In this unprecedented masterwork of inspiration Paramashansa Yogananda takes the reader on a profoundly enriching journey through the four Gospels. Verse by verse he illumines the universal path to oneness with God taught by Jesus to his immediate disciples but obscured through centuries of misinterpretation how to become like Christ how to resurrect the eternal Christ within one’s self.
Never before available in its entirety this landmark work by one of the most revered spiritual teachers of our time transcends divisive sectarianism to reveal a unifying harmony underlying all true religions. A groundbreaking synthesis of East and West it imparts the life transforming realization that each of us can experience for ourselves the promised second coming awakening of the all fulfilling divine consciousness latent within our souls.
In titling this work the second coming of Christ I am not referring to a literal return of Jesus to earth. He came two thousand years ago and after imparting a universal path to God’s kingdom was crucified and resurrected his reappearance to the masses now is not necessary for the fulfillment of his teachings. What is necessary is for the cosmic wisdom and divine perception of Jesus to speak again through each one’s own experience and understanding of the infinite Christ consciousness that was incarnate in Jesus. That will be his true second coming.
There is a distinguishing difference of meaning between Jesus and Christ. His given name was Jesus his honorific title was Christ in his little human body called Jesus was born the vast Christ consciousness the omniscient intelligence of god omnipresent in every part and particle of creation. This consciousness is the only begotten son of god so designated because it is the sole perfect reflection in creation of the transcendental absolute spirit or god the father.
It was of that infinite consciousness replete with the love and bliss of God that Saint John Spoke when he said as many as received him the Christ consciousness to them gave he power to become the sons of god. Thus according to Jesus own teaching as recorded by his most highly advanced apostle johan all souls who become united with Christ consciousness by intuitive self realization are highly called sons of God.
A small cup cannot hold an ocean within itself. Likewise the cup of human consciousness limited by the physical and mental instrumentalities of material perceptions cannot grasp the universal Christ consciousness no matter how desirous one may be of doing so. By the definite science of meditation known for millenniums to the yogis and sages of India and to Jesus any seeker of God can enlarge the caliber of his consciousness to omniscience to receive within himself the universal intelligence of God.
What Jesus gave as chronicled in the new testament of the bible very few people understand. They just read what he said and quote it and because it is written in the biblical scripture they believe it blindly with little effort to realize the wisdom therein through personal experience. Realization is to attune one’s consciousness with Christ then the right comprehension will come. When persons try to deduce the meaning of Jesus words by intellectual analysis alone or from the perspective of a specific dogma they inevitably distort his sayings to suit their purpose however well intentioned or to comfortably accommodate their level of understanding Christ wisdom has to be grasped by communion not by rationalization.
The only reliable standard of scriptural interpretation is the testimony of actual perception to go into that state of consciousness in which the prophets perceived the truth they expounded and thereby witness the meaning they intended. The words of Jesus fully unfold their wisdom only to those who meditate deeply on the Christ consciousness that Jesus possessed. Then one understands Jesus in the light of his spiritual experience of the cosmic consciousness of the heavenly father, realized through the father’s Christ intelligence reflection present in all creation.
The detailed knowledge of the heavens as discover by great astronomers through study and the use of training and equipment. Likewise what enlightened sagas know about truth and spirit through the clarifying telescope of their intuition can be know by ordinary individuals only when they have similarly extended their vision by the use of their inner telescopic intuition erstwhile hidden in the chamber of their souls.
Christ did not go through the sublime drama of his life merely to provide sermon material for generations of preachers and their Sunday audiences. He lived, died, and was gloriously resurrected as an inspiration to others to live a divine life and attain in themselves his experiences of God and the afterlife.
Jesus Christ was crucified once; but his teachings are crucified daily at the hands of superstition, dogmatism, and pedantic theological misinterpretations. My aim in offering to the world this spiritual interpretation of his words is to show how the Christ Consciousness of Jesus, free from such crucifixion, can be brought back a second time into the souls of all who make the effort to receive it. Surely, with the dawn of this more enlightened age, the time has come to stop the crucifixion of the Christ teachings as given by Jesus. His pristine message should be resurrected from its entombment by Self-realization, the inner enlightened experience of truth.
In these pages I offer to the world an intuitionally perceived spiritual interpretation of the words spoken by Jesus, truths received through actual communion with Christ Consciousness. They will be found to be universally true if they are studied conscientiously and meditated upon with soul awakened intuitive perception. They reveal the perfect unity that exists among the revelations of the Christian Bible, the Bhagavad Gita of India, and all other time-tested true scriptures.
The saviors of the world do not come to foster inimical doctrinal divisions; their teachings should not be used toward that end. It is something of a misnomer even to refer to the New Testament as the “Christian” Bible, for it does not belong exclusively to any one sect. Truth is meant for the blessing and upliftment of the entire human race. As the Christ Consciousness is universal, so does Jesus Christ be long to all.
Though I emphasize the message of Lord Jesus in the New Testament and the yoga science of God-union delineated by Bhagavan Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita as the summum bonum of the way to God-realization, I honour the diverse expressions of truth flowing from the One identical in the Hindu
God through the scriptures of His various emissaries. All such scriptures have a threefold meaning —material, mental, and spiritual. They are divine wells of “living waters that can quench humanity’s thirsts of body, mind, and soul. The timeless revelations sent by God through illumined prophets serve human beings on each of the three levels of their nature.
The material meaning of the teachings of Christ emphasizes their value as applied to physical and social well-being—the eternal laws of right living pertinent to man’s personal, familial, business, community, national, and international duties as a member of God’s worldwide human family.
The mental interpretation explains the application of Christ’s teaching for the improvement of man’s mind and understanding—development of his intellectual and psychological faculties, his thoughts and moral values.
Interpreted in relation to the spiritual side of man’s being, Jesus’ teachings point out the way to the kingdom of God—personal realization of each soul’s infinite divine potentials as an immortal child of God, through devout communion and ultimate oneness with the Heavenly Father-Creator of all.
Although both the material and the psychological interpretations of scriptures are necessary for the right conduct of a balanced, God- centered life, it is the spiritual interpretations that the God-sent emissaries of scriptural content intended as of supreme importance. Even the most materially or intellectually accomplished individual may fail to make a true success of life. Rather, it is the person of spiritual attainment who scientifically achieves all-round success, which means to be happy, healthy, intelligent, contented, and truly prosperous with blissful, all-fulfilling wisdom through God-communion.
The Bible and the Bhagavad Gita are satisfyingly complete, containing the science of life, the eternal principles of truth and philosophy of living that make life beautiful and harmonious. Philosophy is the love of wisdom; religion, as taught by the scriptural prophets, is likewise devotion to highest truth. The personal realization of truth is the science behind all sciences. But for most persons, religion has devolved to a matter of belief only. One believes in Catholicism, another believes in some Protestant denomination, others assert belief that the Jewish or Hindu or Muslim or Buddhist religion is the true way. The science of religion identifies the universal truths common to all—the basis of religion—and teaches how by their practical application persons can build their lives according to the Divine Plan. India’s teaching of Raja Yoga, the “royal” science of the soul, supersedes the orthodoxy of religion by setting forth systematically the practice of those method that are universally necessary for the perfection of every individual regardless of race or creed.
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Brahma Sutras (85)
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