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Talk: Christ the Yogi
– Br. Shankara
April 21, 2019
April is a month for study of Raja Yoga, a spiritual path often called the yoga of meditation. As a raja yogi, you use ancient, proven spiritual techniques to quiet your mind and gain control of your attention.
Regular daily practice of Raja Yoga increases your ability to concentrate, and may lead to meditation. This can unite you with the Divine Presence, the source of your being, and liberate you from the cycle of rebirth and death.
Yoga means both union and detachment. Jesus Christ said, “I and my Father are one” … perfect union. And he said, “I have overcome the world” … complete detachment.
Jesus also experiences what the sage Patanjali describes as a yogi’s final test. In his book Raja-Yoga, Swami Vivekananda discusses this sutra: “By giving up even (omnipotence and omniscience) comes the destruction of the very seed of evil, which leads to (independence).” — Yoga Sutras, Ch. 3, Sutra 51
Vivekananda comments, “When one gives up even the ideas of omnipotence and omniscience, there comes entire rejection of enjoyment, of temptations. When the Yogi has seen all these wonderful powers, and rejected them, he reaches the goal (freedom from all limitation) …”
According to the New Testament, Christ clearly had reached that goal. Here’s the story of the Temptation of Jesus, as told in the Book of Luke:
Jesus … was led by the (Holy) Spirit in the wilderness for forty days … And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”And (the devil) took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him …
In this talk we discuss all this in more detail.
Note: There is silent meditation in the Chapel from 10:30-11am, before each Sunday’s talk. After the talk, devotees and friends meet in the Monastery from noon to 1:30pm, for tea, coffee, snacks and a continuation of our spiritual fellowship.
Spiritual talks and classes are open to the public and free of charge.
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