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).
|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|
|1-11||Transformation: Water into Wine||39|
|12-25||Temple, Body and Spirit||41|
|22-36||None but the Groom has the Bride and the Fire||52|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|1-21||Many Sheep and one Shepherd||151|
|22-42||The Father and You Are One||156|
|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|
|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|
|1-17||Washing Off the Surface Self||192|
|18-32||The Trial of Judas||195|
|33-38||Only One who knows Can Love||204|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|1-13||The Work of the Father||241|
|14-26||Consecration in Truth||245|
|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|
|1-22||The Crown of Thorns and the Inner Kingdom||261|
|23-42||Delivering the Spirit to the One Whom He Loved||266|
|1-18||I Sleep, but My Heart Awaketh||272|
|19-31||The Spirit of Truth as the Subtle Body of Christ||279|
|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|
|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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