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The Brotherhood of Life

Hoffman's portrait of ChristPart 41 of the Aquarian Gospel for Awakening

“Benares is the sacred city of the Brahm[in]s, and in Benares Jesus taught; Udraka was his host. Udraka made a feast in honor of his guest, and many high born Hindu priests and scribes [pandits] were there.

“And Jesus said to them, With much delight I speak to you concerning life–the brotherhood of life” (Aquarian Gospel 28:1-3).

A joyous message

Rarely, when growing up, did I hear a sermon delivered with any manner but solemnity. Plenty of times the discourse was a stick to belabor the mental backs of the hearers. Even when I was free of the imprisoning ignorance of Protestant fundamentalism, still the aura of gravity prevailed in the various centers I visited which were oriented toward Indian philosophy and yoga. Evidently the speakers (both American and Indian) felt the profound concepts of Sanatana Dharma were to be approached with a devout wariness on the behalf of the seeker, rather like working up to taking a particularly bitter, nasty-tasting medicine.

But in India I found things to be greatly different. Those speaking about dharma did so with a lightness, even a buoyancy, that was almost as engaging as their words. I can never forget the joy that radiated from the eyes of many of them–both in public talks and in my private conversations with them. Optimism is a cardinal feature of the genuine yogi.

So it is fitting that Jesus, in the holy city of Benares (Varanasi), should express his joy in being able to speak of the divine realities than can only rejoice the heart when correctly understood. Consider the common religious milieu he had left behind in Israel. Thunderings, fulminations, and threats by a bloodthirsty deity whose temple in Jerusalem flowed literal streams of blood throughout the day. Virtue was not its own reward. Rather, virtue’s reward lay in being left alone by a testy God–whose knowledge of men’s hearts inspired the deepest loathing for them, and who had a history of wiping out entire nations as well as individuals who “offended” him. He often demanded the deaths of their families and clans, as well. And the offenses were often so slight as to be nonexistent. This does not make for a very jolly time when religion becomes the subject.

How blessed it was for me to experience the same relief and uplift that Jesus had felt two thousand years before me! And how sad that the burden from which I had been relieved had been thrust upon me in the name of that same Jesus.

However Jesus (and much later, myself) had managed to adjust to freedom and cheerfulness, so he continues with these words of glorious vision:

The ONE

“The universal God is one, yet he is more than one; all things are God; all things are one” (Aquarian Gospel 28:4).

God is not just one in the sense of number–a single entity. He is much more than that. He is a Unity that embraces, includes, and in a mysterious way is the Many. In him diversity and difference exist without diminishing his Unity and his Identity with all. We say that “all things are God,” and this is true, but ultimately we see the higher truth that there are no “things” at all, but only God. That fact of this divine unity is awesomely hopeful, eradicating fear and doubt when it begins to become part of the yogi’s inmost knowing. Long before the attainment of perfect unity, the joyful anticipation colors the yogi’s consciousness and life.

One within the ONE

“By the sweet breaths of God all life is bound in one; so if you touch a fiber of a living thing you send a thrill from the center to the outer bounds of life” (Aquarian Gospel 28:5).

Now this is truly awesome. When we interact with any thing or person we are entering into exchange and influence of the entire range of being. Cosmic Karma! For “the sweet breaths of God,” the currents of the Universal Life (Vishwaprana), flow through all things, drawing them into perfect unity on both an abstract and a functional level. This gives infinite scope to Jesus’ assertion: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

When we touch a leaf, we touch God. When we join our consciousness to God in meditation, we join ourselves to all that exist. There can never be a separation. The closer we are to God, the closer we are to all. We live in God and at the same time all live within us in a mystical way. When we lift ourselves we lift all that is.

This world is a duality, so there is a downside to even the most wonderful truth. Jesus wants us to have a complete, practical understanding of what he is saying, so he further tells us:

“And when you crush beneath your foot the meanest worm, you shake the throne of God, and cause the sword of right to tremble in its sheath” (Aquarian Gospel 28:6).

Simply living is a grave responsibility for many reasons, not the least being the reality of karmic response to all thoughts and acts.

To harm any thing is to harm all, even God–at least in a metaphysical sense. In a moment we will hear more about this.

Life within the ONE

“The bird sings out its song for men, and men vibrate in unison to help it sing. The ant constructs her home, the bee its sheltering comb, the spider weaves her web, and flowers breathe to them a spirit in their sweet perfumes that gives them strength to toil” (Aquarian Gospel 28:7, 8).

The entire field of Life is like a woven fabric. Each thread affects the others. We live within all and all lives within us. All affects us profoundly and we also affect all. This unity is glorious and sublime, even terrible (in the old sense of the word). We live because all live. And all live because God is Life Itself.

Death within Life?

What a blasphemy, then is death; and what a horror is the causing of death. For we deal the death-blow not to a single thing, but we injure all that live, and insanely attempt to destroy Life. Yes, in our madness we would kill that which is God. We will not succeed, but the psychic damage to ourselves will be tremendous.

Jesus does not spare any truth, but goes on, saying:

“Now, men and birds and beasts and creeping things are deities, made flesh; and how dare men kill anything? ’Tis cruelty that makes the world awry. When men have learned that when they harm a living thing they harm themselves, they surely will not kill, nor cause a thing that God has made to suffer pain” (Aquarian Gospel 28:9, 10).

Here we find the perfect definition of ahimsa, one of the foundations of spiritual life. (See The Foundations of Yoga.)

To “kill” God! Of course it is impossible, but to aspire to do so is madness of the worst sort. Moreover, to feel either the hatred, malice, or indifference required to willingly take life is not the gate to hell–it is hell itself. And those who dwell in such a hell are demons. “They are addicts of sensual pleasure, made restless by their many desires, and caught in the net of delusion. They fall into the filthy hell of their own evil minds. These malignant creatures are full of egoism, vanity, lust, wrath, and consciousness of power. They loathe me, and deny my presence both in themselves and in others. They are enemies of all men and of myself; cruel, despicable and vile. I cast them back, again and again, into the wombs of degraded parents, subjecting them to the wheel of birth and death. And so they are constantly reborn, in degradation and delusion. They do not reach me, but sink down to the lowest possible condition of the soul” (Bhagavad Gita 16:16, 18-20).

But Jesus is not speaking only of the murder of human beings. He includes animals as well, saying that they, too, “are deities.” Basically, all sentient beings are evolving gods, and it is rank “atheism” to deny this by either word or deed. Jesus does not even bother to speak of the craziness of killing and eating animals. If we have not gotten the idea so far we are either perverse or “invincibly ignorant”–ourselves beasts. Gods, yes, but true humans, NO. (Notice, my carnivore friends, that Jesus does not condemn the eating of plants. So there is no need for you to assume an over-developed conscience about “the defensive plants” regarding what I say here.)

There will be no world peace or harmony as long as human beings kill and eat “deities.”

Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: God…and Man

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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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