Swami Kriyananda also wrote a beautiful song of the Beatitudes called, Blessed Are They. It is included in Christ Lives: An Oratorio, a contemporary Oratorio that vividly brings to life the deep meaning of Christ’s life.
By J. Donald Walters (Swami Kriyananda) Given as a Christmas gift to the Ananda community
Introduction: Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount begins with the Beatitudes. Tradition depicts him as delivering this sermon to the multitudes. It is more likely that he was addressing his disciples. His statement, for example, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14), would hardly have been directed at everybody.
The Beatitudes are an “inner” teaching, given to the few who deeply longed to know God. Worldly people, enmeshed in selfish desires, would have considered the teaching irrelevant to their needs. What would they have understood, for instance, from the words, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you”? A more pertinent counsel for them might have been, “Don’t participate in the reviling.”
That Jesus was speaking to a more intimate group is implied at the very outset of the Beatitudes:
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying:
Stanza 1: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Blessed are they who rejoice in their own unimportance in the great scheme of things. By their non-attachment to ego, they live even now in a state of heavenly bliss.
Stanza 2: “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
Blessed are they who mourn the seeming absence of God: Them will He comfort with His love.
Stanza 3: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”
Blessed are they who live, not aggressively or self-assertively, but in harmony with nature and divine law: for they shall be supported in return.
Stanza 4: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
Blessed are they who seek attunement with Truth. They alone, of all human beings, shall find lasting fulfillment.
Stanza 5: “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”
Blessed are they who, recognizing the bond they share with all living creatures, are more concerned for others than for themselves. Blessed are they who serve consciously as instruments of divine grace: for in their very giving they shall receive.
Stanza 6: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”
Blessed are they whose self-offering to God is effortless and complete, secure in the knowledge that all other desires are foreign to the soul. In the purity of their knowing, they shall see God.
Stanza 7: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
Blessed are they who live unshakably in the consciousness of inner peace; who emanate peace to everyone whose lives they touch. They shall be hailed as instruments of the Lord.
Stanza 8: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Blessed are they who, when persecuted, dare to stand firmly by the truths they know. Through steadfastness to high principles they shall be deemed worthy, after death, to enter the higher heavens.
Stanza 9: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
“Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Blessed are you when your awareness of the truth is tested by the misunderstandings of others, born of their spiritual ignorance. For only by placing truth above human opinions shall you attain wisdom. Great though your tests appear to you today, they are the price of admission into the company of the saints.
Conclusion: The Sermon on the Mount has been described as a revolutionary teaching. And indeed so it was: Its summons to live for God alone was uncompromising. The orthodox rabbis were accustomed to the spiritual compromises demanded by worldly people. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount was a challenge to their lukewarm devotion. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” he declared, “and His righteousness; and all these things [the requirements, in other words, for human fulfillment] shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Proclaimed by Paramhansa Yogananda
Presented by His Disciple, Swami Kriyananda
“…My fervent prayer is that this book, and its proclamation of Paramhansa Yogananda’s renewed revelation of Christ’s revelation, will initiate a renewal of dynamic, original faith in Jesus Christ…Yogananda himself called his mission to the West, ‘The Second Coming of Christ.’”
“Jesus Christ was sent to earth to proclaim the Heavenly Father’s love for us all, and to awaken love in our hearts for Him. Science has shown us a universe, however, too vast to have been created by any man-like Father figure. Science’s view, however, is also limited. Whatever, or Whoever, brought everything into existence created also human beings with human feelings, and with individual appreciation for parental love, filial love, romantic and friendly love. If that Infinite One is omniscient, then He certainly knows our innermost feelings, no matter how often science with its dry, factual outlook on reality scoffs at the idea of a Being infinitely superior to the scientists themselves, far beyond their intellectual games, lambent with tenderest feelings of love for us all, unceasingly forgiving, and awaiting only our love in return to bring us back to Himself.”
TESTIMONIAL: This book is a great gift to humanity. It is a spiritual treasure to cherish deep in the heart, and to pass on to children for generations. This remarkable and magnificent book brings us to the doorway of a deeper, richer embracing of Eternal Truth. At once crystal clear and wonderfully insightful, we are invited to move through that doorway into a place of gloriously larger views of Jesus and God and of Life Itself than many of us have ever been blessed to behold.” –Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God.
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