Books-4: The Christ We Adore by Swami Ranganathananda

This booklet (pocketsize – 48 pages) is based on the lecture delivered by Srimat Swami Ranganathanandaji Maharaj in 1954. The Swamiji’s fine perception of the inner subtleties of the teaching of Jesus will touch the chord of Universal Truth present in every heart. The Swamiji says in the opening para: ” We, in India, have learnt through our religion to look upon great teachers with a heart open to the inspiration which they hold for all humanity. The approach of our people to the lives of all teachers has something refreshingly beautiful about it; it is hard for non-Hindus to understand how we, professing a different religion, can open our hearts, with equal fervour, to receive the inspiration of this great Son of Man, Jesus… It is spirituality that India seeks in its religious quest and not a creed or a dogma. “

A few pages later, he says: “Jesus came to offer… to give the bread of life to the spiritually hungry……Jesus proclaimed a religion of wide and deep horizons; he brought God near to man and bound both with the cord of love; he eliminated fear as the medium of their relationship. With love implanted in his heart in place of fear, man emerged as the lover of his fellow-men; he learnt to find fulfilment in a life of love for God and service to man, to God in man. This love for God, this intimate communion with Him, is the fulfilment of the righteous life; it is the only means of satisfying the soul’s spiritual hunger. This is the essential religion. It holds that man has a higher dimension which transcends his physical and social personality; he is essentially spiritual; in that inmost being of his life his intimacy with and closeness to the divine, and his kindship to all creation.

This is the approach of Jesus to religion. And this is the approach which India has learnt from the Upanisads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Bhagavata and other scriptures….”

A few quotes from the book:

1. … purity of heart is the one condition for spiritual realization (Bless are the pure in heart: for they shall see God – Bible)
2. … acts of piety, morality and social are but the means to attain this purity.
3. He who is humble and pure realizes the glory of the Atman, and becomes free from grief (Katha Upanishad).
4. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect (Bible)
5. “…. whoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Bible)
6. These words of Jesus are akin to the exhortation of Sri Krsna. “Those devotees who practise, in a converging life endeavour, this teaching op mine which fulfills all righteousness and leads to immortality, endowed with faith and a godward passion, are extremely dear to me” (Bhagavad Gita).
7. Perfection is a complete transformation of character through the realization of the kingdom of heaven which is within. It is the fruit of lived religion.

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