I was born a Christian and for years I’ve reflected on the significance of Jesus‘ message in my Life and on the Culture of our World. For starters, we call this year we’re living in 2016, mainly because it’s 2016 years since Jesus’ birth! For one MAN to mark Time for the entire Human Race is perhaps the greatest tribute that could be paid to anyone! Amongst the greatest luminaries and Men of Ideas of the Western Civilization; from Socrates to Newton, da Vinci to Darwin, this simple Man’s Idea of LOVE has stood the test of time….of 2 Millennia! So today, I reflect on what Easter means in terms of daily living.
> (In recent years, rightly so, it has been changed from B.C. (before Christ) to BCE (before Common Era) and A.D. (Anno Domini) to CE (Common Era). That’s how it should be, promoting a more inclusive World Culture and so we find ourselves in 2016 CE.)
1) The Ultimate TRANSFORMATION.
Easter represents the Ultimate Transformation; a transformation from Death to Life. Overcoming Death is a Metaphor for overcoming the negative, repetitive habits we possess and transforming ourselves into the Person we aspire to be. It would be naive to say from Good to Bad; but transforming from undesirable habit patterns deeply ingrained in our Psyche to our true, liberated, joyful Selves. This is at an everyday level.
Easter is all about such Transformation, about being Re-Born. In Indian philosophy we use the prefix Dwij…twice-born, to represent a Master. Proficiency in any subject merely makes you an Expert; the word Master (or Buddha) is reserved for those rare Individuals who have through self-study, ‘Master’ed the workings of their own Self and thereby Transformed!
2) Transformation is HUMANLY possible!
The beauty of the entire story is how Jesus becomes Christ. As Jesus, he is as human as you and me; and yet through sheer hard work, faith and whatever it is he did…he is able to transform Himself into a Christ (Buddha), which is the rarest phenomenon in all of Nature. The Human side of Jesus is what makes him so appealing, and also Inspiring for everyone. So, will we muster the courage to Transform ourselves in the smallest ways possible on a daily basis?
3) ‘Let Thy Will be done.’ The Art of supreme SURRENDER
The most common New-Agey life advice I hear people say is, ‘Just go with the Flow, Man!’ Well, it’s absolutely COOL still and works in most cases, only it isn’t New-Agey at all….it was perfected 2,000 years ago! ‘Let Thy Will be done’ is exactly that…’going with the flow!’ Surrender is one of the toughest Acts to practice. Genuinely being so Relaxed and Trusting in Nature’s plan takes immense Understanding and Courage. So much so, that while Surrender in battle is considered Cowardice, in Spiritual practice it’s considered a Divine act – merely because it’s so difficult.
From my own Life experience of having lived 7 years with my Guru, it took me 1.5 years to just Surrender. Till then Yoga and Meditation was only theoretical learning for me. Finally to realise that here’s my Guru – immensely more knowledgeable, able than me and for Him to teach me – I’ll have to ‘let go’ of my own limited knowledge. Yet, how I’d hung on for 1.5 years resisting the one thing I craved – Self-Growth! ‘Let Thy Will be done’ is the ultimate expression of Trust that anyone can have, as Jesus shows us through his story.
4) Inspiration to LIVE a better life … 2,000 years on!
Don’t get me wrong…I’m not promoting Christianity one bit. I’m only deciphering Jesus’ simple message today on Easter. Each person must find his own path. The reason I think Jesus’ life is relevant to us all (as is the Buddha’s and every other Master’s) is simply because Jesus doesn’t belong to Christianity, He belongs to all of Humanity indeed. All Masters represent what is Greatest in a Human Being and thereby through their Life, they Inspire us. So, Christ’s greatest Miracle is simply this….2,000 years after his life, if a boy/girl, man/woman remembers Him and stops doing an Act of violence or something that they are doing Unconsciously; if He is able to Inspire them to a better way of Living – that’s the real miracle! Right? I certainly think so.
5) My fav quote from one of History’s Greatest Teachers
I can’t remember it verbatim, but Christ said something like this. “Don’t cast your Pearls at Swines!”
As a Yoga and Meditation Teacher, I’ve learnt over the years to distinguish who’s genuinely interested in learning this Art and who’s in it for gossip’s sake. And so, I’m very stingy with my Teaching! Yoga is way too precious a Science to simply throw away. Of course, every now and then, I’m proven wrong and people surprise me…but hey!….give me a break…I’m not one of history’s greatest Teachers!!
On that note, I’d like to wish you all a very HAPPY EASTER!! May you Transform….!
(Yogi, Speaker & Author, Co-founder of the Total Yoga style of Yoga with studios in B’lore, Pune, Delhi, California & leading Meditation retreats in the Himalayas!)