According to Indian philosophers, self isthe Purush or Purusha; realization is theknowledge or the consciousness of thisPurusha within every human being, and itis the most important aspect of everyseekers of God to attain Mukti(salvation). For those who believe inkarma samsara, Self Realization is theonly way to liberate themselves from thecycle of birth and death.
MAN MADE MARGAS TO REALIZE PURUSHA The religious life of many Indians is focused on devotion to gods and goddessesthrough rituals at homes and in shrines. More philosophically-minded peopleignore these gods altogether and seek Realization of the Self through intensemeditation. Still others focus primarily on fulfilling the social and moral dutiesappropriate to their position in life. These three approaches are regarded as equally important, and they areformally recognized as threefold margas (paths) to liberation: bhaktimarga (thepath of devotion), gnanamarga (through the path of knowledge „sankhya‟ orthrough philosophy „yoga’ and „meditation’), and karmamarga (the path of worksand actions). Those who want to follow the path of devotion are the majority and their aim isto try and please God through different types of rituals including poojas, offeringspecial prayers & gifts during festivals, doing dharma, undertaking pilgrimages,participating in kumba-melas, taking up vows and penances, walking on fire,offering yagnas, rolling for miles, even sacrificing animals etc.
MAN MADE MARGAS TO REALIZE PURUSHA CONTD. Yoga: The goal of Yoga as we have seen is to achieve union with the True self, i.e. the little self with the True Self. It is a process of awakening to the preexisting union between Aathma (soul) and Brahma (Creator), Jeevathma and Paramathma, or the realization of Purusha standing alone as separate from Prakrithi. It is also called enlightenment. The author of the yoga system, Shri Patanjali, says that it is a system of moral and physical exercises (Yoga Sutra 1:1,2). Patanjali teaches eight steps. 1. Yama (moral conduct): fulfilled by noninjury to others, truthfulness, nonstealing, continence, and noncovetousness. 2. Niyama (religious observances): prescripts are purity of body and mind, contentment in all circumstances, self-discipline, self- study (contemplation), and devotion to God and guru. 3. Asana (right posture): the spinal column must be held straight, and the body firm in a comfortable position for meditation. 4. Pranayama (control of prana): the subtle life currents. 5. Pratyahara (withdrawal) of the senses from external objects. 6. Dharana (concentration): holding the mind to one thought. 7. Thyana (meditation). 8. Samadhi (superconscious experience). In the final stages of Samadhi, the yogi is supposed to have attained miraculous powers such as raising into the sky, walking on water, conquering lions, leaving his body and entering into the dead bodies of any form etc. Through this system of yoga and meditation, the soul is expected to merge with the Purusha without the grace of God; and it is also believed that, through the individual practice alone one can attain divine status.
MAN MADE MARGAS TO REALIZE PURUSHA CONTD. Kriya Yoga: Kriya Yoga (union with the Infinite through a certain action or rite) is a technique ofrelaxation, meditation and concentration which leads to a personal experience with God. When the innerpeace arrives, one can then feel God‟s overwhelming presence and reach greater clarity. The body andmind will then be trained and the soul will eventually be liberated and truly freed. It is to free man from the effects of karma resulting in everlasting remains. It is done through therealization of oneself, and thereby realizing God and the love for God. It helps them to recognize thebeauty within, and the magnificence of their spirit. Most of the people seek satisfaction from what theysee, but this provides no relief and the longing continues. But by focusing on the internal, rather thanthe external, one can get complete relief from all desires. It is also meant to encourage the establishment of individual temples of God in the hearts of men, toliberate man from his threefold sufferings: physical, mental and spiritual, to promote plain living andhigh thinking, to spread the spirit of brotherhood among all people by teaching the eternal basis of theirunity: kinship with God, to demonstrate the superiority of mind over body, of soul over mind, toovercome evil by good, sorrow by joy, cruelty by kindness, ignorance by wisdom and above all to attaindirect personal experience with God. Kriya Yogi mentally directs his life energy to revolve around the six spinal centers (medulla,cervical, dorsal, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal plexus) which correspond to the twelve astral signs ofthe zodiac, the symbolic Cosmic Man. One-half minute of revolution of energy around the sensitivespinal cord of man effects subtle progress in his spiritual evolution; that half-minute of Kriya equals oneyear of natural spiritual unfoldment.
MAN MADE MARGAS TO REALIZE PURUSHA CONTD.Hatha Yoga: The purpose of Hatha Yoga is to locate andactivate the chakras (centers of energy), thereby raising thekundalini (dominant spiritual power). This in turn is believedto help remove blockages (diseases) in the mind and body. Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body viaphysical postures and exercises (asanas), controlledbreathing, and calming of the mind through relaxation andmeditation. Asanas teach poise, balance & strength andwere originally (and still) practiced to improve the body‟sphysical health and clear the mind in preparation formeditation in the pursuit of enlightenment.
MAN MADE MARGAS TO REALIZE PURUSHA CONTD. Kundalini Yoga: The practice of kundalini yoga centers on raising thekundalini, or dormant psychic energy, through the body‟s seven majorchakras, or centers of consciousness. The seven chakras are: Muladharachakra - base of the spine, Svadhishthana chakra - near the genital organs,Manipura chakra - behind the navel, Anahata chakra - at the heart,Vishuddha chakra - at the throat, Ajna chakra - behind the point between theeyebrows (the “third eye”), Sahasrara chakra - the cerebral cortex. Each chakra is associated with a different set of psychic powers andspiritual experiences. For example, accessing the vishuddha chakra in thethroat bestows powers of telepathy and prophecy, while activating the ajnachakra on the forehead brings universal knowledge. Specific colors andsounds are also associated with the chakras and used to activate them.
MAN MADE MARGAS TO REALIZE PURUSHA CONTD. Transcendental Meditation: The Transcendental Meditation (TM) techniqueinvolves reciting of a mantra through which the mind is brought to the source ofthought, the settled state of the mind - Transcendental Consciousness - pureconsciousness, self-referral consciousness, which is the source of all creativeprocesses. It is believed that through this technique, the individual‟s awarenesssettles down and experiences a unique state of restful alertness. As the bodybecomes deeply relaxed, the mind transcends all mental activity to experience thesimplest form of awareness - Transcendental Consciousness, whereconsciousness is open to itself. This is the self-referral state of consciousness. The Transcendental Meditation as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi claims thatTM is the only way for salvation and it provides heaven in earth. It uses sevenwords such as Jagrata centana (walking); swapna cetana (dreaming); sushupticetana (sleeping); toorya chetana (transcendental consciousness); tooryateetcetana (cosmic consciousness); bhagavat centana (God consciousness); andbrahmi cetana (Unity consciousness). Even though the TM organization claimsthat their mantras are meaningless sounds with known physiological effects, themantras are in fact names of a Hindu deity.
VEDIC REQUIREMENTS OF SELF REALIZATION Katha Upanishad 65:8 says, Avyaktatuparah purushoyagnatva muchyatae: Onewho knows Purusha becomes free and attains immortality. Viveka Chudamaniverse 6 says; Vadhanthu shastrani yadhanthu devane, Kurvanthu karmani bajanthudevata, Aatmaikayodena vinabpi mukitha, na chityathi bhramma shathanthrashpi. Let them quote scriptures and sacrifice to gods; let them observe rituals andworship devatas (gods); but there is no liberation at all; no, not even in a hundredlifespan of Brahma put together, until the identity of one‟s self with the Divine Selfis realized. Again verse 56 says: “na yogena na sankhyena karmanano na vidhya brahaat maikatva bodenamoksha sidyate naanyata” Neither by yoga, nor by knowledge, nor by karma or by learning, but by therealization of one‟s own identity with God is liberation possible, and by no othermeans. Svetaasvatara Upanishad 3:8 says: Vedaaha metam purusham manantam Aaditya vamam tamasah-h parastat tameva viditvati mutu meti naanyah panthaa vidyate-ayanaaya I know the mighty Purusha of the color of the sun beyond the darkness. Only inknowing Him does one Passover death. There is no other way leading to eternallife.
VEDIC PURUSHA Vedas begin with the worship of gods of nature, namely; 1) The terrestrial gods- Prithvi (earth), Agni (fire), Bruhaspati and Soma (plants). 2) The atmospheric gods- Indra, Rudra, Maruts, Vayu and Parjanya (storm,thunder and rain). 3) The celestial gods- Dyaus (heaven), Varuna, Ushas & Asvins (twilightmorning stars) and Surya, Mitra, Savitri, Ka, Vishnu (all associated with the sun). Actually these gods were the result of man‟s search for the truth, which finallyculminated in the Purusha Prajapathi, the Creator. The Katha Upanishad 3:11 says,avvyakthath purusha parah purushanna param kinchith sa kastha sa paragathi,which means that there is none superior to this Purusha and He is the paragathi(Only way to Moksha). The Purusha in the Purusha Sukta of the Rig Veda is called the Param Purushathat means the one and the only Supreme Being and He is the Lord of immortality.The 10th mandala of Rig Veda chapter 121 verse 10 says, Prajapathi Lord of life,Lord of Creatures and Lord of Creation.
BIBLICAL PURUSHA (SELF) Creation of Man: Genesis 1:27 “God created man in his own image, in the image of Godcreated he him; male and female created he them”. Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O LORD, thou art ourfather; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand”. Psalm 139:14 “Iwill praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soulknoweth right well”. God created humans in his own image for His glory and to the praise of Hisglorious grace. Empowerment of the Soul by Purusha: Genesis 2:7 “The Lord God (Prajapathi Purusha)formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and manbecame a living soul”. Many people find it difficult to believe, that human beings were created fromthe dust of the ground. However, if we recognize that the modern day wonder machines includingthe Super Computers and Nuclear Bombs etc., were made by taking all the raw materials from theearth only, and that too with the limited wisdom and knowledge of the human beings, then it willbecome obvious that the All-knowing and All-powerful Creator can create human beings by takingthe necessary ingredients including the living cells from the ground. Since human beings were made out of living things, then what God breathed into Adam‟snostrils is His own Spirit, and Adam‟s soul (Aathma) became a living soul (Jeevathma). Job 32:8But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. That means thesoul (Aathma) has been endowed with the life and that life (Purusha or Self) is the Holy Spirit (TrueSelf) of God Himself and this spirit was not given to any other creature. This is what many peoplecall it as Little Self, Sixth Sense, Clear Conscience or the Still Small Voice etc.
BIBLICAL PURUSHA (SELF) CONTD.This leads us to the fact that, every human is made up of both physical and spiritual being. The physical beingcomprises of the physical body and the life attached with the body, and the spiritual being comprises of thesoul, which is the controlling force behind the body, and a life (self) to sustain that soul. As the physical manhas got a physical heart and brain etc., the spiritual man does not have such heart or brain. However, when wetalk about heart or mind during our religious discourse, we actually refer to the soul, and this soul or theAathma is the one, which manipulates our brain. Having got the Holy Spirit of God, the soul also has become immortal and cannot be destroyed. Evenmany things in this world cannot be destroyed, but can only be changed from one physical state to another.Hence humans have become altogether powerful beings, physically as well as spiritually. That is why humanbeings are sometimes called as saints or little gods. In addition, human beings have been endowed with the power to communicate not only with eachother, but also can know and be in communion with the Creator all the time. Each and every word that humansspeak has got a special power behind. Mat 12:37 “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy wordsthou shalt be condemned”. The life in this condition was like a child born into a King‟s family. The King being the all-powerfulCreator of this Universe who is our Heavenly Father, with immeasurable grace, mercy and power, andeverything in His Kingdom was made available to man without asking. It is all the Royal inheritance of therightful heir. So God provided man with everything including the host of angels at his service. This Kingdomis the everlasting Kingdom of God.
BIBLICAL PURUSHA (SELF) CONTD. Uniqueness of Human Beings: It is because of theempowerment of the soul by God‟s Spirit, humans have becomeunique with lots of extraordinary features namely, a) Physical:-with distinct individual capacity, power and identity. b)Intellectual:- bestowed with the wisdom and knowledge to analyzelogically and be creative, and with necessary skills to rule overthe other creatures. c) Spiritual:- In addition to our soul beingmade immortal, it has been endowed with a free will. Onlyhumans build altars and worship God. This spirit and soul combination has become an inimitabledynamic system, and it is this indwelling of the Holy Spirit inevery human soul, helps everyone to seek and search for Godone day or the other, which the other creatures will never do.
LOSS OF SELF (FALL OF MAN) As a result of the above qualities, man became a self-sufficient, self-creative and self-willed complete individual being. It is because of this free will, not only can he think andchoose, but also can be influenced by other forces as well. When the first man was tomake a choice between God and devil as the guiding force for his soul, he willfullychooses the devil, as the present day world, because of the influence of the devil, whohad already chosen evil for himself by trying to become like God or equal with God, whomade man also to fall prey to his evil design. It was not just a simple disobedience, but it was a deliberate choice of evil over good,and the evil spirit got embedded onto the human soul affecting the entire human race. Inthis condition, the spirit, which is the life force for the soul, lost its sustenance from Godand got suppressed, and the devil took almost full control and authority over the humansoul. This has brought about a sea change in the attitude of man towards God andultimately man became an enemy of God. Thus humans have been stripped of that honor and glory, privileges and power theywere vested with; and having lost the image of God that was upon them, and that robe ofpurity, innocence and righteousness, the rectitude of their nature with which they werearrayed. Now they were unable to save themselves from the curse of the righteous lawand the fury of vindictive justice.
LOSS OF SELF (FALL OF MAN) CONTD. Genesis 3:19 “In the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground, forfrom dust thou art taken, and dust shall thou return”. Eze 18:4 “Behold, all souls are mine; as thesoul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die”. As a result of these curses and also due to the corruption of the soul, not only our physicalbody suffers a simple death but also is afflicted by diseases and deformities, and there is always aconstant struggle raging between the life forces (immune system) which are trying to preserve thebody on the one hand, and the disease forces which are trying to destroy the body on the otherhand. At times the disease forces dominate resulting in sickness with the life forces beingsuppressed and vice versa. Similarly, there is also a struggle going on in our soul, between the subdued spirit (Self) whichis the life force for our soul and the evil spirit which is the destructive force trying to destroy thesoul. This affects our thoughts and deeds, as it is written, “for I know that nothing good lives in me,that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but I cannot carry it out” Romans 9:18. The evil spirit makes man to do more evil than good, if not all the time, but most of the time. That is why God says, “You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and has never stood by the truth, since there is no truth in him. Whenever he tells a lie he speaks in character, for he is a liar and the father of lies” John 8:44.
LOSS OF SELF (FALL OF MAN) CONTD. All have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. We are full ofenvy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and cruel. We are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, haughty,arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, selfish, corrupt, lustful, lust for money, lust for food, lust forpower, with contempt for God, no peace, revelry, strife among ourselves, and among nations.These are the fruits of the evil spirit, which are exactly opposite to that of the fruits of the HolySpirit. Hence the word of God declares that, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doethgood, and sinneth not” Ecc 7:20. The effect of all these is the cause for the greatest battle which is now raging in this worldbetween good and evil, i.e. between the forces of God and the forces of devil, and the victory ofcourse is foreknown. But the big question is, on which side are we? Everyone in this world, eitherknowingly or unknowingly is contributing his money, might, and time for the above cause. Mat 7:20“Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them”. But if we are indifferent to know or to find out, oreven to spend a minute to think about it, we may have no excuse at all. The atmosphere of the world today gives all of us without exception a perverted sense of value because of the influence of devil. We tend to get life‟s priorities wrong, since that influence is immensely powerful. Faster than ever before in the history of mankind, the world is sinking into the gutter of moral decay and corruption. The darkness deepens until the night is black around us.
VEDIC REDEMPTION Now the soul which has lost its empowerment by the spirit (self), if not redeemed will have tospend its eternity in Hell. The Vedas and Upanishads proclaim that the redemption can be obtainedonly through Purusha the Prajapathi. In Rig Veda Purusha Sukta ends with the following words: tameva vidvaanam amruta iha bhavati, nanyah panthaa ayanaaya vidyate (thus one who knows this becomes able to reach the state of deathlessness. There is no otherway). Bhruhat Aranyaka Upanishad (1.3.28) says, “Asatoma sat gamaya, Tamasoma Jyothirgamaya, Mruthyoma amrutham gamaya” which means, from untruth lead me to truth, fromdarkness lead me to light, from death lead me to eternal life. Deliverance from untruth, darkness and death is the basic need of every person. The sages inthe past testify that they were living in the shadow of vanity, darkness and death. They wereseeking truth, light and eternal life, knowing fully well that they were mortals and these immortalgifts were beyond their reach; but they were also aware, that the Prajapathi or the Creator will haveto help them to attain their goal. Katha Upanishad 3:15 says, asabtham aspersam aroobam avvyam dhtha arasam nithyam ahandha vachya yath anadiyanandham mahatha param durvam nitchaya dhanmruthyu mukthath pramoochyathe,which means, one can not know God who has no beginning and end, either by sound, or by feel, orby eyes, or by smell, or by taste but by His grace.
VEDIC REDEMPTION CONTD. Viveka Chudamani verse147 says that, “neither weapons, nor wind, nor fire, nor millions ofdeeds can help us reach mukti. Only the wonderful sword of knowledge that comes out ofdiscrimination sharpened by the grace of God can achieve it”. Shankara the ancient sage admittedthat union with God, is attained by the grace of God (Viveka churamani 3). Naham vedair na tapasa na danena na ejyaya sakya evamvidho drstavan asi mam yatha (Gita 11:53), which means, neither by Vedic study, nor by austerities, nor by charities, nor by sacrifices canone behold Me. Nor by any works that you have done. To summarize the whole teachings of Gita, God alone is the only way to attain Mukti. Moksha isinitiated by God (18:66). God calls the sinner to surrender, since He is the refuge (18:62, 72, 73). It isHis grace that salvation is open to men and women regardless of their merits and demerits (11:47,18:58, and 5:18). The easiest way to find refuge in God is by complete surrender (18:62). A seekercan be liberated in this lifetime itself (4:21, 23, and 41). Moksha is available even at the dyingmoments (8:5, 18:66). According to Vedic literatures and Saiva Siddhanta there are four steps to salvation: Salokya(sa-lokya - the believer is admitted into the sphere of God by faith in the word of God - thePurusha), Sameepya (the believer comes near to Purusha, the author of salvation), Sa roopya (thebeliever is identified with the savior in every aspect) and Sa yoojya (the believer enters into unionwith Purusha).
BIBLICAL PLAN OF REDEMPTION If mankind were to have been left to mend themselves with God, none of them wouldhave ever become eligible to get to Heaven. But God who is the God of love, mercy andlong suffering is not willing to give up, and hence He devised various methods to bringback the condemned souls to Himself. These methodologies were meant to pave theway for reconciliation, by atoning the sins of the human beings. This of-course is notwithout a price. Animal sacrifice: Heb 9:22 Indeed, under the law almost everything ispurified with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness ofsins. By transgression, a man forfeits his life to divine justice, and he must die, if God inHis mercy did not provide an alternative. This alternative is the blood of the victim, whichis its life, is shed as a ransom for the life of the sinner. This requirement may look strange for many people, but it is the root of all religions.For Hindus, “Sarvapapa pariharo raktha prokshna mavasyam” which means, theredemption is through shedding of blood only. Bakrid is the day of sacrifice for theatonement of their sins for Muslims. But it was and is being practiced just as a ritual.
BIBLICAL PLAN OF REDEMPTION CONTD.Deluge: This was the most painful thing that a loving Fathercould have brought upon His own creation. But it was arighteous judgment upon the ungodly. II Peter 2:5, God didnot spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacherof righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a floodupon the world of the ungodly… God revealed to Noah thecoming judgment Genesis 6:13. Hebrews 11:7 tells us, Byfaith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yetunseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving ofhis household. By this he condemned the world and becamean heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. But thedescendents of Noah did more evil than the previousgenerations. That means even this has not remedied thesituation.
BIBLICAL PLAN OF REDEMPTION CONTD. Ten Commandments: It was in this condition that, mankind wascompelled to follow some of the most rigorous rules and regulations,expecting that the evil spirit could be forced to rescind, but apparentlywithout success. However, this methodology is still being used bymany religious people in the present world. Even we see people takingupon themselves different types of penance including self-inflictedtorture for this purpose. Neither the evil spirit could be tamed nor could it be abrogated fromthe human soul, because, all these commandments were targeted todiscipline the physical being, which obviously had no effect on thesoul or the evil spirit which is in control of the soul. So to lift up thesubdued Holy Spirit in the soul, and to turn them from darkness tolight and from Satan‟s control to God‟s, He had to make a way out, bythat the human race might receive salvation.
BIBLICAL PLAN OF REDEMPTION CONTD. The Cross: Ultimately this was achieved by the sacrifice of His own SonJesus Christ on the cross. Lev 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood;and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for itis the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life”. All sacrifices weremere shadows of the sacrifice of Christ and looked forward to it. It was apromise, prophecy and pledge that God would accomplish it with His ownbeloved Son. Isaiah 53:4-6 “Surely our grieves He Himself bore, and our sorrows Hecarried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for ouriniquities; The chastening for our well being fell upon Him, And by Hisscourging we are healed”. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us hasturned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall onHim.
VEDIC REQUIREMENT FOR ATONEMENT Thertiriya Aranyaka 3rd pradatam says, Sarvapapa pariharo raktha prokshnamavasyam, thud raktham Paramatmane punyadana baliyagam” which means, theredemption is through shedding of blood only and that-blood has to be through thesacrifice of God himself. The Purusha Sukta says, there is no other way other than thesacrifice of Purusha Prajapathi. Purushao vava yagna (Chandokya Upanishad 3.16.1),God, the Purusha is the sacrifice. Sama Veda Dandiya Mahabhramanam says“Prajapathi devapyam aathmanam yagnam kruthva prayachita” which means God willoffer himself as a sacrifice for the redemption of mankind. Sathpatha Bhramanamsays “Prajapathi yagnayaga”. It also says: “Yagnova avati tasya cchaya kriyate”,which means all animal sacrifices are shadows. It is the Prajapathi, the creator of the universe (Rig Veda 10.121), the great „I Am‟(Bruhat aranyaka Upanishad 1.4.1) who willed to become a sacrificial body (Br. Ar. Up1.2.7) to be offered by saints as the sacrifice (Rig Veda 10.121.10). In the PurushaSukta, we also read that the God Brahma (Creator) is the sacrifice, who by putting onboth mortality and immortality and becoming incarnate as God-man, would Himself bethe sacrificial animal and offer Himself as a sacrifice to redeem mankind from theirsins.
VEDIC REQUIREMENT FOR ATONEMENT CONTD.“If you want to be delivered from the sins which you committhrough eyes, mouth, ears and mind, bloodshed is necessary.That must be the blood of the Holy one. God is our creator. Heis our King. When we were perishing, He came to save us byoffering even his own body on our behalf” (Maha Brahmanam4.15). Rig Veda specifies the requirements for the sacrificialanimal: It must be without blemish, the thorn of bush must beplaced round its head; It must be bound to a sacrificial post,Nails must be driven into its four legs till they bleed. The clothcovering the victim should be divided among the four priests.None of its bones must be broken. The victim should be givena drink of Soma juice. After it has been slain, it must berestored to life again. Its flesh should be eaten.
FULFILLMENT OF THESE REQUIREMENTSThese ware clearly fulfilled in the incarnation of JesusChrist. He was the sinless God-man (I Pet. 2:22). A crown ofthorns was placed on His head (Mark 15:17). He was tied tothe sacrificial post (Psalm 118:27). He was nailed hands andfeet to the cross (John 19:18). Those who nailed Him to thecross divided His garments among themselves (Mat.27:35).Not one of His bones was broken (John 19:36). He was givenvinegar (Soma juice) to drink (Mat. 27:34). He rose again asdeath‟s conqueror (Mat. 28:5-6). At the last supper He gaveHis disciples that they should eat His flesh and drink Hisblood (Mat. 26:26-29).
BIBLICAL PROVISION FOR MOKSHA Micah 6:6-7 “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before thehigh God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers ofoil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sinof my soul?” This is the great question as to a sinner’s relationship with the Holy God. God loves the sinner; but He hates the sin. God has sworn that He has nopleasure in the death of a sinner (Ezek 33:11); yet He has also sworn that the soulthat sinneth, it shall die (Ezek 18:4). Which of the two oaths shall He keep? Shall theone give way to the other? Can both be kept inviolate? Both law and love have triumphed in the reconciliation God has accomplished. Theone has not given way to the other. Never has there been love like this love of God; solarge, so lofty, so intense, so self-sacrificing. Never has law been so pure, so broad, soglorious and so inexorable.
BIBLICAL PROVISION FOR MOKSHA CONTD. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, thatwhosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. 1 John4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent His Sonto be the propitiation for our sins”. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For God has made Jesus tobe sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God inhim”. Love has never been more truly love, and law has never been more truly law,than in this conjunction of the two. God‟s honor has been maintained, yet man‟sinterests have not been sacrificed. God has done it all; and He has done iteffectually and irreversibly. As a father shows compassion to his children, so theLord shows compassion to those who fear him. Isaiah 45:6 “that people mayknow, from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me;I am the Lord, and there is no other”. The consent of parties to the acceptance of this basis is required in court. Thelaw consents; the Lawgiver consents; Father, Son, and Spirit consent; and man,the chief party interested, is asked for his consent. If he consents, the wholematter is settled. The verdict is issued in his favor; and henceforth he can
BIBLICAL PROVISION FOR MOKSHA CONTD. Our Righteousness is nothing but Filthy Rags: Job 15:14-16 “What isman, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that heshould be righteous? Behold, He putteth no trust in His saints; yea, theheavens are not clean in His sight. How much more abominable and filthy isman, which drinketh iniquity like water?” Isaiah 64:6, “We are all as an uncleanthing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags”. The sense is, that all ourprayers, sacrifices, alms, praises, were only abominable to the Lord becauseof the impurity, imperfection, pride, and vanity that appeared in them. Salvation is not found in man-made ceremonies, neither is it obtainedthrough ordinances or religious sacraments. Instead, “salvation is of the Lord”Jonah 2:9. Still, multitudes believe that the pursuance of good works or thefollowing of a prescribed code of ethics automatically earns them theguarantee of eternal life. Others talk about the benefits of the Golden Rule, theSermon on the Mount, or the observance of the Ten Commandments as theway to prepare one‟s soul for heaven.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY Romans 3:23 declares that, “all have sinned, and come short of theglory of God”; Hebrews 9:22 “and according to the law almost allthings are purged with the blood, and without shedding of bloodthere is no remission”. Romans 5:8 “But God commended his lovetoward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift ofGod is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. Salvation is by gracethrough faith in Jesus Christ alone. God reckons us as righteous byour faith in Christ”. 1 John 1:7 “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Soncleanses us from all sin”. John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and life;no one comes to the Father except through me”. Acts 4:12 says,“Neither, is there salvation in any other, for there is no other nameunder heaven given among men by which we must be saved”.
JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY CONTD. The Curtain in the temple, which symbolized the dividing wall between the people andGod, was torn into two from top to bottom at the moment Jesus Christ gave up his Ghoston the cross. This is actually God accepting Christ‟s offering of himself for our sins,hence, opening the Heaven‟s gate for humans to enter, through his precious and mostvaluable sacrificial blood, which was shed on the cross as a ransom for all our sins andiniquities. There is no other way for us to come to God or get to heaven. Because, the onlysacrifice God accepts for our sins is the sacrifice that He has provided, that is theunblemished sacrifice of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the one and the onlyhope for the salvation of mankind. Are we clothed in the perfect righteousness of JesusChrist? 1John 5:11 “And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life; and thislife is in his Son”. John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Romans 10:9 “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved”. Romans 5:1"Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
BIBLICAL SELF REALIZATION (BEING BORN AGAIN) Becoming a believer in Jesus Christ is the first and the foremost step in our longand joyous journey of pilgrimage towards Heaven. The immediate and the mostobvious step in our endeavor is to have the assurance of our faith, i.e. theexperience of being born again. It was told to Nicodemus a ruler of the Jews,except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. i.e., he was to beborn of water and of the Spirit. As we all know that when we were born in to this world, we were born ofblood and water. But here we are required to be born of water and the Holy Spirit.John 3:6 says, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born ofthe Spirit is Spirit”. Hence It is definitely not the physical rebirth, but it is thespiritual rebirth, i.e. the soul has to take the rebirth. We say that the soul has to take rebirth because, as we have seen alreadythe spirit which is the life for our soul, is now in a suppressed and dormantcondition. Once that spirit (self) is revived or quickened, then the soulautomatically gets regenerated and comes back to life. The revival of this spirit ispossible only after our sins have been forgiven by God.
BIBLICAL SELF REALIZATION (BEING BORN AGAIN) CONTD. So immediately, after we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord andSavior, we should also confess all our sins and iniquities and ask forHis forgiveness. From this moment onwards, we become His children.We are once again born into His family. As the newborn babe iswashed by water, and the life in it is revived by the milk, our soul is“being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by theWord of God, which lives and abides forever” I Peter 1:23. That is, as soon as we are born into His Family, we are cleansed byHis precious blood and the water, which He poured out on the cross,and then the spirit which is in near dead condition or in a state ofhibernation is quickened and renewed through His Life giving Spirit(Holy Spirit). Tit 3:5 “He saved us, not because of works done by us inrighteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing ofregeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit”.
BIBLICAL SELF REALIZATION (BEING BORN AGAIN) CONTD. Now because the life (Self or Spirit or Purush) for the soul beingrevived and quickened, the soul automatically Realizes Self withoutgoing through the torturous route of yoga, meditation, kundaliniraising, karma samsara etc. All our traditions and rituals are alsoinfructuous. According to Gnan Vidhi teachings, for self realization, aliving enlightened medium in the form of an Avatar (Gnani Purusha) isrequired. Jesus Christ is that avatar and through his sacrificial bloodonly our soul can become a living soul (Jeevathma) again through therenewing of our spirit (self). This is how we are able to obtainSalvation or Mukti or Self Realization etc. The symptoms of being born again are the longing of our spiritualbeing (self and soul) for the spiritual food, which is the Living Word,1Peter 2:2 “as newborn babies long for the pure milk of the Word thatyou may grow thereby”, and the desire to be in constant communionwith God, by which we should be able to say, “The Cross before me,and the world behind me”.
KUMBAMELA (BAPTISM) The next stage of our spiritual life is baptism. This is not a new thing for bothChristians as well as Hindus. Large number of Indians every year participate in variousKumba-melas. By dipping themselves in different rivers they believe that they will becleansed of their sins. But for Christians it is considered as fulfilling all righteousness ofGod after becoming His children. This baptism by water is only symbolic and it is alsoexternal, but the real baptism is for the soul. John the Baptist replied to all of them, “I ambaptizing you with water, but the one who is stronger than me is coming, and I am notworthy to untie his sandal straps. It is he who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit andfire”. Baptism by Holy Spirit is a continuous process of strengthening of our spirit by theWord of God, which in turn rejuvenates our soul, ultimately helping the spiritual being togrow spiritually and get transformed to the image of Jesus Christ. This process has tocontinue as long as we live on this earth. Similarly, the baptism by fire is also acontinuous process of refining or becoming holy by the refining fire from the altar. This iswhat is being practiced as walking on fire by devote Hindus hoping to get themselvescleansed, and it is also believed that, if the fire doesn‟t hurt them, then they are supposedto be without sin.
SAUL BECOMES PAUL As the spiritual being grows from strength to strength, we are able to recognize God‟sglory, and be in constant communion with Him and the soul enjoys the heavenly peace andhappiness which the world cannot give. Because of this, the worldly desires, longings andpriorities gets changed automatically. We begin to see the world through the eyes of the HolySpirit which has now taken control of our soul and not through the lustful eyes of the devilwhich was the root cause of all evil. The learned man Saul (later became Paul), of the tribe of Benjamin wished to destroyChristianity. He was a Hebrew a Pharisee, a legalist, self-righteous and a scrupulous followerof the law. Act 9:1,2 “And Saul, yet breathing out threatening and slaughter against thedisciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to thesynagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he mightbring them bound unto Jerusalem”. On the way when he heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thoume?” And Saul said, who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, “I am Jesus whom thoupersecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks”(Acts 9:4,5). Repenting for hismistakes Paul says, Phi 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the Excellencyof the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, anddo count them but dung, that I may win Christ”.
UNIVERSAL PURUSHA Bruhat Aranyaka Upanishad says, “Vagyo vai Brahma”, the word is Brahma (Creator).Brahmavindu Upanishad says, ”Shabdo vai Brahma”, the voice is Brahma and“Shabdaksharam Param Brahma”, the voice and word became absolute God. The YazurVeda 32:45,46 says, Poorvam Purusham Jatam, which means in the beginning Purushawas there. The Bible says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,and the Word was God and the Word was made flesh (Pursha). From the Vedas and the Upanishads we can understand that there is only one Purushain this Universe. Knowing Purusha as the Self and as the Guru (Master or Rabbi) isimportant. The word Guru is composed of two words as Gu and Ru. Gu means darknessor sin. Ru means destroyer. The following verse from Guru Gita 44 explains the Guru inthis way: Gu kaarascandhakaa rohi Ru kaarasteja ueyate Agnanagroaakam brahmaGurureva na samsaya-h This poem emphasis that Guru is God himself. A beautiful poem from AdvayataarakaUpanishad 17,18 goes like this: Guru reva param brahma: Guru Himself is supreme God.Guru reva paraagathi: Guru Himself is the Supreme way. Guru reva paraavidya: GuruHimself is the Supreme knowledge. Guru reva praayanam: Guru Himself is the Supremejourney. Guru reva paraakashta: Guru Himself is the Supreme climax. Guru reva paramdhanam: Guru Himself is the Supreme wealth.
UNIVERSAL PURUSHA CONTD. These qualities and characteristics of a Guru that the ancient sages proclaimed can befound only in the man God (Purusha) Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” John 8:12. Jesusdeclares that no one can claim to be a rabbi, spiritual father or a master because all areequal. We have only one Rabbi, one Father and one Master who is our Messiah Jesushimself (Mat 23:8-10). Yoga has given the sadhus and sanyasis of India a great sense of satisfaction whichcomes from rigorous self-imposed discipline and self-denial of the physical body and thesoul. These psychic exercises like kung-fu or karate can give immense physical power inaddition to spiritual powers like working signs and miracles with the help of some unknownspirits. But unfortunately they are yet to realize the Self which was their primary aim. That iswhy Gita 17:6 says, karsayantah sarira-stham bhuta-gramam acetasah mam chaivantah-sarira-stham thanviddhy asura-niscayan,with vain conceited move by powerful passion and attachments, they perform variousterrible mortifications contrary to scriptural injunctions. Thus do these senseless mentorture their own bodies and Me dwelling in them. Know such persons to be of demoniac
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