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John the Baptist – II

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 79 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

In the temple

“Next day John went again into the temple courts and said, Prepare, O Israel, prepare to meet your king. The chief priests and the scribes would know the meaning of his words; they said. Bold man, what is the purport of this message that you bring to Israel? If you be seer and prophet tell us plainly who has sent you here? And John replied, I am the voice of one who cries out in the wilderness, Prepare the way, make straight the paths, for, lo, the Prince of Peace will come to rule in love. Your prophet Malachi wrote down the words of God: And I will send Elijah unto you before the retribution day shall come, to turn again the hearts of men to God, and if they will not turn, lo, I will smite them with a curse” (Aquarian Gospel 62:1-7).

If you be seer and prophet tell us plainly who has sent you here? Spiritual fakes nearly always have an arsenal of questions or objections they throw up to cloud the issue and evade listening to wisdom. In India this really abounds. Smart-alecks spend decades going from teacher to teacher with a series of “gotcha” questions by which they hope to confuse the teacher and make him look foolish. It almost never works, but they keep right on. (Two idiots in New Delhi attended a talk I gave at the Yogoda Satsanga center and handed me a note asking if I could give them God’s mailing address and phone number if He really existed. See what I mean?)

One favorite–found often in the Bible–is “by what authority do you say these things?” or “who sent you?” On the surface this sounds serious and sensible, but it is not. Why cannot the questioners listen to what is being said and decide whether or not it is worth considering? Why care if there is no “authority” behind the speaker if he is presenting wisdom? Who authorized Edison to make a lightbulb? Who told Einstein to figure out the nature of relativity or energy? Yet this bit goes on and on. “Who is your guru?” “Who gave you sannyas?” “Who told you to…?” This is just the flap of empty minds. It is like book endorsements. Hack writers gather a group of equally mediocre writers (or academics) who will always endorse their books, just as they will endorse theirs in turn. This kind of intellectual inbreeding is rampant in the United States. Why a person does not just look through a book at random and determine if it is worth buying is beyond me. (I knew a university professor who went on and on about how wonderful a book was which he had not even read or looked though. His basis? It listed a book in the bibliography that he kept burbling was “a classic that makes this book worth reading.” Fathom that.) Right now as I write I am downloading some music. There are customer reviews on the website, but why should I have read them when I was able to preview the music itself? I listened; I liked; I bought. Life really is that simple.

The Prince of Peace will come to rule in love. And that lost his audience right there. They wanted a Messiah that would kick out the Romans, restore the monarchial lineage of David, and eventually make the whole world subservient to their tiny country. Jesus’ own disciples, moments before his departure from them asked: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). What effect had three year’s teaching had on them?

Your prophet Malachi wrote down the words of God: And I will send Elijah unto you before the retribution day shall come, to turn again the hearts of men to God, and if they will not turn, lo, I will smite them with a curse. This is John’s first hint to them that he was the reincarnation of Elijah. And he warns them that if their hearts are not turned about to face the Real instead of the unreal, “the retribution day” when the Romans would demolish Jerusalem and literally not leave one stone upon another will come upon them. They did not change, and the prophecy was fulfilled in forty years.

A parable

“You men of Israel; you know your sins. As I passed by I saw a wounded bird prone in your streets, and men of every class were beating it with clubs; and then I saw that Justice was its name. I looked again and saw that its companion had been killed; the pure white wings of Righteousness were trampled in the dust. I tell you men, your awfulness of guilt has made a cesspool of iniquity that sends a fearful stench to heaven. Reform, O Israel, reform; prepare to meet your king” (Aquarian Gospel 62:8-11).

Ignorance not only drags to earth that and those which should be flying in the sky of higher consciousness, it kills them by destroying their own consciousness and so ensures that Divine Consciousness will remain far away. Saint John warns them to reverse this way of thinking and living, but he speaks in vain, except to a very few.

An appointment

“And then John turned away and as he went he said, In seven days, lo, I will stand at Gilgal, by the Jordan ford, where Israel first crossed into the promised land” (Aquarian Gospel 62:12, 13).

We must actively seek wisdom and higher awareness. Back in my early yoga days, just about every spiritual layabout told me: “When the disciple is ready the master appears!” meaning that I should just fritter away my time like them until a “master” came in a puff of smoke and made me wise. Some hope! Others were appalled to learn that I would be so drastic as to go to India. (At that time almost no one ever did go to India if it was not a stopover on a world tour. I remember when American Express in New Delhi was only a small counter in a bank–not even in its own quarters.) “India is within!” they would trumpet pityingly–and a bit annoyed at my obtuseness. Finally my best friend and I hit on a reply: “Well, when I get there I will find out if it is within or not.” Somehow that would shut them up. And I can assure you that the glory I found in India could never have been within anyone but a God-realized person; that: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared” to be found in India (I Corinthians 2:9).

It is significant that John was going to that place where the Hebrews first set foot in Israel. It is a symbol of Original Consciousness which each one must recover.


“And then he left the temple court to enter it no more; but many people followed him as far as Bethany, and there he tarried at the home of Lazarus, his kin” (Aquarian Gospel 62:14).

This is John’s last time in Jerusalem. He will never return there again, having said what needed to be said.

Most of Jesus’ disciples were his cousins–as was John–and now we learn that Lazarus was a relative also. This symbolizes the familial character of all true spiritual teachers and seekers. There is a kinship in the spirit that they alone can know, and which alone can reach across incarnations.

Plain truths

“The anxious people gathered all about the home and would not go; then John came forth and said,

“Reform, O Israel, reform; prepare to meet your king. The sins of Israel do not all lie at the door of priest and scribe. O think you not that all the sinners of Judea are found among the rulers and the men of wealth. It is no sign that man is good and pure because he lives in want. The listless, shiftless vagabonds of earth are mostly poor and have to beg for bread.

“I saw the very men that cheered because I told the priests and scribes of their injustice unto man, throw stones and beat poor Justice in the streets. I saw them trample on the poor dead bird of Righteousness; and you who follow after me, you commoners, are not one whit behind the scribes and priests in crime.

“Reform, you men of Israel; the king has come; prepare to meet your king” (Aquarian Gospel 62:15-23).

Holy people always speak the truth or remain silent. Never will they lie or tell a partial truth to make people feel good. A bit before this I have spoken of the wonder of experiencing India, but this is not true for everyone. One time a man visited us who was walking in a mental and moral fog. When he spoke of his intention to visit India, the monk he was speaking to said: “You had better think that over carefully, because you may not like what you find.” It is the same with saints, wherever they are. Saint Catherine of Siena was often sought out by curiosity-seekers who would end up hating her for her obvious holiness and her refusal to “make nice” with them. A woman who considered herself an expert on mysticism met the stigmatist Teresa Neumann and hated her intensely for her plain speaking. She spent the rest of her life defaming the saint through articles and books. Her fury was incredible, revealing her hellish state of mind and soul. Holy people are not the most comfortable to be around, and people often avoid them just as they avoid God.

Dishonorable honor

“With Lazarus and his sisters, John remained for certain days. In honor of the Nazarite a feast was spread, and all the people stood about the board. And when the chief men of the town poured out the sparkling wine and offered John a cup, he took it, held it high in air, and said, Wine makes glad the carnal heart, and it makes sad the human soul; it plunges deep in bitterness and gall the deathless spirit of the man. I took the vow of Nazar when a child, and not a drop has ever passed my lips. And if you would make glad the coming king, then shun the cup as you would shun a deadly thing. And then he threw the sparking wine out in the street” (Aquarian Gospel 62:24-30).

A Nazarite was an ascetic who never touched alcohol in any form. So strict were their vows that they would not even use vinegar made from wine or stronger alcohol. Saint John had taken the vow of a Nazarite when only a child. (So much for the nonsense about children not being old enough to make up their minds on spiritual matters. No one is too young to dedicate themselves to God.) So to give him wine was outrageous. No one in Israel was unaware of the Nazarite’s rules. But this is the way of the world and it will not change. Just ask the vegetarians who are always being given inappropriate food by people who absolutely should know better unless they are half-wits.

I met a brilliant organic gardener who had dedicated his life to helping people grow food in the right manner. He had been a vegetarian for over sixty years (he was old but very healthy, I assure you). Once some “friends” invited them to their home and served him meat–knowing that he was a vegetarian. “But we cooked it especially for you,” they whined when he refused to eat. “Did you really cook it specially for me?” he asked. “Yes, we did!” “Then you are no friends of mine, because you know I am a vegetarian,” he replied, and left their house to never return. I have had “friends” try to force me into eating meat, even taking me to restaurants whose menu had nothing for vegetarians, as they well knew. I will never forget how “down in the mouth” one of them got when the waitress said: “Oh! we have lots of vegetarians come in here, so we have a special ‘vegetarian plate’ though it’s not on the menu.” As I say, this is the way of the world, and they are welcome to it.

“Wine makes glad the carnal heart, and it makes sad the human soul; it plunges deep in bitterness and gall the deathless spirit of the man.” There we have it. Those who are animated bodies with dead souls love alcohol (and usually meat, which is equally deadly to the spirit). Alcohol directly attacks the pineal gland, the “third eye” that is the seat of spiritual intuition. “And if you would make glad the coming king, then shun the cup as you would shun a deadly thing.” So say the wise who, like the holy prophet, will toss the wine into the street and live soberly.

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: John the Baptist – III

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The Aquarian Gospel—Commentary and Text

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

  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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