Original Christianity is not new, but eternal in essence, embracing the Ancient Wisdom (Dharma) that has existed from the beginning of the world, especially in the Far East. Saint Augustine wrote in the fourth century: “The identical thing that we now call the Christian religion existed among the ancients and has not been lacking from the beginnings of the human race until the coming of Christ in the flesh, from which moment on the true religion, which already existed, began to be called ‘Christian.’” All master teachers of humanity, including Jesus the Christ, were revivers of that Wisdom, which at their time was either lost or almost extinguished.
Except for the New Testament, very few early Christian writings have survived. Those that have, such as The Odes of Solomon, The Gospel of Thomas and a handful of fragments, show a very different Christianity from that of today. To supply this defect, we must look to the East–especially India where Jesus spent over half his life. As a Saint Thomas Christian priest once remarked: “You cannot understand the teachings of Jesus unless you know the scriptures of India.”
Original Christianity is not church membership or even a religion in the formal theological sense. Rather, it is discipleship: a direct, living, personal connection and communication with the Lord Jesus Christ. How is this accomplished? Through the Sacraments, those rites of spiritual purification and empowerment instituted by the Lord Jesus himself and continued by his Apostles and their successors. (See The Yoga of the Sacraments.)
But there is another, higher spiritual meaning of Original Christianity: that Christianity which returns us to our original state of consciousness regarding which Jesus prayed: “O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). For before the world was, “when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” (Job 38:7), we consciously knew that we were one with God and part of Infinite Being.
Original Christianity has one purpose and effect: the liberation of the disciple of Christ. Through this website Light of the Spirit Monastery presents its understanding of the vision of original Christianity, and original Yoga as the path to its realization.
Read the following articles on Original Christianity:
Jesus and India:
- The Christ of India — Jesus lived most of his life in India before becoming a missionary-martyr of Eternal Truth (Sanatana Dharma) in the West. This booklet presents the full story, including the historical texts about His life in India, and the inevitable conclusions that must be drawn about The Real Jesus and His Real Teachings. Written by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)
- Unknown Life of Jesus Christ — By Nicholas Notovich. The English translation of Notovich’s French translation of a Tibetan-language manuscript regarding the life of Jesus in India, which he found in a monastery of Ladakh where Jesus had actually lived.
- What If?… — A guest article by Paul van Oyen, who has done extensive research into the “Lost Years” of Jesus, and has done a translation of Nicholas Notivitch’s Unknown Life of Christ. In this article he writes about the implications of Jesus’ studies in India and Tibet for us today.
The inner side of Esoteric Christian thought:
- The Yoga of the Sacraments — An illuminating analysis of the Christian Sacraments from the Yogi’s perspective. By Abbot George Burke.
- Esoteric Christian Beliefs — The various esoteric Christian beliefs outlined in this article are blessedly outside “official” churchdom and therefore not a set of imposed dogmas but a spiritual perspective, the “mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16) without which no one is a real Christian. Christian discipleship is spiritual practice–and the experience and knowledge gained from such practice–rather than the intellectual concepts of theology and dogma, but there is a certain broad framework, outlined in this article, within which the disciple works out his salvation, but theological details and their interpretation are left up to the individual. By Abbot George Burke.
- Robe of Light — “Where am I?…How did I get here?” is more than a trite line from nineteenth century melodramas and novels. It is a query put forth by potential sages throughout the history of conscious mankind. When asked on a cosmic scale, it is bold indeed: What is this universe I keep finding myself in, and how did I get here? That is answered by esoteric Christian cosmology outlined in this article. By Abbot George Burke.
- The Gnosis of the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes — The Ten Commandments give a complete picture of what is needed to extricate ourselves from the currents of the lefthand path and the Beatitudes show the means of entering the righthand path, the path of true blessedness. These articles give unique insights into these often misunderstood spiritual foundations. By Abbot George Burke.
- Religion for Awakening — A profound study in practical truth by F. W. Pigott, an esoteric Christian bishop within the Liberal Catholic Church in Great Britain who wrote in the first half of the twentieth century. This is an edited–and occasionally adapted–version, edited by Abbot George Burke.
- The Esoteric Christian Creed — Bishops Wedgwood and Leadbeater were adherents of the Non-dual (Advaita) philosophy of India as uncompromisingly taught by Madame Blavatsky, with whom Leadbeater lived for several years in India. This creed embodies that esoteric view. Commentary by Abbot George Burke.
- 150 Reasons for Believing in the Final Salvation of all Mankind — Erasmus Manford (1815-1884) was a famous Universalist, a capable Bible teacher, author and publisher, who taught the salvation of all. His periodicals had extensive circulations. He is best known for his 1849 work, 150 Reasons for Believing in the Final Salvation of All Mankind. Abraham Lincoln was one of his supporters, himself attending his lectures.
- May a Christian Believe in Reincarnation? — Yes! That is the answer given in the Bible and the writings of Christian and Jewish theologians–many of them ancient authorities–as well as saints. The facts can be denied, but they can’t be changed. By Abbot George Burke.
- Esoteric Christian Insights Into Reincarnation — Contrary to popular thought, reincarnation is very much a Christian belief–first having been an orthodox Jewish belief. Read about it here. By Abbot George Burke.
- The Necessity for Reincarnation — A remarkable article on various scientific, moral, and historical aspects of reincarnation by Annie Besant (1847 – 1933), a renowned speaker and writer, and president of the Madras Theosophical society.
Practical Christian Insights:
- The Four Soul Killers — The story of Adam and Eve demonstrates the intimate relationship between diet and consciousness. This booklet considers the four general categories of substances which cloud, darken, and even destroy consciousness. By Abbot George Burke.
- Living With Angels — Angels are beings in the next stage of evolution beyond the human status. Having perfected themselves within the range of human potential, they are now growing and evolving as angels with the purpose of eventually passing into the archangelic levels and evolving even from there upward. Learn about angels and how they interact with us in this essay by Abbot George Burke.
Commentaries of Christian Texts:
- The Aquarian Gospel for Yogis — A Commentary on Levi Dowling’s Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, containing much useful information for the spiritual aspirant.
- The Gospel of Thomas for Yogis — The Gospel of Thomas shows a different side of the teachings of Jesus, which was the religion learned by Jesus from his Essene family and during his “lost years” in India, then brought by him back to the “West,” to Israel. This commentary by Abbot George Burke makes clear this remarkable writing, which has only been available for a little more than a century since it was discovered.
- The Odes of Solomon for Yogis — The Odes of Solomon, a great work of mystical depth, Divine insight, and spiritual illumination is, like the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the truly great spiritual and literary discoveries of the Twentieth Century. Written in the first Christian century, some of the Odes are thought to be compositions of Jesus, passed down by his disciples. Abbot George Burke’s commentary on the Odes reveals their enormous value for student of spiritual life.