EASTER MESSAGE By Fr. George Nelliyanil
Easter is a special time in which we commemorate the unconditional love of God as we read in John 3,16 “ For God so loved the world , that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Here is a beautiful story about love; perhaps you have already heard it:
Once upon a time a bird fell in love with a white rose. One day she (bird) proposed to him (white rose), but the white rose refused. The white rose said I don’t love you. The bird came daily and proposed to him. Finally, the white rose said when I turn red, I will love you. One day the bird came and cut her wings and spread her blood on the rose and the rose turned red. Then the rose realized how much the bird loved him but it was too late because the bird was dead.
In the outstretched arms of Jesus, we hear the cry of God: “come to me”. “ I love you.” We must be willing to say those simple words that can be at all times too hard to express: I love you. On the cross, God, in the person of Jesus, has become quite vulnerable, totally exposed, bearing His heart through his pierced and open side-.
Love is bliss. Love is beauty and romance. Love is caring as well as sharing. Love is sacrifice and responsibility. Love in a relationship is a blend of all. Love doesn’t care about face or race. Love can happen to anyone at anytime with anybody. Love has no limitations. Love is endless and it’s the most precious thing in the world. Love is victory. In the passion death and Resurrection of Jesus we experience God’s unconditional love.
May the light and joy of the Easter be with you always and let us share our Easter joy and love with one another.
I keep you all in my prayers. Please remember us also in your prayers. Easter blessings to you all.
Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia
Fr. George Nelliyanil
THE VICTORY OF UNITY OVER DIVISIONS
The feast of Easter has many messages to communicate to us:
1. It affirms that life does not end with physical death but it is only a door to eternal life;
2. It shows that what we think is a failure or a tragedy is a doorway to victory; it is the message of infinite hope;
3. It reveals that those who refuse to grow in divine-human relationship kill the Truth or crucify Truth;
4. It declares that Truth will ultimately be victorious; it is the victory of unity over divisions;
5. It confirms that those who die for Truth will live forever for Truth has no death;
6. It is the message of peace, freedom and unity that come from Truth.
Jesus Christ bore witness to Truth. He gave his life for it. His crucifixion and death were the consequence of the refusal on the part of the spiritual leaders of his tradition to grow into the Truth of Unity. Jesus Christ, the Truth, though physically dead, has risen and will live forever. He invites everyone to grow into this Truth and be free.
There is a beautiful sloka in Mundaka Upanishad:
satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ
satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ
yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam.
It begins with the word sathyam, which generally is translated as Truth. But the question is what Truth is? sathyam?
The Chandogya Upanishad gives a kind of definition of sathyam. Sathyam is a combination of three words: sat+ti+yam.
Sat means infinite. The Rig Veda says, ekam sat viprabahuthi vadanthi. Sat, the infinite- self existing being is one. It means to say that there is only one God. Sages call it by many names.
Ti means finite, temporal that has a beginning and an end.
Yam means union.
Hence satyam means union of the finite and the infinite, temporal and eternal, God and creation. It is the harmony between the infinite and the finite, God and creation.
It is a state in which creation or human consciousness is in harmony with the divine will or eternal will of God, the Sanathana dharma.
So we can say that sathyam means unity, harmony and wholeness. We can translate this sloka in this way:
satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ
Unity (Truth) alone will ultimately prevail or victorious, not division!
satyena panthā vitato devayānaḥ
Unity (Truth) illumines the path of the enlightened!
Desiring Unity (Truth), the sages, who have expanded their
desires or consciousness,
yatra tat satyasya paramaṁ nidhānam.
Come to the abode where supreme treasure of Unity (Truth) resides.
Truth is fullness (purnam) and it is its nature to radiate like the Sun. In fullness there is no movement of becoming or time. Fullness unfolds its being. It manifests eternity in time. In the Upanishads we have a beautiful sloka that describes this Fullness.
Om. Purnamadah, purnamidham,
purnat purnam udatchyate.
purnam eva avasishyate.
om Shanti, shanti, shanti.
That (God or Sat) is Fullness; this (creation) is also fullness.
The created fullness comes from the divine Fullness.
If the created fullness is taken away from the divine Fullness, the divine Fullness always remains.
Om peace, peace, peace.
The sloka in the Mundaka Upanishad says that the enlightened persons follow the path of unity and live the life of unity. Unity illumines their path. They radiate life, like the Sun. They do not follow the path of becoming or time.They are free from all the burdens of becoming, of time, of struggle and of duality. They live the life of eternity, freedom, non-duality and unfolding. The sloka says that those who seek Satyam or Unity need to expand their desires or consciousness. In this process of expansion they break down all the artificial divisions created by the human mind out of ignorance and come to the abode of infinite treasure, Truth or unity.
The Mandukya Upanishad presents four levels of consciousness through which human beings come to the abode of Truth: the waking consciousness, the dreaming consciousness, the deep sleep consciousness and the awakened consciousness. We can describe them as individual consciousness, collective consciousness, universal consciousness and divine consciousness in which a person declares ‘God and I are one’. The first three levels are considered to be finite, limited, and the fourth one is infinite. Absolute identification with the finite three levels and forgetting the fourth level is considered to be in a state of ignorance and death. Discovering the fourth level and integrating the lower three levels with the Fourth level is to be in a state of eternal, light and deathlessness. Human beings need to move from the finite to the infinite, from ignorance to light and from death to deathlessness. This transforms one’s life into life the life of God and one’s actions into actions of God.
The Vedic sages have prayed:
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.
Lead us from the finite to the infinite,
From darkness (ignorance) to light (truth),
From death to deathlessness!
Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Life
Jesus Christ said ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’.
He also said to Pilate ‘I came to bear witness to the Truth’.
What is the Truth that Jesus Christ came to bear witness to?
Jesus called his truth the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the transformation of one’s life into the God’s life and one’s actions into actions of God. Jesus Christ said, ‘the actions that I do are not my own but the Father who dwells in me does his works’. These are actions coming from the unity of divine and human.
According to Mundaka Upanishad Truth is the unity of the infinite and finite. In this sense we can say that Jesus Christ is the union of the infinite and the finite. He is fully divine and fully human. The way of Jesus is the way of unity, the way of radiance, the way of eternity manifesting in time. It is the way of unfolding. Jesus Christ desired truth and so expanded his consciousness from the individual to the divine. At his birth he began as an individual. At the moment of his circumcision he entered into the collective consciousness of Judaism. At the moment of his baptism he entered into the universal consciousness and from there finally he entered into the divine consciousness and said, ‘the Father and I are one’. He entered into the abode of infinite treasure of Truth and discovered the kingdom of God. In his spiritual evolution Jesus broke down all the artificial walls of division created by the human mind and created one God, one creation and one human kind. He found the infinite truth, the infinite life and deathlessness. He moved from the finite to the infinite, from ignorance to truth and from death to deathlessness. Since he lived according to the Truth his life will be ultimately victorious.
Everyone who desires truth should follow this way of expanding one’s consciousness. This is the only way for everyone and there is no other way. No one can come to the Father, to the Infinite Truth, except through expanding one’s desires and consciousness. Jesus discovered this truth and bore witness to this truth of Unity. He willingly accepted crucifixion and death in order to bear witness to this Truth. He invited everyone to expand their consciousness and discover this truth of Unity.
The Crucifixion and Death of Christ
There were two reasons for the crucifixion and the death of Christ. The first reason was the refusal on the part of the spiritual leaders of his tradition to grow into the truth of unity that Jesus proposed. They decided to remain in their collective truth and considered that the truth proposed by Jesus was a blasphemy. The second reason was that Jesus Christ refused to deny his spiritual realization. If Jesus Christ would have denied his truth he might have escaped from his crucifixion and death. Denying his truth would mean closing the door for the spiritual evolution of his spiritual tradition in particular and of humanity in general. Jesus Christ consciously accepted his death, as the will of God, for the spiritual growth of humanity, for the unity of mankind and for the liberation of humanity from all oppressive structures. Hence we can say that Jesus Christ died for truth, for unity, for liberation, for spiritual growth.
Crucifixion did not happen in the past. It is happening even now.
Crucifixion of Truth did not happen only two thousand years ago. It is happening all the time. There are different ways we can crucify Truth. The first is reducing the infinite and the unifying truth into dividing, fragmented and collective truth. It is building boundaries to the truth that has no boundaries. The second is refusing to grow in divine-human relationship. It is considering relative truth or collective truth as absolute truth. When we refuse to grow in the understanding of Truth then we crucify or kill those who invite us to grow into a higher divine-human relationship. This is what happened to Jesus Christ. It is happening again and again. We are all doing it. The divisions that we see in the world in the name of God, in the name of Truth and in the name of Jesus Christ and in the name of religions is the clear sign that we are still crucifying Truth. Truth is unity. It has no boundaries. The Truth within the boundaries is the conditioned truth. To condition the unconditioned truth is to crucify Truth.
Truth Cannot be Killed
But Truth cannot be killed. Truth is eternal, infinite and unity. Apparently it seems that we can kill it but it is only an illusion. It will rise. It will be always victorious. Jesus Christ said, ‘I am the Resurrection and life’. He was living in the infinite and unconditioned truth. All the artificial divisions created by the human mind, out of ignorance, will one day come to an end and Truth or unity will remain. Jesus Christ came to bring out people from the tombs of relative truth. He brought out Lazarus from the tomb. It is the message of infinite hope. All our tragedies and failures will ultimately see victory. All the tombs of relative truth constructed by the human mind will be opened and everyone imprisoned in them will see the light of infinite Truth. This is the message of Easter, the Resurrection of Jesus. satyameva jayate nānṛtaṁ: Truth or Unity will ultimately be victorious, not divisions.
Collective truths or conditioned truths divide human beings. Divisions bring violence. It is not very helpful if we only proclaim the empty tomb and the resurrection of Jesus while we remain in the tombs of our conditioned and divisive truths. Just as Jesus told Lazarus to come out of his tomb so also Truth invites everyone to come out the tombs of division. There is no point of proclaiming that Jesus is risen and make that belief as a tomb of our security. We need to respond to Jesus and come out of all the tombs of divisions and enter into the Truth of Unity. The message of Jesus is not meant to build a tomb of a belief system and place people in it but to invite every one out of all belief systems so that they can proclaim as Jesus did: I am the way, the truth and the life. I am the resurrection and the life.
The Risen Jesus Christ invites us to seek Truth, Unity, Peace and Freedom, the kingdom of God!
May the celebration of Easter facilitate desire in us to expand our consciousness and come to the abode of Truth where we find the supreme treasure of Truth, the kingdom of God!
Jesus Christ said: may they all one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they all may be in us so that the world may believe to was you who sent me. (Jn.17.21.). Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. His truth is Unity. His life is the life of Unity and his way is the way of Unity. The earth is one but the divisions made on the earth are artificial, manmade. So also Truth is one and the divisions made in the name of Truth are artificial, manmade. Jesus bore witness to the truth of this unity and he died for it. When we see so many divisions in the name of God, of Truth and in the name of Christ we are forced to ask the question whether we are crucifying the truth of Christ or following truth of Christ.
May we all become the witnesses of Jesus’ Truth of unity!
May we proclaim the message of peace, freedom and love!
May the way of unity illumine our path!
May we live for the welfare of all!
Lokah samasta sukino bhavanthu!
May all being in the world be happy.
May the finite truths realize their limitations and open to the infinite Truth.
May we see the victory of Truth!
John Martin Sahajananda