“And Jesus said, There is no night where shines the sun; I have no secret messages to give; in light all secrets are revealed.
“Ajainin said, I came from far-away Lahore, that I might learn about this ancient wisdom, and this kingdom of the Holy One of which you speak. Where is the kingdom? where the king? Who are the subjects? what its laws?
“And Jesus said, This kingdom is not far away, but man with mortal eyes can see it not; it is within the heart. You need not seek the king in earth, or sea, or sky; he is not there, and yet is everywhere. He is the Christ of God; is universal love. The gate of this dominion is not high, and he who enters it must fall down on his knees. It is not wide, and none can carry carnal bundles through. The lower self must be transmuted into spirit-self; the body must be washed in living streams of purity” (Aquarian Gospel 29:16-22).
How perilous is the search for truth! The moment we decide to seek for higher consciousness–especially if we decide to take up meditation–there unfolds before us a panorama of clamoring ignorance, a raucous carnival of spiritual ignorance demanding our trust and our time. A myriad teachers are hawked by devotee-barkers, each one God’s Special Messenger For The Age (some are even The Avatar of the Age), making outrageous claims that even the nineteenth century Medicine Shows could not surpass. And the spiritual rubes (dupes) crowd in with exuberant hope of being fleeced–and worse. Those who are worthy teachers, not joining in the sideshow, are like Saint John the Baptist, “a voice crying in the wilderness” (John 1:23) Yet those who are true of heart will hear those voices and find the real treasure they desire.
When Swami Vivekananda came to America he was immediately denounced by the fake yogis that were making a living off the uninformed sincerity of many Americans. Rabid with jealously they even tried to have him banned from the Parliament of Religions he was attending in Chicago. The same was true of Swami (Paramhansa) Yogananda. Nevertheless, they transformed the lives of numberless thousands, Yogananda personally teaching yoga meditation to one hundred thousand people. And through their printed works both Vivekananda and Yogananda are even now imparting spiritual truth and inspiration to seekers throughout the world. The light cannot be buried, yet aspirants can wander down many byways and endure frustration and disappointment. Some do give up in despair and spend another lifetime wandering in the mists of spiritual confusion. Therefore, when someone comes across an honest teacher who speaks the truth openly and fully, a treasure beyond price has been found. Such a one was Jesus, as Ajainin discovered.
In the Light
“And Jesus said, There is no night where shines the sun; I have no secret messages to give; in light all secrets are revealed” (Aquarian Gospel 29:16).
Surely Jesus was aware that at the end of his life Gotama the Buddha stated emphatically that he had no secret or advanced esoteric teachings to be imparted only to the wise. He even insisted that he had never spoken symbolically; that whatever he had said should be understood in a thoroughly ordinary manner–no symbols, no hidden meanings, no hints for only “the worthy” to comprehend. He had said exactly what he meant and had meant exactly what he had said–nothing more and nothing less.
Where the light of truth shines there are no secret teachings. Being embodiments of truth, genuine spiritual teachers keep nothing back and never veil anything. They speak openly to all, just as do guileless children. (This is one of the reasons why saints love children.) Jesus told his disciples that they must “become as little children” to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3; Luke 18:17). Saints are not childish–as are many fake gurus of today–but they are childlike in their straightforwardness and honesty. Truth and truth alone comes from their mouth, and that in fullness. For this reason many in the world do not love the saints. But that affects them not at all.
In spiritual life secrecy equals charlatanry. “I know something you don’t know” is as popular with infantile spiritual pretenders as it is with little children. This is not a trait of childhood recommended by the saints. All through childhood we encounter the “I know a secret” types, and some of them grow up to become secretive adults who believe themselves special and chosen if they know the arcana revealed only to the worthy few–especially in religion, and Eastern religion and yoga particularly.
Fake yoga literally traffics in Secret Teachings. Mystification and not mysticism characterizes quack yogis. Leading their ego-hungry followers ever onward and onward toward the next “advanced teaching” they keep them bound–oops! loyal–in greedy expectation. Atremble with egoic anticipation they crowd into the Chamber of Secrets–as spiritually deadly as the Harry Potter version, and just as fictional.
Lest you think this is a personal bee-in-the-bonnet with me, here are the words of Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest spiritual figures known to the world. Speaking of yoga to his American students, he had this to say:
“In India, for various reasons, it [yoga] fell into the hands of persons who destroyed ninety per cent of the knowledge, and tried to make a great secret of the remainder.…
“Anything that is secret and mysterious in these systems of Yoga should be at once rejected. The best guide in life is strength. In religion, as in all other matters, discard everything that weakens you, have nothing to do with it. Mystery-mongering weakens the human brain. It has well-nigh destroyed Yoga–one of the grandest of sciences. From the time it was discovered, more than four thousand years ago, Yoga was perfectly delineated, formulated, and preached in India. It is a striking fact that the more modern the commentator the greater the mistakes he makes, while the more ancient the writer the more rational he is. Most of the modern writers talk of all sorts of mystery. Thus Yoga fell into the hands of a few persons who made it a secret, instead of letting the full blaze of daylight and reason fall upon it. They did so that they might have the powers to themselves.”
In short, Jesus followed the philosophy of the old country preacher in a joke I heard as a child. This preacher was very popular, and when asked the secret of his popularity he replied: “I tell them what I am going to tell them; and then I’ve done told them.” Divine simplicity.
The kingdom of God is not a secret, but it is unseen to most of humanity. So it must be sought. Therefore:
“Ajainin said, I came from far-away Lahore, that I might learn about this ancient wisdom, and this kingdom of the Holy One of which you speak” (Aquarian Gospel 29:17).
Because of the thrust of the later part of Ajainin’s words we can easily miss a profound insight that he certainly had. For he states that he had come to Jesus “that I might learn about this ancient wisdom.” Wise man. He knows that truth is eternal, primeval, that any “new truth” is no truth at all. This, along with secrecy is another bugaboo: “New Age Teachings For A New Age.” “Yoga For Modern Man.” “Ancient Truths Reinterpreted For Today.” Fiddlesticks. And somewhere lagging back along the parade of silliness is Yoga For Westerners taught by a host of American gurus. (No longer need we have an Indian who cannot understand our Western ways tell us what to do_–especially a monk.)
The human race has not mutated into another species. What was true at its inception is just as true now. Nor has the earth morphed into something else. Conditions today are as they were always. The discoveries of the ancient yogis are neither new nor old–they are the facts.
“Where is the kingdom? where the king? Who are the subjects? what its laws?
“And Jesus said, This kingdom is not far away, but man with mortal eyes can see it not; it is within the heart” (Aquarian Gospel 29:18, 19).
Can we think of a single religion that does not try to make the kingdom of the spirit a material, religio-political entity? Christians equate “the Church” with the kingdom–a kingdom to be found on earth, whose life is externalized and administered by those that claim to be representatives of God and interpreters of His revelation. “Outside the Church there is no salvation!” they trumpet, meaning only their faction of theological opinion. All religions claim that seekers must join them and become members “in good standing”–a “standing” that is really stagnation. The only religion we cannot join is the Eternal Religion to which we have belonged from eternity. It is sad that even in India people are busily creating differences and thinking of labels to distance themselves from each other. “I am a Vaishnava.” I am a Shaivite.” “I am a shakta.” I am a bhakta.” “I am a jnani.” And on and on and on. Rare are those who just want to be the Self.
The dweller in the heart
But Jesus tells Ajainin that the kingdom is both near and invisible to earthly eyes, for “it is within the heart.” And what is within the heart? Only the Self. We are ourselves (our Selves) the kingdom. Here are just a few passages regarding this from the Katha Upanishad:
“The ancient, effulgent being, the indwelling Spirit, subtle, deep-hidden in the lotus of the heart, is hard to know. But the wise man, following the path of meditation, knows him, and is freed alike from pleasure and from pain” (Katha Upanishad 1:2:12).
“This Self forever dwells within the hearts of all. When a man is free from desire, his mind and senses purified, he beholds the glory of the Self and is without sorrow” (Katha Upanishad 1:2:20).
“Both the individual self and the Universal Self have entered the cave of the heart, the abode of the Most High” (Katha Upanishad 1:3:1).
“This Brahman, this Self, deep-hidden in all beings, is not revealed to all; but to the seers, pure in heart, concentrated in mind–to them is he revealed” (Katha Upanishad 1:3:12).
“None beholds him with the eyes, for he is without visible form. Yet in the heart is he revealed, through self-control and meditation. Those who know him become immortal” (Katha Upanishad 2:3:9).
Any external “kingdom,” however religious and noble, is not the real spiritual kingdom, and we must not accept it as such, for we shall then be distracted from the real kingdom. Animals run in herds and are directed by the biggest and strongest animal. Those who have not fully emerged into humanity despite inhabiting a human body, still desire the security, the safety, of such a structure in their religion. Even the coercion, the bullying, assures them.
The masters all call us into the freedom and independence of the Self, but their ignorant followers hurriedly fix up a religion so they can feel comfortable in dependence and confinement. “Adore the Messenger and ignore the Message” is the motto of all externalized religion. The Great Ones call us to the glory of the Self, but the religions erected in their names extol the glory of the Holy Herd and preach the sinfulness, valuelessness, and helplessness of the herd members. They rob them of the kingdom which their founders came to open for them.
Yet in each religion we find those who spirits are awakened and who are actively seeking transcendence of the false self, the ego. Together they constitute the one true religion of the Spirit-Self. In time, however, they will find themselves alienated from those outer shells and will have to walk the path on their own. If they can find some others like themselves that is a blessing, but they must be careful not to join together to create another soul-trap. It is absolutely true that the way to God is the flight of the alone to the Alone.
“You need not seek the king in earth, or sea, or sky; he is not there, and yet is everywhere” (Aquarian Gospel 29:20a).
God is all-encompassing, yet He is not to be found in any “thing” whatsoever. That is, as long as we have “thing consciousness” we cannot have God Consciousness. Also, we must not look for God in a “place,” but utterly beyond time and space. God is everywhere and nowhere–so the yogis say.
Who he is
“He is the Christ of God; is universal love” (Aquarian Gospel 29:20b).
“God is love” (I John 4:8, 16). The Christ–Messiah, Christos–is the Anointed One. And the “oil” with which he is anointed is the Cosmic Love of God. For the Christ is nothing other than the Self which is bathed in the Love that is God and made eternally radiant. This is why a saint is the presence of God’s love for us.
Through the gate
“The gate of this dominion is not high, and he who enters it must fall down on his knees. It is not wide, and none can carry carnal bundles through” (Aquarian Gospel 29:21).
Saint Matthew recorded Jesus as saying: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14). In this instance Jesus is saying that people can hardly even see the gate that leads to the life of the spirit. But in this verse from the Aquarian Gospel he is speaking of how hard it is to enter the gate of life after it is found.
The gate of this dominion is not high, and he who enters it must fall down on his knees. In ancient times the doors to sacred places were often made very low so that those entering would come in already bowing in reverence. It is said that the Mayan pyramids had such shallow and steep steps so worshippers were compelled to climb up bowing in humility all the way. Jesus is thus telling us that the gate of the kingdom must be entered through identical humility
It is not wide, and none can carry carnal bundles through. This is equally important for us to comprehend. Not only is the door short so we must enter on our knees, it is so narrow that we cannot bring anything through but ourselves–the consciousness of ourselves as spirit-beings. No “bundles” of material consciousness or attachments can come with us, and if we refuse to divest ourselves of such encumbrances we will find ourselves unable to enter. Many, oh so many, stick in the gate and never get through, like the greedy monkey unable to pull its fist out of the narrow-necked jar, yet refusing to “give up the goods.” This is why meditation is so necessary. Only through meditation do we learn to drop the bundles of materiality from our consciousness.
The needed change
“The lower self must be transmuted into spirit-self; the body must be washed in living streams of purity” (Aquarian Gospel 29:22).
This is an extremely important principle, for ignorant religion tells us we must either destroy or escape from the lower self–advice which Sri Ramana Maharshi said is like telling someone to bury their shadow.
Authentic spiritual teaching is what Jesus tells us: the lower self can be transmuted into spirit-self. This should not really be so amazing to us if we really believe that spirit is the only reality, that there is nothing but spirit at any time. Here, too, what is being presented to us is the need for a change in consciousness. When the consciousness changes, everything changes. We see this continually in the lives of saints and masters–matter continually behaves contrary to its supposed nature. This is because it is not really matter, but conscious intelligence. That is how Jesus walked on water and turned it into wine. He saw the water as solid and firm–and as wine. His seeing was sufficient. As Sri Ramakrishna often said: “The mind is everything.” Again, meditation is the key.
The body must be washed in living streams of purity. Jesus does not leave out even the lowest part of ourselves–the body. As John the Beloved Disciple wrote: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:2, 3).
How is the body washed in living streams of purity? By thought, word, and deed. Absolute purity in these are essential–at least for those who seriously aspire to spiritual development. That which is right and good is also purifying. The moral principles found in all true religions are indispensable.
The supreme purifier is meditation, for in meditation the living streams of God-Consciousness arise from the core of the yogis being and cleanse him of all impurities.
“As the scripture hath said, out of his inmost heart shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38).
Read the next section in the Aquarian Gospel for Yogis: The King Revealed