It is Christmas today. Paramhansa Yogananda suggested that his students celebrate the birth of Jesus with a “Spiritual Christmas” as well as the more common “Social Christmas.” Spiritual Christmas is a day of deep meditation during which we try to draw the presence and blessings of Jesus and achieve the birth of Christ consciousness within. This year, for the first time in decades due to the pandemic, we didn’t meditate in any of our temples. Rather, Devi and I led our eight-hour meditation from Swami Kriyananda’s apartment at Ananda Village, and streamed it around the world through the magic of the internet. For me, it was a touching return to my spiritual roots.
My first all-day meditation was in Swami Kriyananda’s apartment in 1967. The location was different, San Francisco in that case, but the vibrations were amazingly similar. The evening before, I had received my first Kriya initiation there, which was Ananda’s only “temple” in those early days. It was a special initiation, held so that the dozen or so students could practice Kriya the next day as a means of contacting the inner Christ.
The life of Jesus should be seen as both historically true and spiritually symbolic. The real star followed by the Wise Men shone not in the heavens, but in the forehead at the spiritual eye. Each of us needs to become a fourth Wise Man by following the light of the inner star until it leads us to the Christ consciousness.
The teachings of Jesus can be summed up in a single word: love. We don’t need to complicate them. He didn’t. He cut through all the confusions of the worldly mind in his answer to a priest/lawyer who tried to entangle him into misquoting the complex laws of the day.
To the question, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered simply. “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
One of the missions of Jesus was to replace the love of law with the law of love. Love God. Love your neighbor. Love everyone. And in that great and limitless love, the kingdom of heaven will be ours.
If you haven’t had a chance to see it, you might enjoy this special Christmas message from Nayaswamis Jyotish and Devi.