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Christ and John the Baptist

by Swami Rama

Book Cover: Meditation in Christianity by Swami Rama[This passage has been taken from the book Meditation in Christianity, pp 3 - 5, by Swami Rama (Rama, S., 1983. Meditation in Christianity. Himalayan international Institute if Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA.)].

Jesus says of John the Baptist that he is the best if those born of women but that the least of the kingdom of heaven was greater than he. For example, John speaks to us of salvation through moral life; he tells us what to do, but he does not tell us how to be.  Jesus insists on inner transformation. John asks us to become better; Jesus asks us to become new. John the Baptist was puzzled when he heard that Jesus and His disciples drank wine and did not fast. He could not understand it when they plucked the ears of corn on the Sabbath day or when Jesus healed on the Sabbath. John is still a man born of woman; he has not experienced rebirth. Jesus tells us, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), and Paul says, “Awake, thou that sleepest and arise from the dead” (Eph. 5:14) Originally Christian teachings – before they became externalized and dogmatized – focused on awakening from sleep through the light shed by inner wisdom. Jesus Christ was one who had done this and who taught others the way.

Religion is not theology, and it is not magic or witchcraft. It should not spoil the simplicity of truth. Religion is not limited to the data of perception or introspection; it is an experience to be lived, not a theory or belief to be accepted. When a person surrounds his soul with a shell, such as national pride or the empty presumptions of dogma, he suppresses the breath of the spirit.  Christianity, on the other hand, is a liberating power that is based on the life and experience of Jesus. The cross becomes significant when we make it our own and undergo crucifixion. Only then can we experience rebirth. “Seek and you shall find” (Matt. 7:7), said Jesus, but each of us must seek independently. The truth that is latent in every soul must become manifest. Then shall we be able to work in newness of life. “Marvel not that I have said unto thee, ‘Ye must be born again’” (John 3:7). In this spirit, says St. Paul, “… Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you? … You are the temple of the living God” (I Cor. 3:16-17). One who enters inwardly penetrates intimately into himself and, going beyond self, becomes perfect.

Editor’s Note:

For all Swami Rama’s and Swami Veda Bharati’s published works, please visit yogapublications.org or email info@yogapublications.org.

Published works of Swami Rama and Swami Veda Bharati are also available at other venues.


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