Based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.
Jesus Christ is one of the gurus on the Ananda path of Self-Realization. Paramhansa Yogananda stated that in the divine plan, Jesus Christ was responsible for the evolution of the West, and Babaji, for that of the East. It was intended that the West specialize in developing objectivity through logic and reason and that the East specialize in inner, intuitive development.
But in the cosmic plan the time has come to combine these two lines into one. East and West must unite. Yogananda explained that it was Jesus who appeared to Babaji and asked him to send this teaching of Self-realization to the West. He said that people in the West are doing good work, but have forgotten the art of divine, inner communion. They have lost sight of the most important thing: “Seek the kingdom of God first.”
In the Bible we find Jesus asking his disciples who people think he is and who they themselves think he is.
Many people saw Jesus as the “son of man,” a great teacher, but he was much more than that.
We read in the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 16 (Verses 13–18):“
’When Jesus arrived at the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I the Son of man am?’And they replied, ‘Some say thou art John the Baptist; some, Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets.
Then he asked them further, ‘But who do you say that I am?
And Simon Peter replied, ‘Thou art the Christ, the son of the living God.
And Jesus turned to him, saying, ‘Blessed art thou, Simon, son of Jonah: for not by human nature was this truth revealed to thee, but by my heavenly Father. And I tell thee this also: Thou art Peter, which is to say, a rock, and upon this rock will I build my church, and never will the powers of darkness overwhelm it.
A master is not what he appears to human eyes. Yes, he is a person, but he is infinitely more than what he appears. Peter had perceived in Jesus, the vastness of a Christ. He arrived at this conclusion by deep soul-intuition.
Jesus the Man and Jesus the Christ
Jesus was the name given to him by his family. The family of Jesus, seeing the miraculous signs that attended his birth, named him “Isa,” signifying a divine child, or Lord of Creation.
Because the name “Isa” was used in many lands and in many different languages, the name Jesus (meaning: savior) came to be used in place of Isa.
Later, Jesus was called “the Christ” because he had attained Christ Consciousness, which is to say, the realization of his oneness with every atom of creation. In his state of wakefulness, he was always aware of the Christ Consciousness within him.
Paramhansa Yogananda explained the Christ state that Jesus attained:
Jesus was a liberated soul, one of the greatest that ever came on earth. He had struggled through many incarnations in order to come to that Christ state, and it was during the Christ state, in which He could feel His consciousness in every atomic cell of His great body of all matter, that He could act as a Savior of mankind.
It is only in this state that any soul is able to feel its perfect identity with God. Jesus, Himself, said that all those who received Him, (i.e.,were mentally advanced enough and spiritually transparent enough), to them gave He the power to become the Sons of God.
The Meaning of a Guru
The Bhagavad Gita says that liberated souls are used again and again as vehicles of God, and are sent on earth to express the Christ Consciousness in order to help free matter-entangled souls. God, the savior, sent Jesus Christ, his awakened son, as a window through which the divine light shined.
The guru is one who knows God, as Jesus did, and has the power to help others know God. He is a channel for God’s power and wisdom. He is free from any personal karma, and comes to earth as God’s messenger to free others.
Jesus Christ was united with the Christ Consciousness. He constantly endeavored to lift others to that state of consciousness as well.
On the physical plane, a transformer steps down an extremely high voltage of electricity so that it can be made available to ordinary electric appliances. On the spiritual plane, the guru acts as a transformer to step down God’s infinite power, to make it available to sincere spiritual seekers. The guru gives his disciples not only teachings and techniques, but above all, he transmits to them spiritual power. By inner attunement, receptivity, devotion, prayer, and meditation, the disciples receive the guru’s power.
When people send a soul-call to God, God responds by sending a spiritually advanced, divine son like Jesus, who by his perfection and God’s power within him, can help others to become Godlike.
Who is Jesus Christ?
We find in the Bible several passages in which Jesus said who he was:
1. “I and my Father are One.” (John 10:30)
Jesus was referring here, not to his ego or personality, but to his soul. He was conscious of God in all creation and his unity with every atom and every single living being in creation.
There was no barrier between his consciousness and the infinite consciousness. He attained the Christ Intelligence. This Christ Intelligence is in the bosom of every soul, waiting to be awakened in meditation and be redeemed through God.
2. “To all those that received Him, to them gave He the power to become the Sons of God.” (John 1:12)
A spiritual master, by the transparency of his consciousness, reflects the omnipresent consciousness of God. Those who were receptive to Jesus’s Light were transformed. They were purified from all their sins and weaknesses, and were able to become the sons of God.
3. I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John, 14:6)
Only souls who realize their oneness with the Christ Consciousness at the point between the eyebrows can enter the kingdom of God.
Yogananda described the path to God:
Let any devotee who wants to attain Me or My Christ Consciousness rise by meditation above the consciousness of his physical self, and let him keep his attention constantly focused in his Christ peace, even though he is daily crucified by restlessness and other trials and distractions.
The devotee who is prepared to give up the pleasures of his physical life for the superior ever-new bliss of Christ Consciousness felt in deep meditation will certainly find his life “saved,” or endowed with the eternal happiness of Spirit.
Jesus Christ Is A Guru
During his lifetime, Jesus recognized the twelve apostles as his disciples. He also converted Mary Magdalene and many others.
After Jesus’ death, Saul of Tarsus, was converted and became St. Paul after he had a vision of Jesus Christ. Saul had intensely persecuted the followers of Jesus, but became a disciple after Jesus miraculously appeared to him in a vision.
Throughout the centuries, Jesus transformed many souls from all over the world who tuned into his Christ Consciousness. St. Francis, Teresa of Avila, Therese Neumann, Padre Pio, and other great saints throughout history were disciples of Jesus and were helped by him to attain Christ Consciousness.
When St. Teresa of Avila received a vision of Jesus without form, her priest-confessor began to doubt the validity of her spiritual experiences. Through research, he found in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas (the foremost theologian of the Catholic Church) a statement that the highest vision is not of Jesus in human form, but of the formless Christ.
Swami Kriyananda wrote:
To love Jesus in the true sense is to love, above all, the truth for which he stood. To reject the truth Jesus represented is to reject divinity itself, and therefore the divinity in oneself. All of us, sooner or later, must make this choice, until we choose rightly: God alone over ego gratification.
The love of Jesus for mankind was infinitely generous and tender. In his uncompromising loyalty to God over acceptance by others, he never negated the world. Rather, his love for the world was an affirmation of life. For him, life meant holding God always at the center of existence. His example teaches us to live under every circumstance in inner joy.
Paramhansa Yogananda brought to the West, a new expression of Christianity, fitting for this day and age. When he began writing his intuitively perceived interpretation of the sayings of Jesus, he prayed to Christ to guide him. He was blessed with the presence and vision of Jesus Christ many times during his life.
On one such occasion, in later years, when Jesus appeared to him, Yogananda asked Jesus if he had pleased him in the way he had interpreted his teachings. At once a chalice appeared at Christ’s lips, and then came over to touch his own, and Christ answered:
“Your lips have quaffed the same Living Waters from which I drink.”