December 31, 2017
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December is a month for study of Jnana Yoga (Advaita Vedanta). A jnana yogi practices discrimination, reason, detachment, and satyagraha (insistence on Truth). The goal is freedom from limitation (mukti). Our teachers say that all miseries in life are caused by seeing inaccurately. As a jnana yogi, you may break through this delusion and see only the Divine Presence everywhere, in everything and everyone.
What is a Messenger, an Incarnation, an Avatar?
This is from our vespers hymn, “Breaker of This World’s Chain,” by Swami Vivekananda. Addressing Sri Ramakrishna, he wrote:
“How great was Thy sacrifice, freely choosing Thy birth in this prison, our Iron Age, to unchain us and set us free…”
So much about the Master’s life is implied by just these few phrases. Yet, for you and me, the key words are “set us free” — Vivekananda says an incarnation of God can free us from bondage to ignorance, suffering, and death.
To do this work, Divine Mother (Nature, Prakriti), is born in our world from time to time — she takes human form as Her daughters and sons.
To awaken us, these extraordinary beings say amazing things. For example, Christ affirmed these lines from Psalm 82 (the Divine Presence is speaking): “…5 They do not know nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness.. 6 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are sons of the Most High.”
And Jesus Himself promised, “In the world you will have trouble, but take courage for I have conquered the world.”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”
“Yes I am with you always, until the very end of time…”
In a talk titled Christ the Messenger, Swami Vivekananda said: “… (T)he three years of (Christ’s) ministry were like one compressed, concentrated age, which it has taken nineteen hundred years to unfold, and who knows how much longer it will yet take! … But mark this giant that came; centuries and ages pass, yet the energy that he left upon the world is not yet stretched, nor yet expended to its full. It goes on adding new vigour as the ages roll on…”
Here we talk about these quotes, and discuss other aspects of the Divine Incarnation we celebrate at this Holy Season of the year. Merry Christmas!