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The Odes of Solomon: 17

Virgin OransA continuation of the Commentary on the Odes of Solomon for Awakening.

Then I was crowned by my God, and my crown is living.
And I was justified by my Lord, for my salvation is incorruptible.
I was loosed from vanities, and am not condemned.
My choking bonds were cut off by his hands; I received the face and the likeness of a new person, and I walked in him and was saved.
And the thought of truth led me, and I walked after it and did not wander.
And all that have seen me were amazed, and I was supposed by them to be a stranger.
And he Who knew and brought me up, is the Most High in all his perfection.
And he glorified me by his kindness, and raised my mind to the height of Truth.
And from thence he gave me the way of his steps, and I opened the doors that were closed.
And I broke in pieces the bars of iron, for my own iron (bonds) grew hot and melted before me.
And nothing appeared as closed to me, because I was the opening of everything.
And I went towards all my bondsmen to loose them, that I might not leave any man bound or binding.
And I gave my knowledge without grudging, and my prayer through my love.
And I sowed my fruits in hearts, and transformed them through Myself.
And they received my blessing and lived, and they were gathered to me and were saved.
Because they became my members, and I was their head.
Glory to Thee our head, O Lord Messiah. Alleluia.

Then I was crowned by my God, and my crown is living.

This takes us right back to the very first Ode:

The Lord is on my head like a crown, and I shall not be without him.
They wove for me a crown of truth, and it caused Thy branches to bud in me.
For it is not like a withered crown which buddeth not.
But Thou livest upon my head, and Thou hast blossomed upon me.
Thy fruits are full-grown and perfect; they are full of Thy salvation.

So we will examine this Ode keeping the first in mind as the theme-setter for the entire series of Odes.

And I was justified by my Lord, for my salvation is incorruptible.

Salvation (sotiria) is a state, not an event or a reward. Rather, it is our eternal nature. Therefore there is no question of our being acceptable to God when we seek to regain awareness of that nature. Nor is there any such thing as God being pleased or displeased with us, since his nature, like ours, is unchanging. Saint James described him as “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Therefore our justification by the Lord is absolutely assured. All we need do is turn our will in the right direction and pursue it.

I was loosed from vanities, and am not condemned.

The odist was loosed from the vanities of ignorance and folly when he turned himself around and, like Buddha said, beheld the “other shore” of enlightenment and went toward it. There was no condemnation directed toward him, because he was leaving behind all that was reprehensible in his past. As the Bhagavad Gita says: “If even an evildoer worships me single-heartedly, he should be considered righteous, for truly he has rightly resolved. Quickly he becomes a virtuous soul and goes to everlasting peace. Understand: no devotee of me is ever lost” (Bhagavad Gita 9:30-31).

Sin and ignorance, the root of sin, are only overlays, not our true nature. Therefore they are essentially illusions; how can they mean anything to God? He knows what we truly are because we are part of him.

My choking bonds were cut off by his hands.

All that binds us stifles us, paralyzing and blinding us. In that condition what hope have we? Utter confusion is our continual state. But when we turn back to our divine origin and move ever deeper into that Light, all our bonds are dissolved like the dreams they really are. It is our consciousness of Spirit that frees us. That is why we are yogis. Yoga is the path of restoration through awareness of our own and God’s reality.

I received the face and the likeness of a new person.

In the growing consciousness of our spirit within the Supreme Spirit we are renewed.

“Ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:9-10).

“Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new man, which after [the likeness of] God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:23-24).

“Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

“If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).

“He that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5).

This renewal is a restoration of our original consciousness in order that we may begin evolving from that point unto the revelation of our innate divinity.

I walked in him and was saved.

Living in the consciousness of God and living in the world as a god, we are truly saved: delivered from ignorance and mortality.

And the thought of truth led me, and I walked after it and did not wander.

We must to the best of our ability fix firmly in our mind the truth as we understand it, and then we must conform our entire life, thought and actions, to it. This must be done without wavering or any break in our application to its realization. Then we shall undoubtedly succeed in our pursuit.

And all that have seen me were amazed, and I was supposed by them to be a stranger.

This is the experience of all who seriously and effectively strive to attain the highest. First there is shock and disbelief that they could possibly be serious and “believe all that” and “think all that is necessary.” Then come the accusations of negative change and no longer being the person formerly known by the accusers. Hypnotism, brainwashing and even drugs are bandied about as the cause, of course, with speculation as to who had influenced them so. (Credit is never given to the accused of having any ideas of their own.) Threats of disowning and expelling them from the family or group naturally follow. Get ready. In time it will all seem rather sad and at the same time rather funny.

And he Who knew and brought me up, is the Most High in all his perfection.

This we must realize: it is God who calls us to higher life and helps us along the path to conscious eternal life. As Patanjali says, God is the Teacher (Guru) of all human beings (Yoga Suras 1:26). No external teacher can substitute, though God can certainly use them to help us. We need not doubt or fear when “the Most High in all his perfection” is our guide.

And he glorified me by his kindness, and raised my mind to the height of Truth.

In loving-kindness God has already made the way for us to ascend “to the height of Truth.” He has set his divine seal upon it, and our success is assured.

And from thence he gave me the way of his steps, and I opened the doors that were closed.

Yoga is such an essential of spiritual life because it is the only direct and sure means of elevating our consciousness and refining (evolving) the mind. Spiritual life can only be guessed at by an earthbound mind, however good the intentions may be. Just as from a mountaintop we can see the surrounding area, so only from a high level of consciousness can we comprehend either the ways of God or our way to God. Intellectual insight is certainly a blessing in spiritual life, but it is even more necessary to open the doors of inner perception to intelligently and effectively carry on the spiritual life. Opening those doors is the true beginning of our pathway to God-realization.

And I broke in pieces the bars of iron, for my own iron (bonds) grew hot and melted before me.

This is very important: we bound ourselves, no one else, and we must free ourselves. With the same will with which we put on the shackles, we must break them off. It both can and must be done. This is part of what it takes to be a true Master. How do the bonds grow hot and melt away? Through tapasya: spiritual discipline and practice. In Sanskrit tapasya means “the generation of heat.” We must burn the seeds of karma and their binding power in the fires of yoga, of God-consciousness. “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).

And nothing appeared as closed to me, because I was the opening of everything. Here is another tremendously important truth: All things are open to him who abides in the consciousness of the Self and sees as the Self sees. To him there will be no mysteries in the universe because he has solved the supreme mystery: Self-knowledge.

See how identical the teachings of these first hymns of Christianity, some of them such as this one perhaps authored by Jesus himself, are with the teachings of the Gita and the Upanishads. (See The Bhagavad Gita For Awakening and The Upanishads For Awakening.) These odes themselves are proof that original Christianity was really the Sanatana Dharma of India. Those who would truly follow Jesus will adopt and follow his religion: the Eternal Dharma of the sages of India. (See The Christ of India.)

And I went towards all my bondsmen to loose them, that I might not leave any man bound or binding.

Liberation (moksha) is not abstract. It is realized and demonstrated on all levels, including the most practical and objective. All the aspects of our being and existence, our “bondsmen,” are loosed when we ourselves become truly free. If a single aspect of our makeup remains bound, then the whole of us is still bound.

Unhappily there are many illusions and delusions about spiritual progress and liberation. The test of the reality of our freedom is our ability to truly be free outwardly as well as inwardly. I have met a lot of deluded yogis and gurus that were total wrecks but so clouded by their illusions that they could not see their sad state. Many false yoga practices cause such illusions, and most others are worthless. Few things are more perilous than the decision to become a yogi and learn meditation. That is a terrible thing to have to say, but it only reflects the truth of the situation.

And I gave my knowledge without grudging, and my prayer through my love.

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39). Having become established in the knowledge of the Self, the enlightened person then begins to enlighten others by sharing his knowledge of the way to self-realization. Loving all beings, he prays for their welfare fervently. We see this is the examples of all the saints and masters.

And I sowed my fruits in hearts, and transformed them through Myself. And they received my blessing and lived, and they were gathered to me and were saved. Because they became my members, and I was their head.

These certainly sound like the words Jesus would have written, but they can be said by all the anointed saviors that have arisen throughout the history of the world. Those who take refuge with such true way-showers and follow their example and teachings will attain the same spiritual status as theirs.

Glory to Thee our head, O Lord Messiah.

Either this is an exclamation added by Christians to what they considered were the words of the Lord Jesus, or are an acclamation addressed to the Christ, the Only-begotten Son, who is the prototype of all Christs of earth. In The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ we find the correct teachings of Jesus regarding the Cosmic Christ and an individual Christ. For example, in one place he says: “Men call me Christ, and God has recognized the name; but Christ is not a man. The Christ is universal love, and Love is king. This Jesus is but man who has been fitted by temptations overcome, by trials multiform, to be the temple through which Christ can manifest to men. Then hear, you men of Israel, hear! Look not upon the flesh; it is not king. Look to the Christ within, who shall be formed in every one of you, as he is formed in me” (Aquarian Gospel 68).

Read the next article in The Odes of Solomon for Awakening: The Odes of Solomon: 18

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