Reading from Bapuji’s Christmas Discourse
December 21, 1980
Bapuji has written a Christmas discourse which is about the Crucifixion of Christ. Bapuji has written an introduction and he says here, “I have concentrated here only on the events in Christ’s life which have touched my life most deeply. I have consulted mainly Matthew’s Gospel. Occasionally, I have also consulted Luke’s Gospel. In some instances, I have followed the texts strictly; in some instances, I have changed the wordings of the text while retaining the original meaning; in other cases, I have embellished the authors’ texts.
In still other instances, I have allowed my imagination free reign according to general psychological principles. Moreover, I have also examined many pictures of Christ in books dealing with his life. This includes the picture book Jesus of Nazareth, which was published by the producers of the film of the same name. I have received inspiration from many photographs depicting the events leading to Christ’s crucifixion such as the picture of Christ being whipped; the one in which he is being mocked and is wearing a crown of thorns; the picture of the crucifixion itself.
Another book I have examined depicted Christ being crucified. This book contains reproductions of paintings by a famous artist. It was an extremely heart-rended reproduction of excellent paintings. The reader is requested to peruse this story while keeping the above-mentioned facts in mind.” Maybe someone can read. Jyoti, can you read, because my reading is not good? Jai Bhagwan.[Adjustments] If it needs some explanation, I’ll pop in. That was fast service.
JYOTI: This is the first part, called, “The Revelation of the Crucifixion.” The atmosphere was totally still. All twelve disciples were sitting with Lord Christ. Observing their guru engrossed in deep thought and knowing that whatever he would say would be worth listening to, all of them waited silently. Lifting his eyes from the point upon which they had been fixed, Lord Christ looked around at the eager faces of his disciples.
He spoke softly. “Now only two days remain, and the Passover will arrive. After it is over, the authorities will arrest me and crucify me.” His words were merely revelatory. There was no fear or depression in them. This was not surprising news to any one of the disciples. After observing the current situation, it was obvious to everyone that such an event would take place in the near future.
Until he was an adolescent, Lord Christ had lived with his family. The events of his life from the ages of twelve to thirty are a mystery. When he emerged from seclusion and returned to society, at the age of thirty, the entire society was profoundly influenced by his personality. He continually spread religion, thereafter, for three years. During that period, these close disciples were deeply influenced by the thought, speech, and conduct of their guru.
Inhabitants of the area, upon hearing Lord Christ’s name, would flock to his side from wherever they were. The disciples greatly loved the guru’s fame, for they also received the benefit of such respect everywhere. Therefore, their enthusiasm increased day by day. Increasingly, Lord Christ’s enemies became concerned about his activities. They began to criticize Lord Christ. They spread the word among the people: "This Jesus is not the Son of God. He believes himself to be the envoy of God; he constantly blasphemes the sacred scriptures, and presents his statements as being the word of God.
But his words in reality are not the word of God. Of course, he could be recognized as a poet or an orator; but, even among them, his status can only be at the bottom. In fact, we consider him to be a fraud. Yes, he is eloquent. That is why all of you are swayed by his oratory. However, he does not have any power to cure the diseased. It is merely commonplace if twenty or twenty-five people are cured out of thousands and a few more receive some improvements in their conditions. There is not miracle in this.
Jesus talks about raising the dead, but there isn’t any truth to his claims. Events that occur in this world which appear to be miracles are, in fact, miracles. But the creator of them is not a human being; it is God Himself, because only God has the power to manifest such miracles. Miserable human beings do not have such capacity. Of course, man can become an instrument in such incidents.
But, deceitful men like Jesus usually claim: "If you keep unshakable faith in me, you’ll be cured of your disease. Not only that, but you’ll be able to witness life instilled again in your dead relatives." This false statement can be opposed by simple logic. If faith is essential in manifesting miracles, then the miracle which is manifested is not the miracle of the person claiming to perform it. Rather, it is the miracle of the person who has faith. Pure and unshakable faith in divine energy. It does possess full capacity to manifest miracles. Saints consider such faith to be the grace of God.
When a traveler sets in a vehicle, it does not acquire momentum on the strength of the traveler’s faith. The vehicle itself moves on its own strength. Similarly, accomplished masters are not in need of anyone’s faith. They can create extraordinary miracles with the power of their own accomplishments. Jesus’ miracles do not have the strength of his accomplishments. They are merely the result of people’s imagination.
Do not believe, however, that we are atheists. We are theists as you are, but our faith is not as blind as yours. We are in search of truth. We are, in fact, worshippers of Truth. Yet we are extremely cautious. In fact, we have asked Jesus to heal diseases in our presence. We have said to him: ‘We will collect a hundred patients, and if you’ll cure only ten of those patients, in the time limit decided by you, we’ll gladly accept your greatness with due respect.’
Besides, Jesus also claims that he raises the dead. We have told him, ‘Then, we will collect ten dead people, and if you will raise just three of them, we’ll not only become your lifelong followers, but we will cooperate wholeheartedly in your task of spreading the news.’ But he has not responded to our request. Therefore, our belief has become stronger . . ."
GURUDEV: This sounds like a modern-day newspaperman. [laughter]
JYOTI: "Therefore, our belief has become stronger that there is nothing but hypocrisy in his propagation. Do not think we have not investigated him objectively. We have, in fact, investigated honestly. Yet, we have not found any genuineness in him. Thus, the campaign of Christ’s enemies was becoming stronger and stronger each day.
As a result, the same subject was discussed everywhere in society. Even the minds of Lord Christ’s closest disciples were bewildered and fearful. They felt that, because there were many powerful people in the opposing party, all of this, ultimately, would not bring good results. Lord Christ’s enemies were determined to accomplish their aim to defeat him.
GURUDEV: I like you to see if something doesn’t make sense, then I think we should keep. Because many of the areas . . . it is a translation. It has been checked by many, but still. Do you have a pencil? Put [?] on whatever sentence you feel. Anybody can ask, please read that again. Because this translation could be misunderstood sometimes. Translation makes a change. Go ahead.
JYOTI: Faith, which stands on the foundation of mere logic, collapses to the ground as soon as logic becomes unsteady. It cannot be called true faith. True faith, in reality, is like the grace of God. No unfavorable circumstances can shake it in the least.
GURUDEV: That is the meaning of faith, the Grace of God. The grace of God comes in the faithful ones, means in obvious things, you don’t need any faith. And from the obvious things, they are all within the realms of left brain. You know about them and they all belong to the calculative, reasonable situation. But what comes from the unknown, only faith can accept it and realize it to its highest advantage and grow with it.
So faith is the real grace. Everything that is unknown to us that can come to us through faith. And God is unknown. So whatever we, unknown becomes receivable by us is the grace of God himself so that is a very good statement. Can you read that statement again?
JYOTI: "True faith, in reality is like the grace of God. No unfavorable circumstances can shake it in the least."
GURUDEV: In other words, unfavorable . . . we have faith but only as long as everything is favorable. But as soon as circumstances and situations are unfavorable, our faith is no longer there. Such a faith was only existing on a security basis. But when your faith survives the insecurity, it’s true faith. Then such a faith has a power to transform you and transcend and raise you beyond the insecurities. That is the only faith that can help us. That is why the faith must be cultivated.
JYOTI: "If the disciples had heard these words, the adversaries will arrest me to crucify me from the mouth of their own guru, it is possible that they may have inferred that the guru might have been frightened also. But it is worth noting that average people are unable to imagine the willpower of the great masters.
In fact, they can never imagine it. The words uttered by such great men are preserved intact for thousands of years. Although their words seem common, they are extraordinary. They contain more than the energy of thought; they carry the energy of conduct. The collective strength of thought and conduct is known as the ‘strength of tapas.’"
GURUDEV: "Conduct" means actually lived, the truth that is lived in life through experience. That has a tremendous power. That is called "tapas." That is why what you are doing is tapas. You’re not students of philosophy. You’re not just thought but you are practicing. That is why thought, combined with, interwoven with everything in your life, is conduct in your behavior, in your daily life, is a power. What does it say?
JYOTI: "They contain more than the energy of thought; they carry the energy of conduct. The collective strength of thought and conduct is known as the ‘strength of tapas.’"
GURUDEV: This is the "strength of tapas." Tapas means spiritual heat, yogic heat, on that level, the psychic heat that burns the impurities. So when you apply the spiritual thought into your life, you begin to feel the heat of it. The heat transforms, and the transformation begins to take place. And that is what you sometimes experience as pain. But it’s a beautiful pain. It’s very much like a clay pot. You can’t put water in the clay pot unless it is fired so we are very immature unless and until we go through tapas, which is the combination of conduct, which is our daily life, in our daily life we apply our spiritual thoughts, the teachings.
JYOTI: "Such words are called ‘The energy of the soul,’ ‘divine energy,’ ‘God’s will,’ or ‘the Word of God.’ Great teachers have the capacity to influence large masses of people. Therefore, even if the population of the entire world were to oppose them, they are never shaken. It was time to leave. All thirteen of them rose together. They began walking slowly toward their destination. Their mouths were sealed; only the sound of their walking clattered against their eardrums.
2. "The Plot Against Lord Christ": Today the assembly of Christ’s enemies had gathered in the palace of Caiaphus, the high priest. The courtyard was huge. Elaborate arrangements had been made to welcome the participants. Many elders had also come to participate in the assembly. It was indeed an important meeting; therefore, precautions had been taken to insure that no uninvited guests were present.
All was silent in the surrounding area. The proceedings began. A famous high priest stood up and opened the meeting with a brief introduction. "In the beginning, we did not pay much attention to the wanton acts of Jesus, but then we realized that if we weren’t careful, he would draw innocent people to the wrong path. The scriptures describe the concept of duality between the Lord and the devotee. We have been keeping faith with the concept for hundreds of years.
Yet, the principles that Jesus has been spreading recently have differed greatly from these sacred scriptures. It seems that he has brought these new principles here from some other country. There is nonduality in his teachings. He claims: ‘I and my Father are one.’ If this is true, how can the father-son relationship be expressed in the concept of nonduality?"
GURUDEV: That is very interesting comment that the teachings were foreign, because very interesting statement. When he brought these teachings from either India or foreign country, it was very foreign to the natives at that time, naturally. So they were very frightened by these paradoxical statements. Then it was simple in those days, simple teachings.
JYOTI: "He utters such sentences which can be interpreted as belonging to both the concepts of duality and nonduality."
GURUDEV: That’s a very interesting statement. This statement is unique, "I and my Father are one," so "I" and "my Father" is duality; "are one" is unity. So he has two concepts connected in one sentence, is amazing. And we live in both, this first is what we must practice consciously and recognize and when we become . . . transcend our "I," we become one with our Father. Go ahead.
JYOTI: "A devotee cannot be called God. He can never be God. Yes, he does have a ray of the Lord’s light. Therefore, he is not different from God. God is an ocean, and the devotee is a drop. They are not equal under any circumstances. In one moment Jesus claims that he is the representative of God; in the next moment he claims that he is a prophet of God; and in another moment he claims that he himself is God. Thus, there is no end to the extent of his ego. It is our opinion that God has not descended into him; rather, Satan has descended into him. Doubtless, Satan will never be persuaded by any of our holy teachings."
GURUDEV: This is what the society was telling Christ, that Satan had come in him, while the Christians say that to others, that Satan has come into them. Who is right? In other words, only the one who is experiencing purity in his heart, that is the truth, not what people say. And that is what is happening to any teachers, Gurus, or masters as people are pulling them apart in the same way they did Christ, even if they are true.
Quite often, they are not true also. But this is what happens to all the great teachers, great masters. That there are people, when they do not like them, they talk very logically. Look how philosophically correct they are. Their argument sounds very solid. Go ahead.
JYOTI: "Thus, we should give up all our attempts to convince him of his error. Instead, we should arrest him and condemn him to death. Other speakers, one after the other, also described Jesus’ errors in great detail. Eventually, they expressed their verdict; that he must be killed. Someone said, "When some of the high priests approached Jesus for advice in the judgement of the adulteress, he did not favor the side of chastity, but of debauchery.
The hidden meaning of his verdict was ‘Every person practices debauchery overtly or covertly. In such a situation, this woman deserves forgiveness.’ But Jesus is not aware of the fact that the proper administration of the law is required for the family, society, and nation to function properly. The administration must allow room for reward, condemnation, and punishment as well. Eventually, the assembly discussed how he should be killed.
GURUDEV: In other words, in those days, the punishment was given according to the law. Christ was the first person who started realizing the truth that everybody was performing the adultery but because they were not caught, they were not punished. So when he said, any of you that haven’t committed adultery. throw the first stone, they started dispersing. So the power of his knowledge, the power of truth was so foreign in those days, but still they’re gossiping.
Even though Christ is right, the power of habit is still lingering. The truth is weak in front of habit. You can see that, what happens to the society. So what you are experiencing, what you are practicing is Truth. Still, those people who are still living out of the social habit or condition, will not agree with you, what we are doing sometimes, not that everybody does that. But today, it is much more accepted than any other time in the whole history. We are living in a very wonderful time, comparatively.
Because in old time, we could be just persecuted like all of us, for being traitors. Now there is freedom of speech, freedom of press, so at least they bark on the papers or on the television but at least we have the freedom to practice what we want to. That has never been the case in the whole past history. But then what happens is that we are persecuting ourselves now.
We have freedom of speech and we’re not using it properly. We have freedom of thinking, which nobody has ever persecuted anybody from and look how we use it. So it is not the persecution from an external agency that is a problem but our self-imposed imprisonment of our own thinking patterns and our habit patterns that is now causing us the problem. Now we have no reason to blame anyone.
We are living in a very beautiful age where we can realize we are responsible and no one else is threatening us with anything. We have brought our standards of security, external security to such a degree that those who at least, those who want to believe and see that nobody else is responsible for what they are doing and what is happening to them. Really, it is an Age of Enlightenment, even though it looks like an Age of Materialistic and Darkness.
But there is equally as much possibility for realizing your higher potentials today than ever before. Because in old time, people had to work so hard to find security and survival, survival security, forget about security for surviving for eons in this life. They did not have room for greed almost. They had to survive. And we have no problem. We just have no fear on this level, the way we have organized ourselves.
But then, where the real fears are, real problems are within us, is being revealed by this lifestyle, this social structure, this political structure which has greatly enhanced our way of lifestyle. But we don’t know how to take care of, how to use it to our advantage. So in the midst of freedom, we create our own special private cell and live within it and nobody has to do it. We do it ourselves now.
JYOTI: The elders advised against putting him to death in haste. In order to avoid being held responsible for Jesus’ death, they decided that the best solution was to put him to death through the agency of the state. Besides, the festival days were quickly approaching. If he were put to death during the festivals, the people would riot and would severely disrupt the lives of everyone who had a part in this. Taking all these facts into consideration, they concluded: "We should find a way to accomplish our aim so that Jesus is condemned as a traitor and we are not involved in it at all."
3. "Betrayal of the Guru": To betray the guru is to betray God, religion, scriptures, and one’s own self. In the same manner that ticks can cling to a cow’s udders, yet merely suck its blood instead of drinking its milk . . ."
GURUDEV: Isn’t that a beautiful statement?
JYOTI: "—an evil person can live closely with a great teacher as a disciple and be unaffected by their relationship."
GURUDEV: [laughter] He just drinks the blood, not the milk.
JYOTI: "Even after several years, the false disciple is not able to recognize a single virtue in the guru. In this situation, how can he possibly practice any virtue in his own life?"
GURUDEV: In other words, a disciple doesn’t have to say, "The Guru has this quality or that quality," that’s not how we recognize guru’s presence. But any disciple can say those words, but when you begin to dwell too much on selfishness and complain all the time, that is as good as not appreciating guru and seeing guru’s good qualities. Because good qualities are not just mentally encountered, this, this, this, and this. It is actually experienced.
And you actually have less and less complaints because you are less and less selfish. That is how you recognize guru’s qualities. That is the effect of being in close touch with guru. That is why it is very important to be fully conscious living in the presence of a Guru, that you don’t just stick like a tick.
JYOTI: "In this situation, how can he possibly practice any virtue in his own life? A virtue can be appreciated only by a person who has that virtue in his life."
GURUDEV: In other words, that virtue doesn’t have to be full-fledged but you have to have some of that virtue in you, to appreciate the virtue in guru, which you all have. Otherwise, you would not be here. You have recognized the potentials within you. That is why you are attracted to come and live with me, to be in the ashram. So that has already happened.
What I am saying is, you have to be more and more conscious, that yes, the same way you can’t appreciate a great musician unless you yourself have not taken just few lessons. Just few lessons are enough to appreciate. But if you know nothing about music, it is completely out of context. You won’t have much attraction towards the great musician. So you have to have some recognition what a master has in order to appreciate it.
And the more you are appreciating, suppose you are appreciating some good qualities in me, it doesn’t say as much about me as it does in you because you have—the more you appreciate, more you have already recognized, you see? So to me, I don’t take it personally and say, "Ah ha, look what good things they say about me. When you say good things about guru, it is simply because you have recognized the goodness of the virtues that you are appreciating by your own experience.
And it looks like Gurudev is that way. But that is—that is how Guru is simply a gate and he just allows you to go through. He doesn’t claim that, you see, personally within his heart. He may use it to spread the situation so that more people can trust, have faith, and situation that will help them bring up their higher qualities, but that is not what he is doing for his personal recognition.
It is the need of the disciple to have faith in guru. It is not the need of the guru to have faith from a disciple. So this, gossipers were right in a way. They were talking about Christ that, "Well, it’s not the miracle of a person, but it’s a miracle of faith." So they tell the truth but for false reasons, to despise the truth. That’s why the truth always comes clothed, that is, lie always comes clothed in the garb of a truth. So they were talking very logically.
JYOTI: "How can one possibly appreciate a saint or a Sadguru, who is a treasure house of virtue, when one is without this virtue in his own life? Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples of Lord Christ. He understood the strength of determination of Christ’s enemies and realized that it would not be possible for his guru to escape from their net. It was Judas’ intention to separate from Lord Christ in time, because he knew that Lord Christ’s enemies would consider the twelve disciples to be dangerous, and that their lives too would be in danger."
GURUDEV: He was the most insecure one.
JYOTI: Judas made an investigation to find out who the chief priest was and where he lived; then he approached him. One whose feet do not shake while committing the greatest sin, whose heart does not grieve, and who even forgets his humanity is indeed a great sinner. What possible relationship could he have with religion, guru, God, and scripture?
After bowing down, Judas sat facing the chief priest. The chief priest inquired, "Who are you? Where do you come from and with what intention have you come to see me? As a matter of fact, I don’t know you at all." Judas explained, "I have come as your friend with a sincere desire that you accept me as your friend. I am one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. My name is Judas Iscariot."
The chief priest was exultant. Pretending to be unaffected, however, he lovingly replied, "My friend, welcome. Rest for a few hours. In the meantime, I’ll call some of the leading authorities here. It would be inappropriate for me to respond to this situation alone." A few hours passed. The authorities arrived.
After discussing the matter with them in private, the chief priest called Judas Iscariot. They expressed their opinion. "Having seen your good intentions toward us, we have accepted you as a friend. Now, what help can you give us?"
"I’ll deliver Jesus to you."
"That’s all right. We have already accepted this as our religious mission; so, at all costs, we’ll try to arrest him."
GURUDEV: That was their religious mission to catch him, you have to see the words. So whenever a new master comes, the old generation has their religious mission to preserve the old, even if it doesn’t work. Because this is what happens in our lives also. When you come here, there is the same split happening within each person. The Jesus is being persecuted. There is a whole army and a high priest. And there is a Judas that goes to him and complains. This is all happens, story happens within each one of us.
JYOTI: "Nonetheless, if you will help us in this attempt, we’ll gladly accept it." Judas’ selfishness was revealed as he interrogated them. "What will you give me as a reward for this task?"
GURUDEV: God, he wanted even reward for getting Jesus. That’s interesting.
JYOTI: "After discussing it among themselves, the authorities said, "We’ll give you thirty pieces of silver." Judas accepted their terms and immediately was given thirty pieces of silver. After a while, the chief priest became serious and said, "It is our desire to ask a few questions. Our intentions are friendly, of course. We are convinced that you are our friend. Therefore, we have faith that you will answer our questions truthfully."
Judas gave his consent. "You are one of the twelve closest disciples of Jesus. In such a critical situation, it is your duty to stand beside him. Why have you sided with us instead? Are you afraid of our side?" he was asked. "I have sided with you because I am convinced that your side is of truth."
GURUDEV: What appears as a truth to the person who is in fear is the side that gives him comfort and protection. So the man, at his lower level considers his self-protection as the truth. So the fear distorts the truth invariably. So once you’re afraid, you can’t practice truth. You have to be totally fearless in order to be truthful. Otherwise there is no way the truth and the fear can stay side by side. It’s impossible. No one who has been in fear has ever told the truth. He will distort it in order to compensate for the fear. He will have to tell a lie.
Because fear is such a strong emotion. So that is why, begin to be fearless and you will automatically begin to tell the truth. And you try to tell truth as much as you want. But as long as you create the life, you live your life in such a way that it creates new fears, you’ll be always telling the lie. So fear forces us into lying and almost makes us believe, this is the left brain mechanics, makes us believe like we are telling the truth, because we have to preserve the self-image.
JYOTI: “I am not afraid of your side, but I feel that I should not invite undue trouble.” “This would mean that any allegations against Jesus are not merely allegations; they are facts.” “Yes, after due contemplation, it appears to me also that they are true,” Judas replied respectfully. One of the authorities asked, “We have heard that Jesus cures the diseased. To what extent is this claim correct?”
“To some extent. A few such incidents have occurred in patients with strong faith. When Jesus speaks, He speaks with conviction. As a result, his statements become a source of inspiration in the hearts of the faithful audiences. However, scholars consider him to be merely eloquent.”
GURUDEV: That is obvious. Scholars will consider him eloquent because that’s what they are.
JYOTI: “Nevertheless, they are also present in the crowds surrounding him. Their aim, however, is to assess his words.” Another authority raised two more questions. “Until now, how many dead people has Jesus raised?”
GURUDEV: [laughter] Very clear question.
JYOTI: “And in how many instances were you present?” Judas: “It is popularly believed among those who have faith in Jesus that he has raised some persons from the dead. It is a difficult task though, to confirm their number. It is possible that in some of these cases, the person was not really dead.”
GURUDEV: What else would Judas say? The very fact that he was the one who escaped, he must have the doubts himself. Bapuji has written it very psychologically.
JYOTI: “There may have been merely an illusion of death, and they may have manifested signs of life. Those signs in themselves may have been considered to be the miracles of Jesus. I can hardly remember whether or not I was present at such events. Moreover, I am an intellectual, and unless I experience something directly, how can I possibly accept such an event as a miracle?”
GURUDEV: You should translate it, moreover, I’m a jnana yogi. [laughter]
JYOTI: “The high priest was pleased with Judas’ answers to his questions. He repeatedly thanked Judas Iscariot saying, “We are very pleased with your answers.” A third authority who had been quietly listening to the question and answer session until now, looked at the face of Judas Iscariot and said, “Dear friend, if you’ll permit me, I’ll also ask you one or two questions.” Judas consented by nodding his head. “Since you are a disciple of Jesus, and since you have lived close to him, I will consider your answers to my questions to be authentic. Not only that, I will also try to contemplate them deeply.
Jesus considers himself to be a prophet of high caliber. He makes persistent attempts to convince society of this. Every now and then he utters some prophecy or other; consequently, you must have also had the benefit of hearing those prophesies. We have heard that among his prophecies there are many utterances which are experienced by people almost immediately. Others are experienced after several months or after a few years. If his prophecies are genuine, you would not have been able to avoid being influenced. But it does seem so, because if you had been influenced, you would never have joined us.”
GURUDEV: That seems logical!
JYOTI: “From this, we have become totally convinced that his prophecies are inspired by ego rather than by God. Moreover, we have also heard that his entire life has been filled with miracles. And yet it does not seem that those miracles have influenced your mind. Are my inferences correct?” Judas: “Yes. I am an intellectual; I am not faith-oriented.”
GURUDEV: The whole teachings, all the experiences come from faith. So if you become a Judas, you never experience that which comes from faith. That is why, the day somebody questions you, gets hold of you, you will have these kind of answers for everything, because faith has a different set of eyes.
JYOTI: “The official was satisfied. Pursuing his investigation, he said, “Now I will ask you a second question.I believe that you are an intellectual. Since you are a disciple, Jesus must have taught you knowledge of alleviating diseases and death. Can you tell us something about those principles? Medicine also alleviates diseases and helps resist death to a certain extent. What principles has Jesus taught you about alleviating diseases through firm conviction?”
GURUDEV: He sounds like a lawyer, doesn’t he?
JYOTI: “Jesus has not taught any such special principles; yet, from his countless experiments, we feel that pure life, loving conduct, faith in God, and strong willpower are the major contributing factors. In fact, we have always considered his conduct to be faultless and have followed it accordingly.” The official fired several other questions at Judas. “Have you ever alleviated anyone’s disease yourself? Have you ever raised anyone from the dead? Do you believe you can do so?”
GURUDEV: That’s a logical question. If your master does, can you do also?
JYOTI: “Judas broke into laughter, and said, ‘Of course I have carried on many experiments while imitating Jesus, but I have not experienced that anyone’s disease was alleviated. Not only that, I have not been able to cure my own diseases.’”
GURUDEV: This is something that you have to understand that whenever you claim something and do something miraculous, it is always questionable to the intellectual. That is why, suppose what we do here, people just can’t question much because we live such a simple life. And if I was performing miracles, if it was performed in a faith-oriented situation,it will never be proved intellectually. It will never be grasped by the intellect or logic or philosophy.
That is why in India the masters have always kept—they have never demonstrated their miraculous powers in that sense. That’s why Bapuji, as you can see, he does no miracles. He keeps his mouth shut, on the contrary. That is the safety. That’s what allows the master to continue to grow spiritually without the doubts and fears and insecurities of common masses, come and hit him.
But as soon as he claims something, he becomes vulnerable to the negative influences of society. They’ll try to pull him down to their level to try to feel secure. So when Jesus started doing all this miraculous healing and all this, people felt threatened, not everyone, but some got convinced, some got threatened. This is a real example of how it works even today. This is psychology.
PERSON #1: [Jesus must have known that people’s reactions would be of doubt and fear. Is there any explanation for him proceeding to do miracles besides that it was God’s will?]
GURUDEV: It is God’s will. For explanation of the condition of people’s mind, you can say, “Jesus came too early,” but as far as he was concerned, he was perfectly on time. [laughter]
PERSON #1: He must have known that he would not be accepted.
GURUDEV: Sometimes many masters have had this situation because they do not understand in a way because when you are in love with God, you don’t work through understanding what society likes and doesn’t like. They just go ahead and do it. When you are in love, you are just completely not working through logic, or what they will accept or not accept. What they have realized is so overpowering and is coming through them, they’re not thinking logically. We can analyze it logically. That doesn’t make any difference anyway.
JYOTI: “Yes, I do remember that whenever some patients confessed to me that their diseases were alleviated, I would ponder deeply as to how this could have happened.”
GURUDEV: Doesn’t that sound familiar? Bapuji knows it all.
JYOTI: “Actually, I have always considered such incidents to be mere accidents. I have not raised anyone from the dead. My conscience, in fact, tells me that alleviation of death and disease is not possible in ordinary circumstances. Of course, if one has acquired prestige as Jesus has, he would invariably receive credit for that which is the result of other people’s faith.” When Judas Iscariot departed, there was swiftness in his legs and boundless enthusiasm in his mind. In the same manner that elephants have teeth both for eating and decoration [laughter], a person can be skilled in various types of behavior.”
GURUDEV: Isn’t that an amazing way of saying? The average kind of person keeps two type of teeth, one for chewing and one for showing, like elephant.
JYOTI: “What is in one’s thoughts may be missing from his speech; and what is in one’s speech may be absent from his conduct. This is defined as malice, or irreligion. Even though an irreligious person may rise to the status of a teacher of religion, he can never spread genuine religion.
4. “The Last Supper”: Today was the first day of the Passover. The disciples came to Lord Christ and asked, “Where do you want us to celebrate the Passover supper?” He closed his eyes for a while and then instructed them: “Go to a certain man in the city and tell him these words: ‘My hour has come. My twelve disciples and I will celebrate the Passover at your house.’”
After his disciples made the arrangements he had required, Lord Christ went there. As the supper was about to begin, Lord Christ was engrossed in observing the setting sun. His contemplation was interrupted by a disciple who came to inform him: “The supper is ready. The time has come to eat; everyone is waiting for you.” Jesus followed the disciple with a slow pace. The meal began.
One disciple, observing his guru’s contemplative mood, remarked, “It seems that you are deeply in thought.”Jesus silently agreed with his statement and said, “Although one should not utter any grievous statements during meals, I have a sad statement to make now. I must state this out of helplessness. One of you has joined my adversaries and will hand me over to them.”
GURUDEV: He was a mind reader. He knew what was happening. The others must have been surprised.
JYOTI: “After hearing this, everyone’s face became distressed. Close disciples are the very heart of the guru. Those close disciples who have not been influenced by thought, speech, and conduct of the guru can never experience genuine closeness. There can be two possible reasons for this: polluted character of the guru or polluted character of the disciple. Only if there is purity in the characters of both guru and disciple can genuine intimacy arise.
The ordinary association which exists is usually on superficial planes. Genuine intimacy must demonstrate complete union of thoughts. A ripe abscess in the body inflicts excruciating pain. Similarly, when the mind of a person becomes perverted, he inflicts excruciating pain upon his kinsmen or beloved ones.”
GURUDEV: This is a basic law of psychology. The person who causes the greatest trouble in society is in trouble himself.
JYOTI: “In critical situation, close disciples should become an impenetrable fortress for the guru and serve him like devoted soldiers. They should not torture him by becoming his enemies. After hearing Lord Christ’s statement, all the disciples began asking the same question, one after the other: “Lord, am I the one who is going to commit the evil task?” Jesus answered, “The one who dips his hand in the dish with me will betray me.”
Everyone’s eyes were lowered to the dish. Judas’ hand was in the dish. With this clarification, the remaining eleven disciples were relieved that they were not moving in the direction of the offense. While denying the allegation, Judas spoke up, “Master, I am not offended, because given the present circumstances, it is natural for you to believe this.”
GURUDEV: He denied. “—and I accept myself anyway.” [laughter] That’s a nice self-acceptance. Some people do exactly that. “I accept myself, Gurudev.” Wonderful place to begin, self-acceptance. [laughter]
JYOTI: “To commit a crime is a sin; to hide it or to deny it is a greater sin. Lord Christ had no desire to debate or to preach; . . .”
GURUDEV: Greater sin is to deny it, that is why, confession, in church, same principle.
JYOTI: “Lord Christ had no desire to debate or to preach; yet, with the intention of revealing his thoughts, he replied, “By such tasks, the lamp of humanity is extinguished. One who has lost his humanity has wasted his life.” Then, while remembering God, and beseeching Him for blessings, Lord Christ began to tear bread into small pieces. Giving it to his disciples, he said, “Take this and eat. This symbolizes God’s blessings. Consider it as my body.”
Then he took a cup, gave thanks to God, and asked for His blessings, and then instructed everyone. “This is also the blessings of God. Drink it, all of you. It is spiritual nectar. Consider it as my blood which seals God’s covenant–my blood poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” He further said, “I tell you, I’ll never again drink this wine until I drink new wine in my Father’ kingdom.” At the end of the supper, they sang a hymn and then went out to the Mount of Olives.” End of Chapter 4. Next: “The Arrest.”
GURUDEV: Let’s arrest it right there. Bapuji writes so well, beautifully. You know he knows the whole psychology from his writing,what the disciples will think under certain circumstances. [Silence]