too, possessed of the pain and anguish of that prison? And, were you made at least a little ‘mad’ for a little while, lowering yourself to the least of us, You who made us?
No. I know the answer, O Lord. It is: No. For You who have made all can endure all of Your own making if by enduring You lift us to Love, even as you have endowed us, by simply being with You, to endure all!
. . . Yet, I wonder: As You grew, if I may ask, were You not a little impatient as we treated You like a mere child? For even then You knew who You were: the maker of all of us and all that surrounds us and sustains us, and yet we believed not in You!
We have and still do scorn You, Lord, many among us calling you a liar for the claims those who see You as You make about You though humble You are and though You make no claims Yourself!
You, Truth itself, are thus called liar by liars!
O, how patient you are, with your patients, we, sick with self-importance, delusional in our ego-driven assessments of ourselves, burning mad with the fevers of fleshly passions and the strong will to see the end of all our desires, yet they be our ruin and we ourselves be the means, the architects and builders, of our own dastardly ends.
How much love, O Lord, must you have for us to have subjected Your Self, a Monarch, to all of this, to less than a subject’s poor fate, for You protect the subjects -- but who is there to protect You from them, You, the Whole, who is forever playing the part of a part?
O Lord, how can it be that you have come and endured all this and have, too, seen fit to redeem so many . . . even me?
Even me, O Lord!
Have I not been one of these offending parties, one of the blind even leading the sighted to blindness, the innocent to sin?
Have I not been so for all these many years though I claimed to have been looking for you and yet whenever You called I did never heed Your call?
Have not both my ears been shut like dungeon doors by the prisoner himself upon himself, shut tightly against your every Word?
Has my tongue not been willfully still, making my mouth mute when your Name should have been passing my parted lips in prayer?
Has not my heart been as though dead, when its each beat depended, knowingly or not, upon your omnipotence for life-giving pulse?
And, yet, You have come unto me, called me again and again to tell me that You are with me now and that You have truly been with me, my God’s descended Love, through all of this life!
Truly, have You been with me, oh Lord and in me?
Through all of this, O Lord?
Through all of this?
This is a Passage Meditation.
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Passages from other traditions . . .
The Dhammapada -- 8: Thousands
The Dhammapada -- 15: Joy
Ma – Om (AMMA’s recommended meditation: inhale and say “Ma” mentally – exhale and say Om .mentally . .)
1) Why JESUS is my Guru.
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Is Moses Your Guru?
Does “God” exist?
Science is helping bring mankind closer to a better understanding of God. Quantum Physics in particular has sparked many deep, interesting, spiritual discussions among famous and renowned figures from the Dali Lama to Steven Hawkings. Here, we will look closely at the implications of a particular scientific experiment, one in Quantum Physics from which scientists have concluded that something called “the Observer Effect” exists.
What’s new about this particular look at the facts of the “Observer Effect” is the logical, philosophical conclusions we will draw from it, for we will expand on it. We call the conclusion we draw from the expansion the “Observer/Observed co-dependency.”
Chief among the conclusions we draw is this:
Science has proven God Exists.
Did I say: science? Yes, science.
Let’s have a look.
Quantum: the smallest discrete quantity of some physical property that a system can possess (according to quantum theory), from: wordnetweb.princeton.edu
Physics: a: the science of matter and energy and their interactions; “his favorite subject was physics”; b: the physical properties, phenomena, and laws of something; “he studied the physics of radiation,” from: wordnetweb.princeton.edu
Quantum Physics: the branch of physics based on quantum theory, from: wordnetweb.princeton.edu, or the branch of the science of matter and energy concerned with the physical properties, phenomena, and laws of the smallest discrete quantity of a thing or ‘system.’
Note: A system, here means: a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole.
So, now that we are familiar with the terms, we will be examining what science finds when it looks at the tiny, tiny (quantum) stuff of creation, the absolutely most basic building blocks of the phenomenological world (our world, the place where all existential things happen), not as we perceive them with our senses, but as they actually are way down there at the teeny, tiny level.
We’ll start with an examination of the scientific conclusion arrived at by our best scientific minds after a recent quantum physics experiment. Here’s the “digest” version of what the most up to date reports from the world’s smartest quantum physicists and the Ph.D.’s from our most renowned Universities and Think Tanks assert about our world at the ‘building block’ level:
Until observed, no phenomenon exists.
Did you get that?
This literally means: nothing can be what it is to us in this world, unless and until it is observed.
This is NOT some silly word game, nor is it a statement about the subjectivity of a particular point of view. Remember, this is a statement made according to quantum physics, we’re talking actually now, not metaphorically, not metaphysically, but scientifically. It means that according to science, by observing, the observer somehow ‘causes’ the particular outcome observed. Or, if you prefer: Observation actually causes a particular thing to be what it is.
A little hard to get the mind around, but really, really cool once you do!
The experiment that led to this conclusion was called the most beautiful in physics, according to a poll of Physics World readers in 2002. It is known commonly as ‘the double slit experiment.’ Scientists shot what they supposed to be a single photon (a charged ‘particle’ of light) at a solid plate into which two slits had been cut straight through. On the other side of the solid plate with the two slits cut in it, the scientists placed a photographic film to receive the photon. By so doing, they intended to observe the exit of what they thought was that one, single photon. By checking the film to see where it hit, they would determine WHICH of the two slits it passed through to get to the other side, and confirm its behavior as that of a particle.
The problem: each time they sent one photon flying at the two slits it went through BOTH slits at the same time!
How could that be?
Their conclusion: Either the single photon was NOT a particle, which means it suddenly and inexplicably transformed from something that behaved like a particle according to their observations before the experiment and then, with the new system of observation (the double slit experiment) either a) changed into something that behaved like two separate particles (Why? Because it ‘knew’ two slits were coming?), or b) suddenly and inexplicably became something new, something that behaved like a wave of energy Why? Because it ‘knew’ it was about to hit a plate with TWO slits and ‘wanted’ to go through both? Weeeeeeeeee!
That sounds really far out, no? It would mean the photon was ‘intelligent’.
Hold that thought.
At the very least, you can see the photon wasn’t what the scientists thought it was when they started, when they first observed it in a system that led them to conclude it was “just” a particle. It had stopped behaving that way, the way it had prior to the imposition of the double slit experiment quantum observation system. Which brings us to the startling conclusion stated at the outset: Scientists who ascribe to the ‘Observer effect’ posit that the only intellectually rational solution is to abandon the idea of a photon as being a particular thing and having a particular location in space-time until it is observed. Further, what it is is conditioned by the system of observation or the observer. When observed by a particular observer, it “becomes” what it is (in that snapshot) and then and only then does it become what it is. Until then, it is potentially something else, anything in fact. In fact, until then it is also in any number of places.
Scientists call this potential state of being anything, anywhere “superposition.”
A thing does not exist as that thing until it is observed.
In fact, nothing is anything anywhere until it is observed, rather it is potentially anything, anywhere.
Good. Remember, this is science, not science fiction, not metaphysics.
Now, let’s back up a bit.
Quantum Physics uses the term ‘system’ to describe a group of independent but interrelated elements comprising a unified whole. Quantum particles that make up the atoms that make up the cells of one particular system: we humans. Another bunch of stuff we might call a cat or a papaya. In any event, all ‘stuff’ is made up of quantum stuff, really tiny parts. And, now that we know what we know from the above cited experiment (according to quantum theory), namely that all that stuff when combined is merely a system made up of quantum stuff like photons, for it is NOT only photons that conform to the Observer effect, but all matter at the quantum level. Thus, we can say the individual parts of all systems, even of we humans, exist in ‘superposition’ until observed.
Further, someone, some other system must be watching to see a thing as a thing in a particular place and time, and by observing it makes it so. Again: Think of superposition as the state when and where a thing exits in each of all particular places and times, all at the same time, until observed and the system of observation as the observer.
Once observed, it, the thing, you for instance, becomes one thing in one place at one time.
Now, we’ve come full circle. We are back to the where we started, hopefully with a better understanding of how we got here.
Who cares? You should, for the implications of all this are profound. Here’s a big conclusion that we may draw from the scientific facts:
All phenomena can only be said to exist as the result of “Consciousness,” for ultimately, only consciousness can observe and thus only consciousness
can cause a particular outcome.
This means it can be said, according to science, that because of consciousness, things become tangible, they become the existential things we ‘say’ they are. Even if the system of observation is a man-made machine or apparatus, it is consciousness itself that actually makes the machine and interprets/observes phenomenon. So, scientifically speaking, consciousness has a power, and it is the power of agency in the ‘real’ world: it ‘makes’ things happen, it makes al “objects” real in a phenomenological sense.
So, we may move on and conclude:
Consciousness is the essential aspect of the phenomenological/existential universe
and the necessary pre-condition
of every ‘thing’ that exists.
Think about that for a minute!
No consciousness = no observer. No observer = no tangible things.
Now, the next big conclusion we arrive at is: the Observer/Observed co-dependency, for the above would have to apply to all phenomena.
Any ‘observing’ Consciousness itself
(as a particular thing) must also be observed
by some other Consciousness in order to exist.
In other words: no phenomenon can exist until observed, and since consciousness itself is a phenomenon, it can’t exist without an observer, which is to say another consciousness.
Thus our conclusion here that there exists an Observer/Observed co-dependency.
Here, we have simply taken the initial conclusion and re-applied it to the component parts of itself: A single consciousness could not exist in anything but a non-manifested (a superposition/potential) state, and unless and until another consciousness came along (or was created out of an original Consciousness) to observe it, the One would remain in superposition, all potential, but no phenomenon.
Worth a moment of reflection, no?
Here’s something to ponder that’s closer to home:
If you were ever ignored as a child, treated literally like you were invisible and didn’t even exist, now you know why it was so painful: if you really were totally unobserved, you could say you didn’t exist in that space-time!
Ever ignore your child?
When you really ignore, you consign the other to non-being. Perhaps this is why solitary confinement is so painful that it causes madness and often literally becomes actual, physical death in a matter of weeks for the consciousness that has been so confined.
So, the next time your child needs you to pay attention: run to her (or him)!
Now, what does this mean in relation to what happens when we ignore God?
We have asserted:
Any ‘observing’ Consciousness itself would,
as a particular thing, have to be observed
by some other Consciousness
in order to exist.
Taken one step further, when we apply this, the Observer/Observed co-dependency theory to God, we have:
God (if there is such a thing) cannot exist
in the physical/manifested world,
without another consciousness/observer.
Thus: ignore God and God no longer exists in the world of things, the phenomenological world. This is not to say God no longer exists, just that God no longer exists "here" - in the space/time continuium.
If this were a pervasive condition, if NO sentient being or intelligence or consciousness anywhere observes God as God, and no separate (even if still essential) aspect of God observes God as God, then all creation would collapse under the Observer/Observed co-dependency, and revert back into an un-manifested, non physical, non phenomenological state. This is, as we will see, the pre-Big Bang state of God as One Consciousness.
For now, however, here’s what we have to conclude:
If you don’t believe in God, if you don’t remember God in your daily life, then don’t expect to find God there, unless someone else “has your back,” for nothing can exist in any state but superposition (as anything but potential, nothing can exist as an existential phenomenon) unless and until observed, not even God.
Conversely: God is watching you or you don’t exist.
Again, this is so because, in that moment when it is just you and God, EACH of you must play your respective roles according to the rules of the Observer/Observed co-dependency.
God cannot be God in the world of things without an Observer,
and we cannot be individually what we are
in a particular space-time, without God.
Yes, God must be ‘God the Observed’ with some observer doing the ‘work’ of manifesting the particular outcome “GOD” by observing or God cannot exist in the world of things.
A simple way to look at this would be to say: if there is no one (or observer) for God to be God for, then God cannot be God. It makes the point but is not the point, because we are speaking actually here, not just logically. The implications of what may seem a simple (double slit) experiment are: God cannot exist in a phenomenological sense, according to physics, without an observer. Nothing can. God can exist in a non-phenomenological sense, however, and did, before the Big Bang, in a non-phenomenological state of superposition (the state of being anything anywhere and everything everywhere all at the same time, until observed).
Meditate on the Observer/Observed co-dependency as it relates to God and you may ‘realize’ it is up to us to bring God into active (as opposed to potential, though still omnipotent, omni-present and omniscient) existence here on earth.
Deep inside, we know it to be true, don’t we?
We are to ‘observe’ God, God’s laws and ways and by so doing, we bring God actively into life. If we do not, where is God actively found in the world of happening, of action, of phenomena of things?
Nowhere you say?
Correct! So, it’s up to you. Deeds, not creeds!
Likewise, to recap: we have to be observed by God to even exist as who and what and where we are. So, the “fact” of you is literally up to God to sustain. Metaphorically speaking, you do not want God to turn his back on you or ignore you!
Now, you may argue all this is sophistry because we have yet to prove that, according to science, “God” as such, even exists. So, let’s do so.
Let’s back up to:
Consciousness (as Observer) is the essential aspect
of the phenomenological universe and the necessary
pre-condition of every ‘thing’ that exists.
No consciousness = no Observer. No Observer = no unique, particular phenomenon at a particular time and in a particular place in space.
So, if a form of consciousness did not exist before the Big Bang, the Big Bang could not have happened, at least whatever it was that manifested as a particular thing and then exploded as the Big Bang could not have existed: it needed an observer.
Why? The ‘stuff’ of the Bing Bang couldn’t even have been what it was without an observer, according to science. So, since the Big Bang is scientific fact, it’s pre-Bang component parts are also a fact and Consciousness is thus a pre-condition of those pre-Bang parts. Thus, according to quantum physics, which is to say according to science:
The BIG BANG can’t have happened without an Observer.
So, to science, it looks rather like Consciousness necessarily antedates THE BIG BANG or the ‘creation’ of the universe of ‘things’ and the subsequent evolution of individual consciousness (us).
Let’s name this pre-Big Bang Consciousness, the particular (Supreme) Consciousness that observed it all at the very beginning and by so doing made everything and everyone in the known universe possible by being (at least) the first Observer:
And now let’s consider that the necessary first Observed, which came out from this Supreme Consciousness (that until then was “alone” and in a state of superposition) to create the differentiation, (unique, individuated things and beings), could have come from nowhere else but this “God” for nothing else yet existed! Thus, before the Big Bang was GOD.
This means we know the essential nature of the stuff of creation. It is this “God-Consciousness” which antedates the world of things.
Science now posits this Big Bang stuff is, at it’s quantum level, nothing more than a “sea” of vibration. Sound like sound or "The Word?"
Well, God, according to the scriptures, spoke the world into existence; I believe in the power of the Word!
And who not only brought the Word, the Ten Commandments, but spoke with God face to face? That's correct: Moses!
If you'd like more information about making Moses your Guru, check out the Practicum page above!
The Life of Moses
The reading room in the Library of Congress is one of the most beautiful and richly-adorned rooms of the entire city. Around the rotunda, twelve magnificent sculptures represent some of the greatest minds in human history, including Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Herodotus, Newton, Plato and others. When the sculptors came to the great minds in religion, they chose two—St. Paul and the great lawgiver, Moses.
Many great men have lived on the earth – men whose lives and feats we admire and seek to emulate. However, not many men can be considered greater than a man whose life ends with the statement that he spoke with God face to face “as a man speaks to his friend” ( Exodus 33:11). This man is also described in the Bible as a prophet that could not be compared to any other because “he knew God face to face” (Deuteronomy 34:10). Who is this prophet who is now considered a great liberator, lawgiver, and the founder of Israel? What processes in his life made him such a commendable leader? This man, Moses, demonstrated great leadership for the last forty years of his life because he gave the first forty years of his life to formal, public preparation followed by forty years of experiential, private preparation.
Moses was born in Egypt to Jewish, God fearing-parents, whose names were Jochebed and Amram. Four hundred years prior to Moses’ birth his Hebrew ancestors, the sons of Jacob, arrived in the land of Goshen. At that time the Hebrews numbered only seventy. By the time of Moses’ birth there were millions of Hebrews. A new Pharaoh took the throne and became alarmed that the increasing numbers of Hebrews might threaten his rule. He established cruel Egyptian taskmasters over the enslaved Hebrews, but the more the Hebrews were oppressed the more they multiplied. The fearful ruler decreed that all male Hebrew infants were to be drowned at birth. Moses’ parents were determined to save the life of their third child, Moses, and made a plan to save him from the hands of the Egyptians. When his mother realized that she could not continue to hide her growing son, she wove a basket from bulrushes, put the child in it, and placed it among the tall grasses at the river’s brink. She left her older daughter Miriam near by to watch over the baby and see what would be done to him.
According to tradition the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river. She saw the basket, had her maid bring it to her, and was amazed to find a Hebrew baby inside. At that moment, the baby’s sister, Miriam, ran forward and asked the princess if she would like her to bring a nurse maid for the baby. When the princess agreed she brought the child’s mother, and the Princess gave the mother official permission to care for the child until the proper time that she would then adopt the child as her own son. The Princess even paid the mother wages for her labor. The child was protected from the edict of the king while being loved and taught by his God-fearing parents.
When the child was taken to the Egyptian courts the Pharaoh’s daughter called him Moses, which means “drawn out.” That name would be a reminder of God’s providential mercy and care for this future leader of the Hebrew people. During the next forty years, the boy Moses was instructed in the schools and courts of the Egyptians. His formal instruction would one day give him greater abilities as the leader of a great nation. However, the many years in Pharaoh’s courts did not cause Moses to forget his people, the Hebrews. He never lost the vision and courage necessary to lead them to deliverance. In his outrage over the injustice displayed when he saw an Egyptian taskmaster beating his Hebrew subject, Moses killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. When he realized that his actions could label him as a rebel against the king he fled to Midian. There he spent forty years as a shepherd and prepared for leadership in the solitude of the wilderness—preparation that he could have never received had he remained in the courts of Egypt.
At forty years old, Moses married Zipporah and cared for his father-in-law’s sheep. During this time he began to understand the climate, resources, and difficulties of the wilderness. Even more significantly, it was in the solitude of the wilderness that God called to him from a burning bush revealing Himself and His plan for Moses to lead the Hebrew people out of the slavery in Egypt. Moses did not respond to that challenge with confidence, but God promised that He would go with him. He also gave Moses several miraculous signs that he could use to convince the people of Israel that he had the authority of God to lead them. When God commanded Moses to throw his rod on the ground it became a serpent, and it became a rod again when he picked the serpent up by the tail. His hand became leprous when he put it in his garment and was clean when he brought out a second time. He was told that he could also pour water on dry land to change the water to blood. The purpose of these signs was to show Moses that God would enable him to do the job of approaching Pharaoh and leading the people out of Egypt. God also sent Aaron, Moses’ brother, to assist him in speaking to Pharaoh when Moses expressed his inability to speak. All of these experiences and many others during that forty-year period prepared Moses for the great undertaking that was before him in the following forty years.
At the age of eighty, Moses went with his brother who was eighty-three to rescue their people from Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Moses approached the Pharaoh again and again and delivered the message that God had given, “ Let my people go.” Each time the Pharaoh refused just as God had told Moses that he would do. After each refusal God sent a plague on the Egyptians that served as a demonstration of His power and authority. There were ten plagues altogether and they affected all of the Egyptians but did not touch the houses of the Israelites. They included rivers being turned to blood, frogs covering the land, swarms of lice, swarms of flies, the death of the cattle, boils and sores on the Egyptian people, severe hailstorms, locusts, and total darkness. God then told Moses that He would send one final plague. It would be the death of the first-born son in every Egyptian household. Moses was commanded to prepare the Hebrew people to escape this judgment by displaying a sign of identity. Every Hebrew family was to sprinkle the blood from a blemish-free lamb over their doorpost to prevent the death of their firstborn. At midnight the firstborn in every Egyptian family and in every herd of livestock died under the hand of the death angel. After four hundred and thirty years of bondage, the Israelites were told that they were free to leave. Moses had a monumental task ahead of him as he gave them God’s detailed instructions for their journey.
Just before arriving at the Red Sea, this group of people that now numbered more than two million, realized that the armies of Pharaoh were pursuing them. They were trapped between their enemies and the sea; they were facing death and their leader, Moses, was facing the largest crises of his life. How could he save these people who were desperately crying to him for help? For the first forty years of his life Moses had been trained by Egyptian leaders to trust in his own abilities when facing a crisis. For the next forty years Moses had learned that he was incapable of anything apart from the power of God. And so Moses responded with these words, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians who you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14: 13-14).
God told Moses to life his rod and stretch out his hand over the sea and divide it, and "the children of Israel crossed over the Red Sea on dry ground while the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left” (Exodus 14:22). Naturally, as soon as the Israelites had crossed the sea the Egyptians attempted to follow. However, as soon as Moses stretched out his hand over the water as God instructed, the sea came back upon the Egyptian, their chariots, and their horsemen.
Moses would experience many similar challenges that would cause him to abandon his own self-reliance and solely trust His God.
After a short time in the wilderness God called Moses to come to the top of Mount Sinai to meet and talk with Him. While the people responded with a great fear of God, Moses once again met with God in reverential confidence—much as he had as a shepherd in the wilderness. God gave him promises regarding the Israelites. He reminded Moses of His great deliverance of the people from Egypt and from the Red Sea. He identified all that had happened as part of his covenant with these people. God also explained the Ten Commandments, along with other specific laws that he wanted the Israelites to keep. Soon after receiving the laws and instructions, Moses delivered these commands to the people and challenged them to sanctify themselves as God had commanded. Then God commanded Moses to return to the mountaintop for forty days. Mount Sinai was covered by smoke, the mountain quaked, and God spoke with a crash of thunder. It was during this second meeting that God wrote the Ten Commandments on stone and gave them to Moses. God also gave Moses specific instruction for building a tent—a mobile temple that would be God’s house and would display His presence to the people as they wandered in the wilderness for over forty years.
When the people of Israel saw that Moses was staying on the mountain for a long time they became very impatient and once again began to grumble. They came before Aaron and asked for gods that could go before them. Moses had always responded with trust in God when faced with crises, but Aaron responded in disbelief and told the people to donate their gold jewelry and trinkets to make a golden idol. He then fashioned them together into a molten calf while the people danced and erected an altar on which the people offered burnt offerings.
God was extremely angry at the idolatry of the people, threatened to destroy them, and promised to make of Moses a great nation. But Moses, who had confidence in God’s love and loyalty to the people, pleaded with God in their behalf. This response from Moses was a great indication of his humility and love and his unwavering confidence in Jehovah (God). In response, He heard the prayer of Moses and withheld His judgment.
Moses came down from the mountain. As soon as he saw the idol and dancing of the people he threw the tablets of the law and broke them at the foot of the mountain. Then Moses provided the people and Aaron with an opportunity to repent. He challenged them by saying, “Who is for the Lord? Let him come to me” (Exod. 32:26). All of the sons of Levi gathered themselves together to him and Moses directed them to punish the idolaters. On that day three thousand, disobedient Israelites were slain.
The next day Moses again showed his great love for the people and his confidence in God when he pleaded with God to forgive them and even offered to have his name blotted from the book of life in exchange for God’s mercy.
After Moses had led the Israelites out to the region of Mount Sinai, they came to a place called Kadesh. It was there that Moses chose twelve men and sent them out to spy out the land of Canaan that he longed to possess for his people. Moses instructed the twelve men to inspect the land and its people as well as its natural resources. After forty days the men returned. They brought back proof of the wonderful things that they had observed in a land that was “flowing with milk and honey.” However, this bounty did not increase their confidence in God and his great provisions. Instead, most of the spies responded with fear of the people—especially the sons of Anak that they considered giants.
Two of the spies, Joshua and Caleb, were not affected by the troubling reports of the other ten spies. They responded in faith and confidence that God would deliver the land of Canaan into their hands. Despite their faith, however, most of the people listened to the reports of the ten men and responded in fear and anger against Moses. As they had done before, they began to reason that they would have been better off to have remained in Egypt rather than die in the wilderness. They began to ask for a different leader.
God expressed his willingness to judge the people to the point of death for their unbelief. Once again, Moses demonstrated his confidence in God and his love for the people by pleading with Him to show mercy to the people in spite of their unbelief. God did spare their lives, but declared that they would not live to enter the promise land. Instead, they would wander in the wilderness for another forty years and those who were twenty or older would die without seeing the Promised Land. Those under twenty years of age would eventually have the opportunity of entering the land.
The people were so disappointed by this response that they decided to go into the hills and fight against the Canaanites without the blessing of God. Again, Moses warned the people to refrain from trusting in their own plans. When they went into the hills of the Amalekites without Moses, without the ark, and without God’s blessing, they were soundly defeated.
Moses and his people traveled from Kadesh to Mount Hor. It was there that Aaron’s priestly garments were removed and given to his son Eleazar before he died.
God continued to show his love and protection of these people, but repeatedly they thwarted His love. When Moses led the people around the land of Edom they became restless and once again complained. “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt only to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread and no water” (Numb. 21:5). God punished them for their disbelief by sending fiery serpents that bit the people. Once again Moses demonstrate his love and forgiveness of the people when they came to him in repentance over their disbelief. Moses prayed and God instructed him to craft an image of a serpent and put it on a pole. Everyone who looked in belief at the brass image lived, while those who refused died.
When Moses was a hundred and twenty years old, God commanded him to go up to Mount Nebo in the land of Moab. There, Moses could see the land of Canaan that had been promised to the children of Israel, though Moses would never dwell in that land.
The story of Moses is one of the most incredible narratives in the Christian Bible. The Ten Commandments that Moses received from God are one of the most enduring legal codes in the history of mankind. Moses heard and believed the promises of God and repeatedly demonstrated that his trust in Jehovah God was firm and unchanging. He has been called the meekest, most patient man that ever lived. That patience came from his preparation in the palace and in the wilderness that allowed him to lead a rebellious people on an amazing journey. God used Moses to display His faithfulness and love for the people and God also demonstrated His power in the life of this man—a man who responded in patient commitment to God and His people.
The story of Moses can be found in Exodus and Leviticus, the second and fourth books of the Christian Bible. The most extended section of his teaching is found in Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Bible.
The teachings of Moses have been so significant for human thought and culture, that it is necessary to evaluate their ongoing implications. Two major questions arise: (1) How does Moses’ law relate to Jesus and the Christian New Testament? (2) Was there a pessimistic, negative component to Moses’ teaching? We will begin by evaluating the relationship of Moses’ law with the NT.
The Passover feast (and the historical event from which it originated) are ripe with symbolism, establishing a precedent that would later be developed in the events of Jesus’ last supper and sacrificial death on the cross.
The animal to be slaughtered and consumed in the Passover feast was to be a lamb. At numerous points in the Old and New Testaments, Jesus was referred to as “a lamb.” In what many consider to be a prophetic passage referring to Jesus, Isaiah 53 says “He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before the shearers is dumb, so opened he not his mouth.” In the New Testament, John the Baptist would announce Jesus’ arrival with the words “Behold the Lamb of God.”
The paschal lamb (lamb to be sacrificed and eaten at Passover) was also to be a lamb “without blemish”. According to Scripture, this was also true of Jesus with St. Peter referring to him as “a lamb without spot or blemish.”(1 Peter 1:19)
The paschal lamb was to be sacrificed without a bone being broken—a particular challenge with slaughtering and preparing such a small animal. Yet this was symbolic in that not a bone was broken in the crucifixion of Jesus, although the thieves crucified on either side of him did have the their legs broken. John 19:36 says that this was in order that prophecy might be fulfilled, a prophecy rooted in the symbolism of the Passover lamb.
When Israel departed from Egypt, they were to sprinkle the blood of the paschal lamb on the their houses and paint it on their doorposts as protection from divine judgment poured out upon the Egyptians. In Exodus 12:13, the Lord tells the children of Israel through Moses that “when I see the blood, I will pass over you.” In the same way, according to the Bible, the blood shed by Jesus on the cross was to provide immunity from the judgment of God for sin. Speaking to first century Christians (Jews and non-Jews) Paul says “for Christ, our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed (1 Corinthians 5:7).
The Last Supper also contains a great deal of symbolism regarding the paschal lamb and the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It is interesting that Jesus chose the Passover as the time for his atonement. One could argue that the feast of Sukkot is one of the most joyful Jewish holidays, or even that Yom Kippur means “Day of Atonement” yet these were not chosen by Jesus for his sacrifice. One interesting fact about the feast of Passover is that it was instituted previous to all other Old Testament law, the only feast to hold that distinction. This evidences both its significance in the rites of the Jewish nation and also its relevance to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Jesus was fulfilling Old Testament Law while also instituting a new one.
At the Last Supper, as prescribed in the Passover ritual, Jesus, took some bitter herbs sandwiched between some pieces of unleavened bread, dipped them (in salt water or vinegar) and ate them. He also used this gesture to identify Judas as his betrayer. The bitterness of the herbs served as a symbol of the bitterness of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as well as perhaps the bitterness of his betrayal at the hands of one his beloved disciples.
After feasting on the lamb, Passover participants were not to eat anything until dawn, but it is interesting that Jesus “broke” this rule by passing bread along with the wine. Perhaps this was symbolic that once Jesus had completed his own sacrifice, the “rules” of the Passover would no longer be applied. In their place, he was instituting a “new rule” and ordinance called the Lord’s Supper. Rather than looking forward to the sacrifice that would come, the Lord’s Supper was to be practiced “in remembrance” of the sacrifice that had already taken place. Churches around the world continue to exercise the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper to this day, remembering the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross—the Passover Lamb who gave himself to deliver his people from their sin.
What of the second question we raised—does Moses’ law have a negative, pessimistic tone? To begin, what is the basis of this charge?
In the law of Moses, capital punishment was assigned for numerous offenses. This capital punishment was to be carried out primarily by stoning (though there are also specific requirements for certain offenses). Here are some of the categories of offenses for which capital punishment was required in the Old Testament:
Homicide–this was specified in Exodus 21, Leviticus 24, and Numbers 35
False Witness in Capital Cases–Deuteronomy 19
Idolatry–Leviticus 20, Deuteronomy 13, and Deuteronomy 17.
Sexual Acts of Incest, Homosexuality, and Bestiality–specified in Exodus 22 and Leviticus 20
Abducting Persons for Slavery–Exodus 21 and Deuteronomy 24
Adultery–Leviticus 20 and Deuteronomy 22
Sexual Relations Outside of Marriage–Deuteronomy 22 and Leviticus 21
Profaning the Sabbath–Exodus 31 and Numbers 15
Blasphemy–Leviticus 24 and I Kings 21
Cursing or Striking Parents–Exodus 21
Demon Possession–Exodus 22, Deuteronomy 13 and 18, 1 Samuel 28, and Leviticus 20
At first, it seems that overwhelming evidence describes a bloody Old Testament filled with constant executions and violent retaliation for relatively small offenses. On the contrary, however, there were a number of factors that made it relatively difficult to carry out the death penalty according to the Old Testament Law.
First of all, in most instances, two legally proper witnesses had to be present at the scene of the impending crime. These proper witnesses had to give a verbal warning to the perpetrator of the penalty for the crime clearly stating what the penalty would be. In some cases, the wrongdoer even was expected to have in some way acknowledged their warning before actually going through the forbidden act. While not applicable to some of the offenses listed above, this was required in many cases.
Regarding punishments for capital crimes, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan explains in his “Handbook of Jewish Thought, Volume II”:
“In practice, however, these [physical] punishments were almost never invoked, and existed mainly as a deterrent and to indicate the seriousness of the sins for which they were prescribed. The rules of evidence and other safeguards that the Torah provides to protect the accused made it all but impossible to actually invoke these penalties…the system of judicial punishments [furthermore] could become brutal and barbaric unless administered in an atmosphere of the highest morality and piety.”
In fact, one interchange between two rabbis in the Mishnah (words written around 1800 years ago) describes a court that administers the death penalty once in 7 years (according to another sage, once in 70 years) as “destructive” or “homicidal.”
In other words, the law code provided for stringent warnings against offences that could destroy the society. But it also required such stringent standards of proof (illustrating the principle of innocence until proven guilty), that it had an automatic component of mercy.
Misunderstandings of the Old Testament Israelites and their laws as barbarous also occurs regarding their conquest of the land of Canaan. While the nation of Israel was commanded to exterminate certain nations as a judgment of Jehovah, they were also commanded to offer mercy to those who surrendered to their hand. Deuteronomy 20 commanded the children of Israel to first make an offer of peace to city when they went near to it. If the city would not make peace, they were to besiege it and destroy it with the sword. If the city, however, did accept the offer of peace, the Israelites were to accept tribute from that city. Other passages detail the treating of women from a conquered city with respect— including their right to marry or be given in marriage.
Thus, it is an unfortunate misunderstanding that the Old Testament Israelites were violent and cruel, or that the Law of Moses was barbaric. In some cases, this assertion has even been quite prejudicial. On the contrary, Moses’ law represents a carefully designed judicial system founded on true justice and yet with mercy for crimes committed.
The library of Congress is not the only place in the American capitol where Moses appears. In the House of Representatives, twenty-three lawgivers are depicted in marble bas-reliefs surrounding the chamber. All of them have their profiles turned in the same direction—facing Moses. His is the only sculpture which faces directly forward.
Is this kind of notoriety warranted?
If his life and works are misunderstood, there could be a question. But an honest evaluation of Moses’ law shows that it is one of the wisest, most balanced law-codes in the history of humanity. Moses is an unending example for law makers around the world. But he is also a shining example for all individuals who within their own local contexts, seek to help the world achieve true justice, balanced with mercy.
Dualfacetedness vs. Hypostatization
I am the one Lord; there is no other beside Me.
I form the light and create the darkness;
I make peace and create evil.
I, the one Lord, do all these things.
Isaiah 45 . . .
Definition: hypostatize - to construct a contextually subjective and complex abstraction, idea, or concept into a universal object without regard to nuance or change in character
Here, we are to know that we must recognize the dualfacetedness of the One while remaining keenly aware of the dangers of the hypostacitization of the creative Principle as a second, separate Divinity. They are One.
This (above) selection from Isaiah is a Passage Meditation
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Basic PM instructions, according to Easwaran, are:
Read the passage over and over, one word at a time, taking time to really feel and understand each word. Sit in solitude and consider the words, the vibration they create within you. Commit the passage to memory and repeat it daily, as part of your spiritual practice, then ACT on it, in the phenomenological world, the world of people, places and things, the world of duality (hatred and love; doubt and faith), in order to transcend that world and go within, where Moses spoke with God (in many translations Moses went INTO the mountain, much as in other traditions a descent into a river or tomb may be both historically accurate and metaphorically significant).
God made me (Wisdom) in the beginning of His works,
as the first of His acts.
. . . Before God made the earth and the fields
or the first dust of the world, when He set up the heavens, I was there . . .
Proverbs 8:22 . . .
The Ten Commandments
1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.”
(Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)
Christian Prayers to the One God
1) Why MOSES is my Guru.
If you feel a close spiritual affinity to MOSES and choose to embark on a Guru/disciple relationship, congratulations, it means: Your Guru has chosen you! Your Guru is your Guide, your Teacher, and your own Personal (Spiritual) Trainer! We’re just the mailmen, delivering the lessons!
PSS: Your first lesson and your practicum are absolutely FREE, and you can cancel at any time, plus, you’ll get to keep your FREE "MOSES is my Guru" T-shirt, so there are no excuses!
Sign up NOW! MOSES IS WAITING!
Is Ganesha Your Guru?
“Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
Christ, when asked how we should pray, offered the words of what many today refer to as “The Lord’s Prayer.” In it, not only do Christians ask God to refrain from placing obstacles in their spiritual paths (for, when praying the Lord’s Prayer, Christians ask that God “. . . lead us not into temptation”), but also plead for God to “. . . deliver us from evil,” which is another way of asking God to remove obstacles from our spiritual path. Here, it is clear that God sometimes places obstacles in our path, and other times,God removes them. So, it is not only the "Devil" who tempts and leads us astray! Further, Jesus deems it appropriate for Christians to ask God to refrain from the former (tempting us) and vigorously engage in the later (remove the roadblocks to our success).
Hindu’s ask God to do the very same thing, and personify the aspect of God that has this power, this agency, this Dharma, as Ganesha. Thus, while it may be hard for westerners to understand why Hindu’s worship the semi-anthropomorphic elephant-man-god, Christians, praying the Lord’s Prayer (whether they know it or not), have an awful lot in common with Hindus praying to Ganesha!
The semi-anthropomorphic form of Ganesha is one of the most adorable and beloved in all religion, but like most ancient personifications of aspects of the Divine, whether physical or iconic, the stories of the origin of “The Remover of Obstacles” vary. Let’s have a look at two of these stories. We’ll discover they both have one thing in common.
Imagine yourself a “god’ amongst men, a god with a problem! An obstacle stands in your way, any obstacle, physical, mental or emotional. Whatever it is, you see it, know it exists, feel powerless to destroy or remove it, are stopped and can make no more progress because of it. You pray to an aspect of God, one of the three principle aspects of the “Trinity” of God’s aspects defined (and also anthropomorphically rendered for ease of identification, understanding and worship) by your faith.
You pray to the “destroyer” aspect of God, the aspect that destroys in a constructive way so that life can move on and creation can flow. This aspect, Siva (Shiva) personifies, and so it is to Shiva you pray for this obstacle to be removed and/or dissolved.
“Oh, Lord Siva, create, bring, from thought to life, from potential and in a state of superposition to physical and manifested here and now in the world of phenomenon, One who can remove this obstacle . . .”
And you meditate and begin to chant the syllable Om (Aum), the primal, root and causal sound of all creation.
And Siva hears your prayer and Himself begins to chant Om.
Om . . . Om . . .
And, from the resonance this aspect of God-consciousness chanting Om: Ganesha manifests!
This is one account of the “birth” of Lord, Remover of Obstacles, our beloved Ganesha.
Unravel the story and you will see, that by calling on God, going within to a place of meditation, and chanting Om . . . you can dissolve your worldly troubles. God will send you relief, although probably not in the physical form of a half man, half elephant!
The body of Ganesha is, of course, loaded with symbolism, as one would expect, since to give physical description to intangible aspects requires metaphor. After examining another didactic tale of the birth narrative of the beloved manifestation and personification of Om, we will unravel some of these physical attributes.
However now, we travel to Mount Kali!
Here, it is said, Parvati wrote the syllable Om and fixed her gaze on it and meditated, and meditated, and meditated. Om manifested spontaneously as Ganesha!
To be continued . . .
What About Ganesha would you like to learn?
So much can be said about our beloved Ganesha!
Would you like to help us tell his story?
If so, please email RamGian@GottaGettaGuru.com
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Stay tuned to these pages for more on "The Remover of Obstacles."
Hidden Teachings Personified
Ganesha remains one of the most beloved of Spiritual figures.
He is a fabulous Guru!
His very being is a Rosetta Stone of esoteric spiritual knowledge, his name and physical body each replete with teachings. In sum, he represents the source of all categories of phenomenological existence, and thus is associated with the root sound of creation OM or AUM, before it splits into the various wavelengths and notes of creation in all its tonal forms.
Ganesha is the root file containing all categories. He is the first note of all scales. All things in the world of time, space and things begin with him.
The Importance of Beginnings
Whether in spiritual or worldly endeavors, Hindu religion places much emphasis on the start, the beginning. Start well and you will end well, as the saying goes. And how is one to start well? Again, according to Hinduism, one way is to seek divine help with removing obstacles BEFORE you take the first step by beginning with the one who hold the key to all beginnings.
Gana, the first part of Ganehsa’s name, suggests a collection of energies.
Hindus regard Ganesha as the leader of all ganas (energies) , and so by calling upon, invoking the aid of, and worshipping him, we are invoking the aspect of God responsible for dispensing the grace of all collections of energies.
Ga from Ganesha, represents in a single syllable: knowledge. Thus performing any action with correct knowledge, will lead to success in the world and liberation spiritually.
Isa, the root of the second part of Ganesha’s name, means ‘lord.’ Since all of creation can be classified or bundled into various categories, Lord Ganesh represents the divine energy of all creation in all its varieties and forms. Thus, by worshipping this Divine energy, and calling upon Ganesha for aid, we align the categories of (or properly categorize) the various aspects of phenomenological world.
No obstacle impedes the path of one who properly pays homage to Ganesha, and thus arranges or categorizes on the sublime planes!
Stay tuned to these pages for more on Lord Ganesha!
A Passage Meditatiion
Read this passage before dawn, daily, after a shower and before eating. Commit it to memory. Internalize the words with devotion. Doing som, it is said, will guide the Cosmic Power, represented by Lord Ganesha, to remove all obstacles ialong the path to your True Self!
Om sri ganehaya namah
Oh Ancient One of strength and might
Come and aid me in this plight.
Push through all that's in my way,
Let them fall and crumble away,
So my path is clear and free.
As I will it, so mote it be!
Another Prayer to Lord Ganesha
"I surrender to you, Lord Ganesha,
You are the speaker, you are the listener.
You are the giver, you are the sustainer.
I am your devotee,
Protect me from the front and back.
Protect me from the north and the south,
Protect me from above and below.
Protect me from all directions.
You are full of perfect knowledge
Of truth and awareness.
You are full of bliss and pure consciousness.
You are truth, consciousness, and bliss.
You are the absolute awareness.
You are full of supreme wisdom and knowledge.
Bless me Lord Ganesha with your help."
1) Why GANESHA is my Guru.
If you feel a close spiritual affinity to GANESHA and choose to embark on a Guru/disciple relationship, congratulations, it means: Your Guru has chosen you! Your Guru is your Guide, your Teacher, and your own Personal (Spiritual) Trainer! We’re just the mailmen, delivering the lessons!
PSS: Your first lesson and your practicum are absolutely FREE, and you can cancel at any time, plus, you’ll get to keep your FREE "GANESHA is my Guru" T-shirt, so there are no excuses!
Sign up NOW! GANESHA IS WAITING!