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“What Think Ye Of Christ?”

what think ye of christ?

Toward the end of his mission in Israel, Jesus asked his disciples: “What think ye of Christ?” (Matthew 22:42).

It is a sad but true fact that the teachings of any master or world-teacher are misunderstood even during his life, and after his departure from this world there is a steady degeneration and distortion of his teachings until what remains is unrecognizable. It is rare that the teachings of a master survive even one generation unmarred. Many fundamental distortions of Jesus’ teachings in the first three centuries created a religion far from His original message.

The masters are always aware of the tenuous nature of their precepts. That is why Jesus, speaking of His future rebirth in this world, asked His disciples: “When the Son of man cometh [again], shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8). “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22, 23).

yogananda-warren vickermanMany times Paramhansa Yogananda said to his disciples: “When I am gone you will all change everything.” The first time I went into the bookstore at the Hollywood center in 1961, I met one of Yogananda’s first New York City disciples, Annie Vickerman, the wife of Warren Vickerman, Yogananda’s second American disciple. In our conversation she said: “Master more than once said to Vickie [her husband] and myself: ‘After three generations you will not even know I came to this country.’ When we asked him what use his coming here was, he told us: ‘I have planted a seed and it will grow. My work will go on, even if my name is not mentioned.’”

Confusion about Christ

One of the most harmful deviations from the original teachings of Jesus was the confusing of Jesus with Christ. “Christ” and “Christ Consciousness” are designations of Ishwara, the Lord, the personal creator aspect of God (Brahman). As an ordinary Christian I never met anyone who understood the doctrine of the Trinity and could speak a single intelligent sentence about it. But when I read the writings of Paramhansa Yogananda it was not just clear, it was simple.

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Are You Willing to Be Purified in Heart?

purified heartA Continuation of the Commentary on Theologia Germanica, by the Frankfurter.

And like as the sun may not hide its brightness, but must give light unto the earth (for heaven indeed draws its light and heat from another fountain), so also God, who is the highest Good, wills not to hide himself from any, wheresoever he findeth a devout soul, that is thoroughly purified from all creatures. (Theologia Germanica)

A lot of people like to accuse God of “hiding” from or “abandoning” them. Shame!!! As Saint Paul assures us: “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself” (II Timothy 2:13). As Yogananda said once in a talk: “He never denies us; we deny him.” That is the truth.

It is God’s nature to draw us upward into His “throne,” into His perfect Being and Consciousness which He wills to share with us. That is why He told Abraham: “I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1). And if we do not violate our nature as eternally existing in God, we will cooperate in rising to Him.

As the Frankforter says, God is looking for “a devout soul, that is thoroughly purified from all creatures,” one who is completely free from desire and attachment for things of either earth or heaven, intent instead on complete liberation of spirit. Krishna describes such a one in this way:

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