Based on an interview with Nayaswami Savitri and Revelations of Christ by Paramhansa Yogananda (as remembered by Swami Kriyananda)
Growing up in the West, I was familiar with the traditional story of Jesus: Humanity has been sinful ever since Eve took that apple from the serpent, so God sent his only son Jesus to die, thereby cleansing us of our sins so we don’t have to go to hell, as long as we believe in him.
As I thought more deeply about this story, several questions came up, and none of the pastors I knew could answer them. Since coming to Ananda, I have not only found answers to the questions I asked, but I also have gotten a much clearer picture of who Jesus was. Paramhansa Yogananda, who’s teachings are the basis of Ananda, said that Jesus’ came to Earth to guide the Western world in their path toward God, and Babaji, a fully realized yoga master from India, was sent to guide the East.
Here are some of the questions I had that I found answers to through the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and his disciple Swami Kriyananda. I hope they will help you also develop a deeper understanding of Jesus.
How can Jesus be God’s son?
Of course, he couldn’t really be God’s literal son in the same way people have sons. In fact, we all have to potential to be children of God. Jesus was the son of God because, like all of us, his soul was created by God, but also because he raised his consciousness to the level of God’s and completely merged with Him. So he was literally a small piece of God on Earth.
Is Jesus really the only way to God?
Throughout history, other people have also raised their consciousness to the level of Jesus’. A few examples are Krishna, the Buddha, Paramhansa Yogananda, and Ramakrishna. So when he said “no one can come to the Father except through me,” he didn’t mean that he was the only one holy enough to bring them to God. He meant that they could only find God by attaining Christ Consciousness, the same state he and other realized beings had risen to.
However, for that group of people, Jesus probably was the only way to God since there wasn’t anyone else around at his level of consciousness. Without a teacher who has fully realized God, a.k.a. Guru, it is nearly impossible to do it ourselves, just as becoming a master at anything else requires a teacher.
What about those missing years in the Bible?
I wondered what happened to Jesus during those years that the Bible does not mention. Paramhansa Yogananda said that Jesus went to India to study with the great yogis. This would explain why his teachings so closely resemble those of the great yoga masters and the Bhagavad Gita, often referred to as “the Hindu Bible.” There are actually some good documentaries on this subject if you would like to learn more.
Why is there so much immorality in the Bible?
I had trouble with all the apparently cruel things that happen in the Bible, particularly the old Testament. Remember, the Bible takes place over a long period of time and is written by many people with varying levels of consciousness. In order to truly understand the Bible and which parts to focus on, we need to do our own spiritual practices like meditation until we are at a level of understanding where we can tell what parts were actually inspired by God.
How does Jesus’ death absolve us of our sins? Isn’t murdering a pure being even worse than the other sins people have committed?
Most people, because of past actions they have done, will at some point have to face the consequences of those actions, sometimes called “karma”.
However, for someone like Jesus who is completely merged in God, he can take on the karma of other people and suffer the consequences himself. Jesus took on the karma of his disciples so that they could spread his message. Do you notice how much more noble they get after Jesus dies? It is because they no longer have that burden of karma on them.
So Jesus didn’t really cleanse us all of sin. If you look at how sinful the world is today, you will see that clearly. However, he did cleanse his disciples of sin, which was all that was needed for them to spread his message. So it’s his message, not his death, which we should focus on.
What was Jesus’ message if it wasn’t that he died for our sins?
Jesus came to this world, not to show how great he is, but how great we can become. He came to show us how we can be like him, by raising our consciousness to the level of God through prayer and meditation. This is what we should emphasize, not how fallen we are.
Thank You Radhika! Your timing on posting this is perfect!
Wonderful article! I actually started to see Christ as a real Avatar after watching the “Passion of Christ” movie. Till then He was only a ‘normal’ prophet to me. It was only after watching the movie and linking Yogananda’s description about Him did I realize that I had been overlooking a true teacher of the world who had come to spread a great message on earth.
Thanks, Radhika! I love the clarity that Yogananda brought to all those non-answered questions of our upbringing. Joy!
Thanks for your refreshing and clear exposition on the meaning of Jesus. If more people saw Him as you show him, I believe there would be less suffering in the world. Namaste, -J
Thank you Radhika, Inspired answers that reflect TRUTH! The same questions you raise are in many minds. Reaching the state of Christ Consciousness allows one to touch TRUTH!
Congratulations on finding your Spiritual partner in life in 2012.Together you will create Miracles! I’m so glad I found you or did you find me far away in Australia reflecting on the life, message and mission of Jesus on New Year’s morning 2014? I stumbled upon your article and there were the answers I was seeking! Do Miracles happen? They do indeed!
Keep on writing. I’m sure you will lead many to Christ Consciousness! You are a modern-day disciple for Jesus, continuing the mission of Paramahansa Yogananda to elevate mankind! Blessings on your work at Ananda. Edelweiss
But you could also include guru nanak dev, who were present on the planet earth from 1499 to 1708 and presently in our minds(Sikhs).
Very nice . One thing I would like to say. May be anyone can take me as am trying to prove the self realise yogis false. But that’s not my intention. Something I wanna clarify, wanna know. Here it’s said that Buddha, Jesus Christ and Krishna* had raised their consciousness to realize the god. But if u look properly then Krishna is the god himself. There has few reason like-
All we know that Krishna was the incarnation of lord Vishnu. In Vedas and puranas it’s said that god has 2 kinda form as 1. Sakar rupa 2. Nirakar rupa.
His real form is like air or water – without any material form but if necessary he could take the material form so that everyone can touch or see his normal form. Even in Mahavarata lord himself said ” oh arjuna …!! Now I will reveal to u my real Divine form which nobody have ever seen before u. But you can’t see this form by your own eye’s so m giving u divine eyes to see it.”
Even the self realised Jesus Christ also said his father is god himself and here it’s also mentioned that anyone can be son of father. Means son of god.
Whatever Jesus Christ said about father like – he is sitting into everyone’s heart. He is the shower of all etc. Etc.
In vaghabata gita lord krishna said himself that m the seed giving father, I m sitting in everyone’s heart. Among the Vedas m sama veda, the compiler of Vedanta, m the knower of all Vedas.
Another one interesting verse in bible son of god said that – “the adobe of my father is not illuminate by sun or moon or by fire or electricity. Who once reached never come back”
Same in vaghabata gita ” my adobe is not illuminate by sun or moon or fire or electricity. Who love me unconditionally he surely attain to my adobe and become freed from born and death. He who reached to me never come back”
So I think Krishna is not a yogi only. Yeah he become guru in dapawaryuga but in sattya-yuga as a kshattrya and killed all demon. Even in Kali yuga he will again come to chastise all evil and reestablished the glory of Vedas.
In Veda and puranas also mentioned that the uttampurush is Krishna. Above All the lokas is goloka and goloka is above Vishnu loka. In bible it’s said that it’s the only adobe of that almighty god mentioned in Vedas.
So. Krishna is omniscient and omnipotent god himself.
Jai shree Krishna. Radhe Radhe …!!!
1. The concept of infinite thought cannot be grasped by immature seeds/souls.
2. The physical Universii are the limitations reached by conscious Light radiating outward from the center of a higher or purer dimension.
3. The physical Universii expand & contract like a heartbeat, which is why we have Deja Vu’s. Everything that has, is & will exist in physical form, including these bodies that our Conscii have previously, currently & will again inhabit, will be cycled over & over again for the benefit of our maturing consciousness’ within the shell of a Soul. But as far as dense matter location is concerned, our same bodies & their lives will occupy new space since everything is moving, including the universal generators that support clutches of said Universii. Imagine a crystal globe covered in miniature versions of itself, that’s a universal generator. Although they have limited lifespans, there are more being generated evey moment. The moments are in relation to that scale.
4. Stars that die, release innumerable Soul templates that are comprised of physical matter’s purest form. They attach to crystals where some move on to the vegetable kingdom & hopefully onto the animal kingdom where the Soul may eventually develop the ability to enter animals capable of expressing the individual’s conscious Will. There they set out living a set number of lives over & over again as the awareness within the Soul attains wisdom enough to break free & live as conscious Light that may eventually move further into higher realms of purer thought.
5. Souls are shells that grow in size to accommodate knowledge acquired by the consciousness from experiencing innumerable lifetimes. Although the heart is the Soul’s anchor, the brain & nervous system also contribute to tethering the Soul’s awareness to that body. (What about heart or brain transplants?)
6. Krishna & Yeshua were/are the same character/personality/consciousness that has already attained true liberation. (Perhaps after several more lifetimes after being Yeshua again this time around)
7. According to Mehar Baba, Yeshua entered Nirvikalpa while on the cross & returned to his body 3 days later, before moving to India.
8. Nirvikalpa can only be attained after having developed the faculties with which to experience it, after your Soul has acquired enough experience to the point that you acutely feel the suffering of others & begin to open up to a truer reality that’s found within.
9. In true religion there is no congregation, cult, gathering or sect. For how can there be found a religion in One?
10. Concerning how I came across Yogananda, 2 of my 3 dreams back in early Sept 2017 where I met, unknowingly at that time, Sri Yukteswar who was a teacher sitting on his desk corner as he spoke to me in front of the chalkboard. I told him I understand & went to sit at the front left corner desk where a Mayan looking woman with 2 green tattoo stars on her nose & inner cheek sat down behind me &
spoke to me as the Moody Blue’s song Beyond was playing. The 2nd identical dream, I saw Yogananda’s picture above the chalkboard. That’s when I woke up & searched the internet for those 2. The 3rd dream in Aug of 2018, Yogananda himself was atop an Octagonal ashram amongst trees reminiscent of Grass Valley, CA. Upon recognition I bowed to him, where he returned in kind at which moment his hair unfurled long & black & he became young again as if in his twenties.
11. I’d like to say, “Stop making a big deal out of it all,” but of course you have to go through those stages of pious suffering when seeking understanding before realizing “we” as apparently seperate individuals are already a part of that which we’ve deemed above & beyond our lonely, insignificant selves.
12. Grow on
Thank-you for posting. Important points clearly expressed.