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Date Posted: 13:13
Author: Anonymous - 26 Oct 2001
Subject: Yogananda and Jesus on bigotry and sectarism

“And John answered him saying, ‘Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us; and we forbade him, because he followeth not us.’ But Jesus said, ‘FORBID HIM NOT: FOR THERE IS NO MAN WHICH SHALL DO A MIRACLE IN MY NAME, THAT CAN LIGHTLY SPEAK EVIL OF ME. FOR HE THAT IS NOT AGAINST US IS ON OUR PART. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.

“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.’” (Mark 9:38ff)

Paramahansa Yogananda’s Commentary (from “The Second Coming of Christ”, Vol. III, Amrita Foundation):

“Beloved disciples, do not cast out any man who is working healings in my name (through my Christ Consciousness). It does not matter whether a man has outward connections with us or not; so long as he is in tune with the Christ Consciousness, he is one with me and all of us and is justified to perform divine healings, which cannot be monopolized by anyone.

“Anyone who works the divine law is justified to administer divine healings to stricken children of God. Any person who works the miracle of divine healing through the vibration of my Christ Consciousness cannot in any way talk against me, in whom Christ Consciousness is fully manifested.

“Any devotee who does not practice anything against our principles is naturally in tune with us. Any person who shall help you even with a cup of water when you are thristy will be rewarded because of the manifestation of Christ Counsciousness in the counsciousness of all. Anyone who is in sympathy with you all is in tune with the Christ Counsciousness present in you all and will be rewarded by expansion of consciousness. A person in tune with you all will automatically and sympathetically attract the qualities of Christ Counsciousness.

“Anyone who shall persecute in any way any disciple who is in tune with me and manifests the divine qualities of little children, will attract evil to himself, being used by the evil force. Anyone who would persecute disciples with Christ Consciousness would attract to himself great spiritual and physical misery, far greater than if he hung a millstone around his neck and cast himself into the sea.

“Physical misery ends with death but spiritual misery born of ignorant actions continues after death, in the astral world on to postnatal existence, according to the law of karma.”

*****

SOMETIMES THERE IS A KIND OF PROFESSIONAL JEALOUSY EVEN IN SPIRITUAL WORK AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS OF ALL TYPES. Certain ministers and priests, as well as amateur "Swamis" and "Yogis", betray narrow-mindedness in this respect. Even an average good man belonging to one sect often will not speak well of another good religious man like himself, because the latter happens to belong to another sect. "O, well, find out for yourself how he is," says this kind of religious man, even though he knows in his heart that his brother of another sect is really good.

SUCH INTOLERANCE AND JEALOUSY IS NOWHERE OUT OF PLACE SO MUCH AS IN SPIRITUAL WORK. In this country, where true religious teachers often have to undergo various forms of soul-crucifixion and trials of all kinds, it is with sympathy and understanding that I view the efforts of other teachers to bring the message of spiritual knowledge and freedom to America....

Like the slaves of yore, Religion is imprisoned and enslaved in the house of Dark Dogma. A great war on ignorance must be launched in order to declare the freedom of the bond-slave religion from the hand of superstition. Primeval religion was born in the womb of the unscientific seeking of man for the origin of the mysteries of his being, future life, nature’s violent phenomena, God, et cetera. A few prophets have risen during the ages, with their intuitive wisdom, exhorting people to believe in their doctrines. But did science ever uphold their doctrines by actual investigation?...

Religion mostly has been handled by dogmatists, self-chosen reformers, self-elected members of God’s mystic counsel. RELIGION HAS BEEN PATENTED, TRADE-MARKED AND PEDDLED BY QUACK SPIRITUAL DOCTORS WITH UNSCIENTIFIC BUT PROFUSE ADVERTISEMENTS OF ITS EFFICACY. "MINE IS THE ONLY ONE, THE BEST," IS THE DECLARATION OF MOST CULTS. BUT THERE SHOULD BE A STANDARD FOR JUDGING WHAT IS BEST, JUST AS THE STANDARD OF QUALITY OF GOODS DETERMINES WHICH STORE IS THE BEST IN TOWN, EVEN THOUGH ALL CLAIM TO BE THE BEST.

So all the cult shops selling religion declare their goods are the best. What are you going to do? How are you going to find out the proper standard of judging the good, bad, better, best religions? Saying "my religion is best," believing in a mass of unproved statements, swelling the number of dogmatic followers, building big temples, or churches, or stupas, or mosques; hymning chants to emptiness, praying without receiving answers, will not make a religion true, good or lasting....

The Good religion has done thru the ages, by reminding people of an Ideal, either thru religion or reasoning, or thru fear and fanaticism, .... can never be denied. Yet, unscientific religion has been the cause of the tyranny of the caste system, et cetera, in the East, and of the class system, Spanish inquisition, burning of martyrs, in the West.

Cruel wars in the name of Crusades have been fought by Mohammedans, Christians and other religious bodies in the name of their God. Unscientific religion today expresses itself in Hindus calling Christians "heathens" and in Christians returning the compliment to them by the same epithet. Why don’t the orthodox Brahmins of India eat with the pariah (outcast) when his Scriptures say, "He is a man of realization who looks upon an elephant, a dog, a pariah, a Brahmin in the same way"? Why were Inquisitions and burning of people at the stake for their religious convictions, perpetrated in the name of the Bible, when Jesus taught such tolerance that he said his followers should offer the other side of the cheek when one side was hit? WHY DON’T THE BISHOP OF CANTERBURY AND THE POPE OF ROME EXCHANGE PULPITS—ARE THEY NOT FOLLOWERS OF THE SAME CHRIST?...*

Churches and temples and all religious organizations must give more. They must be united in their efforts to find their goal instead of being torn by mutual jealousies and party feelings.

Listening to the muffled cries of millions of people stricken with a consciousness of disease, mental suffering, and Soul ignorance, let us cast aside party prejudices and formalities, let us unite our hearts to fight Ignorance—the Great Satan of all religions. Let science, instead of devising more articles of impermanent material comfort for human beings, be engaged in making man himself invulnerable to the destruction arising out of his inventions—-death by airplanes, electricity and automobiles—and conscious of his own powers of superiority to disease, drowning, unconsciousness, pain and tragic or premature death. Let science discover and teach the method to consciously leave our bodies so that we may pass from this world to the next consciously and without struggle and pain.

Let us separate the dross of superstition from real religion by burning it in the furnace of Scientific Investigation and Realization, and by their practical application to life. Om! Amen!

– Paramahansa Yogananda, East-West, September-October, 1927 Vol. 2-6

* * * * *

The fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc (because after this, therefore on account of this) can be illustrated in the following way:

The clock was about to strike twelve. Someone said, "When I clap my hands, the clock will strike twelve." A man suffering with cancer of the stomach, went on a whole wheat bread diet. He died soon after, and a great hue and cry was raised against the eating of whole wheat bread. In these two instances, there was no causal relation between the clap of the hand, and the clock striking twelve, or in the eating of the whole wheat bread and the death of the man. However, to a superficial and thoughtless observer, it might appear that there was causal relation between them. SIMILARLY, THERE IS NO CAUSAL RELATION BETWEEN EASTERN TEACHINGS AND THE CRAZY OUTBURSTS OF FANATICS AND NEUROTICS WHO PROFESS TO FOLLOW THOSE TEACHINGS. The craziness exists in the mind of the individual and is caused by his own wrong actions in the past. No uplifting spiritual study can possibly produce craziness, but on the contrary, can and does restore unbalanced persons to sanity. The practice of Yogoda has cured many people of unbalanced and neurotic conditions. The worse form of craziness is to maintain that spiritual study and practice are injurious. Since all forms of consciousness are unbalanced, i.e., not the ideal state of perfect equilibrium, it follows then that it is far more beneficial to himself and to mankind for a person to be crazy about God than about money, fame and pleasure as most people are.

Without intelligence, it is impossible to understand anything properly in this life. People should judge everything on its own merits and not on baseless assertions nor second-hand opinions. If one does not make an effort to know truth, to discover her beneath the veils that cover her, then one will never know his own real nature and will be the sport of outside forces and the slave of circumstance always. Contempt for anything, without investigation, is the sign of a deluded man who will come to grief....

TRUTH IS NEITHER EASTERN NOR WESTERN—IT IS THE INALIENABLE PROPERTY OF EVERY SOUL THAT DRAWS THE BREATH OF LIFE. That is the true meaning of the equality of man—not the social nor political nor economic equality that many people often wrongly imagine will someday arrive, but the equality of every soul before God, the equality to seek Him and know Him.

Truth, however, must have a form and an individualized expression on this plane. It must express itself thru something, some material medium. They are mistaken who are prejudiced against any spiritual truth because it has an Eastern label. Label it must have, just as the infinite ocean must take the shape of the bowl it is put into, but neither label nor bowl can change the inherent quality of truth. Put it into what form one may, it shines thru as the same One Eternal Truth. "Lofty its declaration, sublime its aspirations, pure and tender its piety," Sir Edwin Arnold says of the Bhagavad Gita. WHAT MATTER WHETHER ITS MESSAGE IS CALLED BHAGAVAD GITA OR THE DOCTRINES OF THE APOSTLE PAUL? WOULD NOT ITS ASPIRATIONS STILL BE SUBLIME, ITS PIETY PURE? IN EAGERNESS TO CRITICIZE THE FORM OR SOURCE OF TRUTH, MANY SEEKERS FAIL TO GRASP THE MEANING OF THE MESSAGE WHICH ALONE IS OF ANY WORTH....

Hate, unjust criticism, provincialism, religious bigotry, selfish commercial "patriotism," superiority-complex of being a ruling nation, race consciousness, color and class prejudices, unwise immigration laws and conscienceless journalism are the real ammunitions of war and self-destruction. God never has to employ miracles to kill the evil-doers—they fight and kill themselves by civil and racial wars and rejoice in doing so....

False news travels with the wind, but truth has the power to travel against the wind.

I have my good-will always toward those error-stricken, misguided ones who seek to blacken India’s name and India’s philosophy in the eyes of the world. Jesus was crucified for doing good, and all spiritual teachers must be prepared to bear the trials that will come to them. JUDAS WAS THE CAUSE OF BRINGING JESUS’ MESSAGE TO THE ATTENTION OF THE WHOLE WORLD. The enemies of India’s immortal light of truth cannot dim its lustre nor withdraw its regenerative influence from the lives of those who seek it. The narrow-spirited critics of India and the concerted efforts of yellow journalists can never destroy the indestructible heritage of the sages of ancient India. Such critics will themselves see the true light someday and repent, like Paul, of their former persecution of a message that does ill to no man and good to all.

MANKIND HAS ONLY ONE REAL ENEMY—IGNORANCE. LET US ALL WORK TOGETHER FOR ITS DESTRUCTION, HELPING AND CHEERING ONE ANOTHER ALONG THE WAY.

– Paramahansa Yogananda, East-West, January-February, 1928 Vol. 3-2

------------
* Paraphrasing Master, one could rightly ask: “Why don’t Sri Daya Mata and Swami Kriyananda exchange pulpits-–are they not followers of the same Master?”

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