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About the Author Ravi Ravindra was born in India and received a BSc and a master of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He came to Canada where he obtained a Master of Science and a PhD in Physics from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Dalhousie University. He was a member of the Institute of Advanced study in Princeton in 1977, and a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced study, Simla, in 1978 and in 1998. He was the fo...
About the Author

Ravi Ravindra was born in India and received a BSc and a master of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. He came to Canada where he obtained a Master of Science and a PhD in Physics from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Dalhousie University.

He was a member of the Institute of Advanced study in Princeton in 1977, and a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced study, Simla, in 1978 and in 1998. He was the founding director of the Threshold Award for Integrative knowledge and Chair of its international and inter-disciplinary selection committees in 1979 and 1980.

Dr. Ravindra lives in Canada and travels throughout the world interacting with spiritual seekers. he is Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University where he retired as Professor and Chair of Comparative REligion, Professor of International Development Studies and Adjunct Professor of Physics



I am delighted that The Yoga of the Christ is now available in India. My look at John' Gospel has been much influenced by the great insights of the Indian tradition which has always assumed that Truth is not exclusively held by any one tradition or scripture or formulation, and that there is much that a searcher can learn from any of the great traditions. I feel a debt of gratitude to all the sages and the teachings which have called for and nourished an inner search in me.

The emerging spirituality in our global village requires a confluence of many perspectives. If the ancient texts are going to have contemporary relevance, their trans-cultural significance needs to be discovered. Different traditions have developed in different regions – near the river Ganga or the river Jordan. However, view from an aeroplane reveals different aspects of our planet than does one from a camel by the Jordan or from a bullock cart by the Ganga.

This book does not attempt to explain or to argue for Christianity, rater it is a song of praise for the beauty, truth and goodness I glimpse in John's Gospel. Arising out of my respect and love for this sacred text, my commentary on it is a way of expressing my appreciation for the wisdom and grace of the transformational teaching of the Christ.

It is gratifying to acknowledge the reception given to the first edition of The Yoga of the Christ. It was widely reviewed, and I continue to receive letters from complete strangers as well as from friends, from scholars and non-scholars, who have been very moved and helped by my reflections. I have myself continued to ponder and take delight in the marvelous wisdom of the Gospel. It is more wonderful than I have succeeded in conveying. I am rewarded if this book helps some people to read or reread it with more attention and love.

Many readers, Christians and non-Christians alike, have found the book to be a fresh and a profound look at John's Gospel, a great classic of universal spirituality. While they found many ideas and interpretations challenging, they have felt assisted by it in their search for inner transformation.

Numerous changes have been made in this revised edition. The language of the book has been made gender-inclusive, except in some cases, such as in the expression 'the hollow men', owing to literary usage. However, the intention throughout the book is to be inclusive, not only in terms of gender but also with respect to religious and cultural traditions.




The only reason that I, an outsider to the Christian tradition and not particularly learned in it, write about one of its most sacred texts is because of my love for it. The first time I encountered it, I was much moved by The Gospel many times. Always it leaves me in an uplifted internal state; I feel myself called by a mysterious and higher voice.

In our contemporary pluralistic world, where a cross-cultural communication has increasingly become a matter of necessity for global survival, a new consciousness is emerging. One of the major features of this new consciousness is a non-sectarian spirituality. A universal spirituality is at the very root of all traditions, but it is continually lost in theological exclusivism, or in scholastic partiality, or in evangelical enthusiasm, and it needs to be rediscovered and restated anew again and again. Anybody who would approach a major work of a religious tradition with a global perspective, and with an effort to discover the universal truths in it, will aid the development of the new consciousness in the right direction.

Since I was brought up in India, my psyche is naturally Indian in its early formation, without my being able to say exactly what that means in the present context. When I read the Gospel According to St John, I am struck by many similarities with the Indian traditions, and, of course, by many differences. But the is not the focus of the present book; here I am more interested in discovering the hearts of the Gospel to the extent that it will reveal itself to me. In trying to understand the Gospel, here and there I have found some Indian texts specifically helpful in bringing a new way of looking at a metaphor or in enlarging the appreciation of something that has been understood. I am persuaded that the major division in the human psyche is not horizontal or regional, dividing the Eastern from the Western soul. But that it is vertical and global, separating the few from the many, and the spiritual, inner and symbolical way of understanding from the material, outer and literal one – culturally as well as in each human soul. Still, even though no individual is completely determined by his cultural background, it is a relevant fact that my whole vision has been shaped to some extent by the Indian culture.

My understanding of the Hindu tradition is that it aims at Sanatana Dharma (eternal order) of which at its best it is one representation, and that the tradition is most fulfilled only when it succeeds in leading one to the Truth beyond itself and beyond oneself, to experience it and to become one with it. One is born prakrta (natural, common, unformed); one must attempt to die samskrta (well sculpted, cultured, educated). The truly educated person, the formation of which is the real aim and meaning of any spiritual path, of any yoga, is the one who is internally rightly ordered, and, in the words of the Bhagavadgita (VI. 29), 'sees the Self in everyone, and everyone in the Self, seeing everywhere impartially'.

Everywhere, the one Truth and one Being, or simply the One, has manifested itself in many truths, myriad beings and many selves, corresponding to different times, places, cultures, religions and needs. Each language has its own particular genius, and some things can be expressed in it in a way which is especially profound and engaging; nevertheless no language has a monopoly on depth of discourse, nor does any particular language exhaust all possibilities of communication. In fact, at its best, as one sees in love, and in the utterances of so many mystics and sages, a language may most succeed as it carries one to the silence beyond any articulation. Similarly, each religious and spiritual tradition has its own beauty and emphasis, and certain truths are most profoundly expressed in it, and perhaps in it alone. Nevertheless, no tradition exhausts all possibilities of The Vastness, as no being exhausts all modalities of Being.

No two spiritual paths can be exactly the same, even though there may be many parallels and areas of agreement between them. Each path has its own specific centre of gravity. And the most important thing from a practical religious point of view is to be actually searching for and responding to a way, a path of inner integration. That along can lead to salvation or freedom or truth. Still, even the practice of a path, and not only the theory, can be illumined by a light coming from another tradition. What is important to appreciate is that no spiritual path can be true if it is essentially devised here below by human reasoning. A true path depends on the Will of Heaven; it originates from Above. There cannot be a way from here to There, unless it be laid from There to here. In these matters, more than elsewhere, it is true as the Gospel says that 'No one can lay hold on anything unless it is given him from on high' (John 3:27).

The way of Jesus Christ is through the Christ himself, that is to say, through the I which is 'the only Son of God', which is 'one with the Father', which is 'the Word that was in the Beginning, with God, and was God' (John 3:16; 10:30; 1:1). Having completely emptied himself of himself, so that the word we hear is not his and is instead the World of the Father who sent him (John 14:24), having become a transmitting conduit without any personal distortions, he could say, 'I am not myself the source of the words I speak: it is the Father who dwells in me doing his own work' (John 14:10). Such an I, in supreme identity with the Father, is the one which can say, 'I Am The Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me' (John 14:6). Whether the Father had incarnated himself in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, or whether Jesus became one with the Father, is not necessary for us to resolve here, especially when we recall the Gospel saying, that 'no one went up into Heaven except the one who came down from Heaven' (John 3:13).

It is important to guard against a lowering of the level of insight: the significant truth, which alone has the power to lead to eternal life, resides in the egoless supreme identity in which 'the Father and I are one', and less in any exclusive identification of the Father with this specific person or that in the Indian tradition, particularly in the Upanishad-s, the deepest Self of every human being, the very kernel of a person, the Atman, is said to be beyond any limiting particularity, and is identically one with Brahman, the Absolute, the essence of all there is. Furthermore, the way to Brahman is through the Atman. This is equally true in the Bhagavadgita, where the overall mode of discourse is much closer in its theistic metaphor to that in the gospels: Krshna, the incarnate God, repeatedly says that he is seated in the heart of everyone, and a person can come to know him and participate in his being by following their own essential being. Any who speak from that core of themselves, which is possible only when they have surrendered all of their relatively superficial selves to the service of this one Self, constitute a bridge, a way, from here to There.

The way, however, is not the goal; and a person can too easily get excessively attached to a particular way or a teacher. Especially when someone is against other teachers and other ways, that person commits a sin against the Holy Spirit in limiting its possibilities to only one mode of expression which has somehow been encountered, usually by an accident of birth in a particular culture. Thus one practices idolatry even though one may be against the idols of other people. The ever present sense of exclusivism of the way and of the saviour, so pervasive in Christianity, is in my judgement based on a misunderstanding of the sacred texts. Interpreting at the surface what is spoken of from depth belittles Jusus Christ who completely denied his self, and emptied himself of any feeling of particularity, as well as distinction from God. A certain ruler asked him, 'Good teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' And Jesus said unto him, 'Why call me good? None is good but God alone' (Luke 18:18-19).


  Preface xi
  Acknowledgments xiii
  Introduction 1
  Chapter One  
1-9 Intelligence beyond Time 16
10-13 All who Receive the Word Are Begotten by God 20
14-18 Eternity in love with Time 22
19-34 The Witness as the Midwife of the spirit 26
35-51 Preparation for Withstanding Truth 31
  Chapter Two  
1-11 Transformation: Water into Wine 39
12-25 Temple, Body and Spirit 41
  Chapter Three  
1-21 New Birth 47
22-36 None but the Groom has the Bride and the Fire 52
  Chapter Four  
1-3 Beware of the Hollow Men 57
4-15 The Inner Spring of Living Water 59
16-18 The Need for Inner Unity 62
19-24 The Worshippers Whom the Father Seeks 63
25-42 The Secret Name of God 64
43-54 Belief of Signs and Wonders 68
  Chapter Five  
1-9 The Struggle between the Self and the Ego 70
10-17 Action and Rest from Action 72
18-30 Only They Can Be Just Who Do Nothing by Themselves 76
31-47 The Esoteric Message of the Tradition 79
  Chapter Six  
1-13 The Bread from the Simple Heart 84
14-15 The Fear and Temptation of Becoming King 87
16-21 The Power of I AM 89
22-58 I AM as the Bread of Eternal Life 92
59-71 Levels of Struggle 101
  Chapter Seven  
1-13 Conflict between the Spirit and the World 105
14-32 My teaching is not My Own 109
33-36 Where I AM, No One Cane Come 113
37-52 Rivers of Living Water from the Belly 116
  Chapter Eight  
1-11 Adultery: Mixing of Levels 120
12-20 The Highest Person as the Witness Within 124
21-30 Without Knowing I AM, One Dies Missing the Mark 127
31-47 A Disciple is One Who Lives the Teaching 131
48-59 Losing One's Mind Righty 135
  Chapter Nine  
1-7 Spiritual Blindness is Natural 139
8-17 Sight as New Birth 143
18-34 Insight or More Sights 145
35-41 The sighted and the Sightless 148
  Chapter Ten  
1-21 Many Sheep and one Shepherd 151
22-42 The Father and You Are One 156
  Chapter Eleven  
1-16 He Whom Christ Loves, Dies to Himself 162
17-44 Awake, O Sleeper, Arise from the Dead 169
45-57 Alien People clutching their Gods 174
  Chapter Twelve  
1-8 Giving One's All to the Master 178
9-19 The Kingdom of Christ is Not of This World 179
20-36 Unless a Seed Dies It Bears No Fruit 181
37-43 Levels of Seeing 186
44-50 The Yoga of the Cross 189
  Chapter Thirteen  
1-17 Washing Off the Surface Self 192
18-32 The Trial of Judas 195
33-38 Only One who knows Can Love 204
  Chapter Fourteen  
1-14 I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life 208
15-26 Those Who Love Can Come to Truth 211
27-31 Those Who Have Nothing Will Not Die 214
  Chapter Fifteen  
1-6 Right Order- Internal and External 216
7-13 Love from Above, Obedience from Below 220
14-17 Levels of Disciples 222
18-25 Leave the World in Order to Change it 225
26-27 The Eternal Witness from the Beginning 228
  Chapter Sixteen  
1-6 The Scandal of the Cross 231
7-15 The Inner Guide 233
16-23 Death and New Birth 236
23-33 Participating in the Mind of Chirst 237
  Chapter Seventeen  
1-13 The Work of the Father 241
14-26 Consecration in Truth 245
  Chapter Eighteen  
1-12 The Overwhelming Force of I AM 249
13-27 The Trial of Peter 254
28-40 The King of the Inner Kingdom 257
  Chapter Nineteen  
1-22 The Crown of Thorns and the Inner Kingdom 261
23-42 Delivering the Spirit to the One Whom He Loved 266
  Chapter Twenty  
1-18 I Sleep, but My Heart Awaketh 272
19-31 The Spirit of Truth as the Subtle Body of Christ 279
  Chapter Twenty-One  
1-14 A New Beginning 287
15-19 The Lamb of Christ among the Wolves of the World 292
20-25 Let Not him Who Seeks Cease until He Finds 295
  Bibliography 299
  Index of Biblical References 303
  Index of subjects 309

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Item Code: IDF990 Author: Ravi Ravindra Cover: Paperback Edition: 2005 Publisher: The Theosophical Publishing House ISBN: 8170594472 Size: 8.5" X 5.5" Pages: 316 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 515 gms
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