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Blessed are the Merciful

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 69 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

The spectacle
When other certain days had passed, the guide led Jesus to the Hall of Mirth, a hall most richly furnished, and replete with everything a carnal heart could wish. The choicest viands and the most delicious wines were on the boards; and maids, in gay attire, served all with grace and cheerfulness. And men and women, richly clad, were there; and they were wild with joy; they sipped from every cup of mirth.

“And Jesus watched the happy throng in silence for a time, and then a man in garb of sage came up and said, Most happy is the man who, like the bee, can gather sweets from every flower. The wise man is the one who seeks for pleasure, and can find it everywhere. At best man’s span of life on earth is short, and then he dies and goes, he knows not where. Then let us eat, and drink, and dance, and sing, and get the joys of life, for death comes on apace. It is but foolishness to spend a life for other men. Behold, all die and lie together in the grave, where none can know and none can show forth gratitude.

“But Jesus answered not; upon the tinseled guests in all their rounds of mirth he gazed in silent thought. And then among the guests he saw a man whose clothes were coarse; who showed in face and hands the lines of toil and want. The giddy throng found pleasure in abusing him; they jostled him against the wall, and laughed at his discomfiture.

“And then a poor, frail woman came, who carried in her face and form the marks of sin and shame; and without mercy she was spit upon, and jeered, and driven from the hall.

“And then a little child, with timid ways and hungry mien, came in and asked for just a morsel of their food. But she was driven out uncared for and unloved; and still the merry dance went on” (Aquarian Gospel 51:1-14).

The rebuke

“And when the pleasure seekers urged that Jesus join them in their mirth, he said, How could I seek for pleasure for myself while others are in want? How can you think that while the children cry for bread, while those in haunts of sin call out for sympathy and love that I can fill myself to full with the good things of life?” (Aquarian Gospel 51:15, 16).

When my friend the Raja of Chandod went to visit Gandhi, the Mahatma challenged him as to what he was dong for the welfare of the people in his kingdom. He replied he was doing nothing and did not care about the suffering of the people. Gandhiji saw into the Raja’s nature and saw what even the young man did not realize was there. “That is not so,” he told him. “Here is a test: Have a sumptuous meal made for yourself and put in your automobile. Then have yourself driven to one of the villages in your domain at noon time. Go right into the midst of the village and have a table set there with the food, and then you eat it with the hungry people watching. If you can do that, you really do not care.”

“I will–it will be easy,” said the Raja. So he followed Gandhi’s instructions. “But,” he told me, “when I started to take the first bite I looked at the faces around me and my heart was shattered. I could not eat. I asked the people’s forgiveness and went home and began planning how to alleviate their suffering. Ever since then, that has been my purpose in life.”

I wish I had pictures of my walk around the town of Chandod with him to share with you. How the people loved him! They came around and spoke to him with the love of children for a loving father. He listened to all they had to say and advised them about their problems. When I went to the little bank a few days later, the workers there told me of all the things the Raja had done for them over the years, raising the level of the life of everyone living there. He had even given part of his home to house a free school for village children. He lived in utter simplicity himself, not much different from those he cared for. I saw for myself the ideals of Jesus being lived by him–and by others I met in India. No wonder Jesus loved that land.

Humanity

“I tell you, nay; we all are kin, each one a part of the great human heart. I cannot see myself apart from that poor man that you so scorned, and crowded to the wall; nor from the one in female garb who came up from the haunts of vice to ask for sympathy and love, who was by you so ruthlessly pushed back into her den of sin; nor from that little child that you drove from your midst to suffer in the cold, bleak winds of night” (Aquarian Gospel 51:17-20).

Saint Paul said to the Athenian philosophers that God “giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:25, 26). It is interesting that creations myths throughout the world insist that humanity is descended from a single set of foreparents. This means that humanity is one family whose external diversity cannot overshadow its fundamental unity. Each person is all of humanity in a sense, and therefore to be valued accordingly. None of us is really separate from another; the same divine life manifests in us all. What we do to others we do to all–and to ourself, as well.

Done to me…

“I tell you, men, what you have done to these, my kindred, you have done to me. You have insulted me in your own home; I cannot stay. I will go forth and find that child, that woman and that man, and give them help until my life’s blood all has ebbed away. I call it pleasure when I help the helpless, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and speak good words of cheer to those unloved, discouraged and depressed” (Aquarian Gospel 51:21-23).

Jesus’ identity with all people is apparent here. He did not speak fancy oratory about the dignity of humanity and its unity, and then go home to the sound of applause. He acted upon his words and sought out the suffering and helped them. A lot of people get maudlin about “humanity” but have no interest in a single, non-theoretical person in the flesh. Usually they have contempt for them. When we lived in a large city, our monastery gave assistance to a wonderful, caring 24/7 refuge for the poor and suffering. We gathered things they needed, and once a month went there in the evening and cooked the meal for the five hundred people who came there for food. Some people formed a little group to gather items for the shelter, and took the first batch downtown themselves. Shortly thereafter we got a letter from them saying that they had been so repulsed by what they saw that from then on they would bring everything to the monastery so we could take it to the shelter. Jesus did not have this kind of “I’ll help you but don’t touch me” kind of compassion. And neither should we.

During our visits to the shelter we met people who had escaped addiction and criminal involvement through the loving people who were there for them at all times. The name of that place? What else but: Jesus House.

They ain’t Got Fun

“And this that you call mirth is but a phantom of the night; but flashes of the fire of passion, painting pictures on the walls of time” (Aquarian Gospel 51:24).

From childhood I have been amazed at how dreary and weary most people’s “good times” and “fun” really are, and how dreary and weary they themselves are, too, no matter how frantically they claim to be happy and enjoying themselves. Beneath the glitter all is drab and hopeless. Few things are more deadly awful than a party.

A friend of mind was visiting in New York City. One evening her host asked her: “Would you like to see the Four Hundred?” (The “Four Hundred” is a term used for those at the very top of New York City society.) Having heard of them all her life, she naturally wanted to get a look. It was Monday night–subscription night at the Metropolitan Opera where the Four Hundred were seated in the Diamond Horseshoe. (The “Diamond Horseshoe” was the two rows of boxes where only the wealthiest sat in their diamond-decked glory.) So about half an hour before the end of the opera, a doorman who was a friend of her host let them in, and they stood to one side to watch the Four Hundred as they left through the opera house lobby. My friend told me: “The one thing that struck me most, was how unhappy they all looked. Their eyes were so dull and their faces were masks of despair. All the jewels and fabulously expensive clothes looked like something found in a tomb. The old ones especially looked pathetic. It was an awful sight. But as we were driving through the streets afterward we saw people coming from working the late shift in factories. They were striding along, swinging their lunch boxes, whistling, talking, and laughing. Their eyes were bright and smiles were on their face–even though they had just finished eight hours of hard work. The contrast was so great, I can never forget it.”

I think the two dreariest places in this country are bars and dance halls. Looking into them is like looking into Dante’s hell where all have indeed abandoned hope. There simply is no real future in phantoms of the night, flashes of the fire of passion. They really are only painted pictures of a non-existent reality.

Writing of Negendranath Bhaduri, the “levitating saint” in Chapter Seven of his autobiography, Yogananda relays this conversation:

“‘Master, you are wonderful!’ A student, taking his leave, gazed ardently at the patriarchal sage. ‘You have renounced riches and comforts to seek God and teach us wisdom!’ It was well-known that Bhaduri Mahasaya had forsaken great family wealth in his early childhood, when single-mindedly he entered the yogic path.

“‘You are reversing the case!’ The saint’s face held a mild rebuke. ‘I have left a few paltry rupees, a few petty pleasures, for a cosmic empire of endless bliss. How then have I denied myself anything? I know the joy of sharing the treasure. Is that a sacrifice? The shortsighted worldly folk are verily the real renunciates! They relinquish an unparalleled divine possession for a poor handful of earthly toys!’

“I chuckled over this paradoxical view of renunciation—one which puts the cap of Croesus on any saintly beggar, whilst transforming all proud millionaires into unconscious martyrs.

“‘The divine order arranges our future more wisely than any insurance company.’ The master’s concluding words were the realized creed of his faith. ‘The world is full of uneasy believers in an outward security. Their bitter thoughts are like scars on their foreheads. The One who gave us air and milk from our first breath knows how to provide day by day for His devotees.’”

The victor

“And while the Logos spoke the white-robed priest came in and said to him, The council waits for you.

“Then Jesus stood again before the bar; again no word was said; the hierophant placed in his hands a scroll, on which was writ, PHILANTHROPY.

“And Jesus was a victor over selfish self” (Aquarian Gospel 51:25-27).

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: Claiming Our Freedom

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

The Aquarian Gospel for Awakening—A Commentary on the Aquarian Gospel
by Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri)

  1. The Mother of Jesus
  2. Prophecies of the Births of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus
  3. The Birth of Jesus
  4. Revelations in the Temple
  5. Coming of the Wise Men
  6. Herod’s Reaction
  7. Revelations in Egypt
  8. The Two Selfs
  9. Deliverance From Gods and Demons
  10. About God the Tao
  11. From India to Chaldea
  12. The Wisdom of Buddha
  13. God and Prayer
  14. The Mission of Jesus and John the Baptist
  15. Sin and the Forgiveness of Sin
  16. The Universal Law of Man’s Free Will and the Divine Will For Man
  17. Understanding Death
  18. The True Teacher
  19. The Value of Ritual
  20. The Law Behind All Laws
  21. Opening To The Truth
  22. In the Temple at the Age of Ten
  23. Revelation to the Teachers and People in the Temple
  24. Jerusalem to Nazareth
  25. Nazareth to India
  26. What is Truth?
  27. What Is Man?
  28. What is Power?
  29. Understanding
  30. Wisdom
  31. Faith
  32. Healing and Healers
  33. Conflict Over Caste
  34. The Destiny of All Men
  35. God and Man
  36. The Voice in the Heart
  37. Seeing the Unseeable
  38. To God Through Man
  39. Who Is Jesus?
  40. The Real Versus The Apparent
  41. The Brotherhood of Life
  42. God…and Man
  43. Relating To God
  44. The Worthy Host
  45. Come to the Light
  46. The Kingdom Revealed
  47. The King Revealed
  48. Perspective On Death
  49. Fire and Sword
  50. Evolution: The Path of Glory
  51. The Real Heaven
  52. Getting to the Essence
  53. New Perspective on Religion
  54. In Tibet and Ladakh
  55. Words to the Worthy
  56. The Thirty-Eighth Chapter
  57. The Origin of Evil
  58. The Silence
  59. The Source of Healing
  60. The Fivefold Gospel
  61. Homecoming
  62. In Athens
  63. The Oracle of Delphi
  64. The Real God
  65. Return to Egypt
  66. First Steps to Wisdom
  67. Strong in Will and Intent
  68. Here Comes the Ego
  69. Blessed are the Merciful
  70. Claiming Our Freedom
  71. The Great Test
  72. Comprehending Death
  73. The Christ!
  74. The Asembly of the Masters
  75. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – I
  76. The Seven Pillars of the Aquarian Age – II
  77. The Declaration of Jesus
  78. John the Baptist – I
  79. John the Baptist – II
  80. John the Baptist – III
  81. Baptism – Jesus and John
  82. Self-Examination and Temptation
  83. The First Disciples Follow Jesus
  84. Jesus’ First Sermon
  85. The King and the Kingdom
  86. Dealing With Challengers
  87. The First Miracle of Jesus
  88. Kings and Kingdoms
  89. The Temple of God
  90. What Is A Messiah?
  91. The Laws of Healing
  92. Nicodemus Finds The Kingdom
  93. The Prince of Peace
  94. Dealing With Spiritual Opposition
  95. The Opened Gate
  96. John the Baptist Speaks of the Christ
  97. John Speaks Further About Jesus
  98. The Woman at the Well
  99. The Disciples and Samaritans at the Well
  100. Jesus in Sychar
  101. More Wisdom In Samaria
  102. The Imprisonment of John the Baptist
  103. In Jerusalem
  104. The Insights of Jesus
  105. Sabbath Wisdom
  106. Prayer and Good Deeds
  107. Divine Laws and Principles for Seekers of the Divine
  108. A New Understanding of the Ten Commandments
  109. Aspects of the Higher Law – 1
  110. Aspects of the Higher Law – 2
  111. Aspects of the Higher Law – 3
  112. Aspects of the Higher Law – 4
  113. Chapter One Hundred One
  114. Chapter One Hundred Two
  115. Chapter One Hundred Three
  116. Chapter One Hundred Four
  117. Chapter One Hundred Five
  118. Chapter One Hundred Six
  119. Chapter One Hundred Seven
  120. Chapter One Hundred Eight
  121. Chapter One Hundred Nine
  122. Chapter One Hundred Ten
  123. Chapter One Hundred Eleven
  124. Chapter One Hundred Twelve
  125. Chapter One Hundred Thirteen
  126. Chapter One Hundred Fourteen
  127. Chapter One Hundred Fifteen
  128. Chapter One Hundred Sixteen
  129. Chapter One Hundred Seventeen
  130. Chapter One Hundred Eighteen
  131. Chapter One Hundred Nineteen
  132. Chapter One Hundred Twenty
  133. Chapter One Hundred Twenty One
  134. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Two
  135. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Three
  136. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Four
  137. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Five
  138. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Six
  139. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Seven
  140. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Eight
  141. Chapter One Hundred Twenty Nine
  142. Chapter One Hundred Thirty
  143. Chapter One Hundred Thirty One
  144. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Two
  145. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Three
  146. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Four
  147. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Five
  148. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Six
  149. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Seven
  150. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Eight
  151. Chapter One Hundred Thirty Nine
  152. Chapter One Hundred Forty
  153. Chapter One Hundred Forty One
  154. Chapter One Hundred Forty Two
  155. Chapter One Hundred Forty Three
  156. Chapter One Hundred Forty Four
  157. Chapter One Hundred Forty Five
  158. Chapter One Hundred Forty Six
  159. Chapter One Hundred Forty Seven
  160. Chapter One Hundred Forty Eight
  161. Chapter One Hundred Forty Nine
  162. Chapter One Hundred Fifty
  163. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-One
  164. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Two
  165. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Three
  166. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Four
  167. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Five
  168. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Six
  169. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Seven
  170. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Eight
  171. Chapter One Hundred Fifty-Nine
  172. Chapter One Hundred Sixty
  173. Chapter One Hundred Sixty One
  174. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Two
  175. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Three
  176. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Four
  177. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Five
  178. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Six
  179. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Seven
  180. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Eight
  181. Chapter One Hundred Sixty Nine
  182. Chapter One Hundred Seventy
  183. Chapter One Hundred Seventy One
  184. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Two
  185. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Three
  186. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Four
  187. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Five
  188. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Six
  189. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Seven
  190. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Eight
  191. Chapter One Hundred Seventy Nine
  192. Chapter One Hundred Eighty
  193. Chapter One Hundred Eighty One
  194. Chapter One Hundred Eighty Two

The Text of the Aquarian Gospel—by Levi Dowling

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