Q: Dearest Gurudev, there have been many questions asking you to talk more about the meaning of Jesus, His birth and the meaning of his presence. Please talk a little about this.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Jesus is the embodiment of love.
Just look at how much insult and pain he had to suffer. Jesus took the hurt and the pain with such equanimity and calmness. He was blamed by everyone. Even his own disciples ran away.
Imagine how hurtful that must have been for him at that time. When you do all you can for your devotees, and one fine day, they disown you and run away, it is the most terrible hurt that anyone can imagine. But Jesus’ life was like that. And when everyone had forsaken him in the end, he even asked God, ‘Have you also forsaken me?’
So, his was a life of total pain on one side and love on the other side.
Now, this does not mean that anybody who loves will have to undergo so much pain. It is not so. His message to the people was always this, ‘Do not be a fanatic about anything. Do not judge and do not be cruel. Be loving and compassionate towards everyone, for God is Love.'
People were living in the head at that time, they were only thinking of sins and punishment. They were only dreaming of heaven and afraid of hell.
Jesus came and said, ‘Live in the present moment. Live now and be loving and caring towards all. There is no need to be afraid of God because He is our father, and like a father he is part of us. My father and I are one.'
He gave such a revolutionary message at that time, and made people realize that the journey is from the head to the heart, and not from the head to the heavens and the stars.
He gave that message, but for seventy years no one recorded what He said.
I have heard from scholars that the Bible was written seventy years after his demise. So later on, there could have been many distortions of the original text. That is why there are 72 sects of Christianity, each claiming to be the real one.
There is only one Jesus Christ but there are 72 different sects and they have all interpreted the Bible in their own way.
They must try to grasp its main essence and not get into theological fights with each other, as that will never end in the world.
The same happened with Lord Buddha also. There was only one Lord Buddha but there are 32 sects of Buddhism, each claiming to be the original one, with the right interpretation of his teachings.
The same can be found with Prophet Mohammed also. There are five sects of Islam and they do not like each other. In fact, they contradict each other.
Man has this habit of hanging onto concepts without really experiencing it.
People make those concepts as their identity and are willing to give up their life for that identity.
Jesus’ message was, ‘Wake up and see that the kingdom of heaven is within you. Know that God is love.'
So, be like a child. A child has no prejudices. Unless you are like a child you cannot get into heaven. This message is getting lost.
A child-like innocence, and sense of belongingness with everybody is missing. This is why there has been so much crime in the name of religion.
When religion started to be mixed with political authority, then it gave rise to communism. All this has happened because we do not realize the inner light, that we are, the light of our inner being.