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Getting to the Essence

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 52 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

“Little truth with many words”

“It was a gala day in sacred Kapi[la]vastu; a throng of Buddhist worshippers had met to celebrate a Jubilee. And priests and masters from all parts of India were there; they taught; but they embellished little truth with many words” (Aquarian Gospel 34:1, 2).

This is a failing in all religions and philosophies: wisdom is replaced with purposeless words. Recently I was reading a Buddhist Sutra that took a paragraph or more to say what could easily be written in a single sentence. The concepts were true, even profound, but absolutely drowned in elaborate verbiage–obviously the author’s idea of the way a Buddha and enlightened people would speak. In some instances the sutra took many words to say something so obvious or mundane that it did not even need to be said. The whole thing reminded me of a sociology text about which a friend of mine once remarked: “Its takes a page to say what could be said in a sentence, and then it’s something you already know anyway.” The very same day I was listening to a car radio and turning the dial in hope of finding something interesting. It was Sunday, so I came across several “Christian” broadcasts. They all had the same characteristic: lots of words and little ideas.

To my way of thinking the greatest offenders are the Indian teachers and gurus. Not only do they say the same thing at least three times, they say it poorly and usually to no point at all. A friend spent many hours transcribing for us the talks of a well-known Indian teacher in America. They were uniformly devoid of content and relevance. No matter how profound the concepts, it is a disservice to obscure them with useless verbal meanderings.

It was so in Jesus’ day, too.

“And Jesus went into an ancient plaza and taught; he spoke of Father-Mother-God; he told about the brotherhood of life” (Aquarian Gospel 34:3).

This reminds me of the way I used to sit in dreary churches listening to ministers that were past-masters at obscuring and missing the point. I would mentally give my own talks on their subjects, just to relieve my boredom. Jesus, though, was showing compassion to the seekers–I was only being merciful to myself!

The Tao

He chose those two topics–Father-Mother-God and the brotherhood of life–because it is important to understand that all polarities are to be found in God, that it is spiritually unhealthy to look upon God as exclusively male or female, and in time we must get beyond even those concepts. The brotherhood of life means much more than the brotherhood of man. It means the unity of all life within God–not just human life. Jesus was teaching the people that the Father-Mother God is not separate from all that exists, but that the one God embraces all sentient beings as the Life of their life, that all is ONE. For God is the eternal Tao outside of which there is nothing.

In the ninth chapter of the Aquarian Gospel we find this about the Tao: “In early ages of the world the dwellers in the farther East said, Tao is the name of Universal Breath; and in the ancient books we read, No manifesting form has Tao Great, and yet he made and keeps the heavens and earth. No passion has our Tao Great, and yet he causes sun and moon and all the stars to rise and set. No name has Tao Great, and yet he makes all things to grow; he brings in season both the seed time and the harvest time. And Tao Great was One; the One became the Two; the Two became the Three, the Three evolved the Seven, which filled the universe with manifests. And Tao Great gives unto all, the evil and the good, the rain, the dew, the sunshine and the flowers; from his rich stores he feeds them all. And in the same old book we read of man: He has a spirit knit to Tao Great; a soul which lives within the seven Breaths of Tao Great; a body of desires that springs up from the soil of flesh. Now spirit loves the pure, the good, the true; the body of desires extols the selfish self; the soul becomes the battle ground between the two. And blessed is the man whose spirit is triumphant and whose lower self is purified; whose soul is cleansed, becoming fit to be the council chamber of the manifests of Tao Great” (Aquarian Gospel 9:21-29).

Was Jesus Maitreya Buddha?

“The priests and all the people were astounded at his words and said, Is this not Buddha come again in flesh? No other one could speak with such simplicity and power” (Aquarian Gospel 34:4).

Buddha very firmly said that his dharma would only last for five hundred years–that even in his lifetime it was beginning to be eroded. Yet I have never met a Buddhist who really believed it–a clear example of my own adage: “Adore the messenger and ignore the message.” I did read one Buddhist essay which pointed out that five hundred years after Buddha the Theravada commentaries–which insist that only one construction can be put on the words of the sutras–and the Mahayana sutras began to be written, the latter creating a completely different form of Buddhism.

In the light of all this, the advent of Jesus in the centers of Indian Buddhism seems significant. Earlier, after speaking on the subject of universal evolution in Kapilavastu: “Barata was amazed; the wisdom of the Jewish sage was a revelation unto him. Now, Vidyapati, wisest of the Indian sages, chief of temple Kapivastu, heard Barata speak to Jesus of the origin of man, and heard the answer of the Hebrew prophet, and he said, You priests of Kapivastu, hear me speak: We stand today upon a crest of time. Six times ago a master soul was born who gave a glory light to man, and now a master sage stands here in temple Kapivastu. This Hebrew prophet is the rising star of wisdom, deified. He brings to us a knowledge of the secrets things of God; and all the world will hear his words, will heed his words, and glorify his name. You priests of temple Kapivastu, stay! be still and listen when he speaks; he is the Living Oracle of God. And all the priests gave thanks, and praised the Buddha of enlightenment” (Aquarian Gospel 32:40-45).

Vidyapati says that they stand at the threshold of a new spiritual era. By Buddhist reckoning Sri Gautama Buddha had been born six “ages” before–five hundred years by our reckoning. The Buddha had told his disciples that after five hundred years the Dharma would have vanished from the earth in its fulness, but that it would be restored by the next Buddha. This is the Buddha known in Buddhism as Maitreya Buddha. It is popularly supposed that Maitreya Buddha is yet to come, but according to Vidyapati Jesus himself was Maitreya Buddha. Certainly his prophecy about Jesus as a world teacher was fulfilled. And those who heard him “praised the Buddha of enlightenment.” And so should we.

Simplicity and power

One of the reasons those present believed in the spiritual message of Jesus was the fact that his teaching did not contain “little truth with many words,” but much truth in few words. Simplicity and power are the hallmarks of all life-changing scriptures such as the upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Dhammapada, and the Tao Teh King. (The Taoist scriptures are marvels of brevity and profundity.) From this we see that true enlightenment is expressed simply and powerfully, that books of true wisdom are simple and powerful. The works of Swami Vivekananda are demonstrations of this, as are the words of Sri Ramakrishna, the books of Swami Sivananda and Swami (Papa) Ramdas, and the writings of Yogananda. It is the same with many of the great modern Theravada teachers. Among Mahayanists the Venerable Master Chen Kung teaches with the same dynamic character.

Jesus makes it clear

“And Jesus spoke a parable; he said, There was a vineyard all unkept; the vines were high, the growth of leaves and branches great. The leaves were broad and shut the sunlight from the vines; the grapes were sour, and few, and small.

“The pruner came; with his sharp knife he cut off every branch, and not a leaf remained; just root and stalk, and nothing more.

“The busy neighbors came with one accord and were amazed, and said to him who pruned, You foolish man! the vineyard is despoiled. Such desolation! There is no beauty left, and when the harvest time shall come the gathers will find no fruit.

“The pruner said, Content yourselves with what you think, and come again at harvest time and see.

“And when the harvest time came on the busy neighbors came again; they were surprised. The naked stalks had put forth branch and leaf, and heavy clusters of delicious grapes weighed every branch to earth. The gatherers rejoiced as, day by day, they carried the rich fruitage to the press” (Aquarian Gospel 34:5-13).

There are many valuable lessons here. We will benefit from them all.

There was a vineyard all unkept. The description following these words is a perfect picture of a religion that has lost its way, abandoning its original simplicity and spiritual directness in favor of elaboration and institutionalization. There is not one of the major world religions that is not dangerously in this condition. The situation would be hopeless if it were not that master teachers like Jesus are sent to earth to set matters straight. Sometimes they manage by purifying the existing religion, but usually the resistance of the religious establishment necessitates the starting of a completely separate philosophy and movement–which in time will degenerate into the same condition as the former religion.

Sometimes individual members of religion cannot wait for the promised teacher–who will for sure be rejected when he comes. Fortunately for us the book has been invented so we can go back to the roots and find out for ourselves what the original teachings were. We need not rely on the “oral tradition” so foolishly prized in many religions, for it is a tool of delusion most of the time.

The pruner came. Whether a great teacher or “just us,” the process is the same: everything must be cut away but the root and stalk. Observers will decry this and make a great fuss about babies and bathwater. But the pruners will not argue–simply let time prove the worth or worthlessness of their endeavors. Only true teachers dare to allow such a test. But we see this over and over: spiritual abundance is the result of such “pruning.” We see this within religions in reform movements and in “new” religions as well. Though it must be pointed out that the opposite often happens, too: the new movement or sect proves to be utterly barren.

But this we can say: Those who rightly go to the root of God-contact and themselves come to know God will be a glory in the world. It is a wrench to rid ourselves of venerable religiosities, but it is required if we would truly “enter into life.” Simplicity and power are the traits of effective religion, too. The fundamental need is meditation, meditation, and more meditation. The amusing and entertaining trappings of external holiness and actions mean little, and often prove deadly, suffocating the spirit. Theologians and rule-makers miss the point altogether. Which is why Jesus said: “I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20).

The gatherers rejoiced. And so shall we.

Jesus comments

Jesus has this to say about his parable:

“Behold the vineyard of the Lord! the earth is spread with human vines. The gorgeous forms and rites of men are branches, and their words are leaves; and these have grown so great that sunlight can no longer reach the heart; there is no fruit. Behold, the pruner comes, and with a two-edged knife he cuts away the branches and the leaves of words, and naught is left but unclothed stalks of human life. The priests and they of pompous show, rebuke the pruner, and would stay him in his work. They see no beauty in the stalks of human life; no promises of fruit. The harvest time will come and they who scorned the pruner will look on again and be amazed, for they will see the human stalks that seemed so lifeless, bending low with precious fruit. And they will hear the harvesters rejoice, because the harvest is so great” (Aquarian Gospel 34:14-21).

The result?

“The priests were not well pleased with Jesus’ words; but they rebuked him not; they feared the multitude” (Aquarian Gospel 34:22).

It is not easy to be a Christ, but it is worth it.

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: New Perspective on Religion

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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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