First time in paperback! This new edition contains a new chapter and numerous editorial revisions to the hard cover First Edition.
Paramhansa Yogananda was sent to the West by Jesus Christ himself to restore the original Christian teachings among his followers. This book clarifies the core of Jesus’ basic message, that one’s true identity is not that of a sinner but a child of God indwelt by His divine presence.
Recently, The Da Vinci Code took the fictionalization of Christianity to dizzying new heights, precipitating a spiritual crisis for millions of believers worldwide. But The Da Vinci Code is only the latest in what has become a near-constant questioning of long-cherished religious beliefs. For years, our faith has been severely shaken by a growing series of attacks, including: the breakdown of church authority, the repeated discovery of ancient texts that supposedly contradict long-held beliefs, and the sometimes outlandish historical analyses of Scripture by academics.
Together, these forces have helped create a spiritual vacuum filled with substantial confusion and uncertainty about the true teachings and meanings of Christ’s life. The rising tide of alternative beliefs proves that now, more than ever, people are yearning for a clear-minded, convincing, yet uplifting understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.
This galvanizing book, presenting the teachings of Christ from the experience and perspective of Paramhansa Yogananda, one of the greatest spiritual masters of the twentieth century, finally offers the fresh perspective on Christ’s teachings for which the world has been waiting. This book gives us an opportunity to understand and apply the Scriptures in the most reliable way: by studying under those saints who have communed directly, in deep ecstasy, with Christ and God.
Part One: The Basics
- Major Disadvantages
- A Name for Truth
- True, vs. False, Religions: Part One
- True, vs. False, Religions: Part Two
- The Purpose of Religion
- A Question of Degrees
- Religion and the Heart
- Whence the Correction?
- What Is God?
- Who Are We?
- Salvation from What?
- Still, Wasn’t Jesus Also Unique?
- Son of Man vs. Son of God
- Does Satan Exist?
- A New Revelation
Part Two: Gemstones in Christ’s Teachings
- How It All Began
- The Spinal Highway
- The Serpent Power
- The Need for a Personal Savior
- New Wine
- God Alone Saves
- The Ages of History
- The Missing Years
About the Author
Crystal Clarity Publishers
Ananda Sangha Worldwide
How is one to understand the life and teachings of the great master Jesus, whose title “the Christ” meant the “anointed of God”? Tradition offers us two approaches: one, the authority of the Church; the other, that of historical analysis, which Christian scholars lately have been applying to certain recently discovered texts.
There is another approach, less widely known but more reliable than any other: It is to study the writings and sayings of, or better still to live with and study under, saints who have communed directly, in deep states of ecstasy, with Christ and God. Such persons are true spiritual masters. They have lived in every country, and have belonged to every religion and every social level. They have taught the Truth from their own deep realization. When they’ve been free to speak out, their impact has been widespread and profound. Often, unfortunately, freedom of speech has been denied them; they’ve had to submit to the control of religious superiors, who considered their own authority a supreme right bestowed on them by God.
All true saints—those, in other words, who have reached the highest spiritual attainments—have endorsed the teachings of Jesus Christ either directly or indirectly, by stating the same truth similarly. Christian saints want to support their Church, and usually consider it their duty to sow seeds of harmony, not of dissension. There have, on the other hand, been times in history when a saint was divinely commissioned to correct one or more serious errors.
The difficulty saints have endured under church authority has been due—understandably, but at the same time unfortunately—to officials who were administrators but were rarely, if ever, saints themselves. Such authorities have insisted that their approval was needed before anyone—particularly anyone of real merit—could preach spiritual truth. The very fact of any Christians being also saints has been perceived, at least during their lifetimes, as a threat to institutional authority. For what the authorities want first of all is to ascertain whether some “saintly upstart” is preaching truth or heresy.
Saint Francis of Assisi, whose sanctity was certainly due to his deep love for God and his deep, inner communion with Him, has been acclaimed by the Catholic Church as a true son of the Church, which takes credit for his holiness and attributes it to the saint’s humble obedience to Church authority.
Any saint in Christian history who ever spoke, or even hinted at, truths that weren’t sanctioned by the Church was punished and, in many cases, excommunicated. An example of one who was excommunicated was Meister Eckhart in Germany, who (fortunately for him) died before notice of this punishment could reach him.
Saint Joseph of Cupertino, to whom even crowned heads in Europe came for inspiration and blessings, was orthodox in everything he said and did. He repeatedly, however, performed the miracle of levitation, an act which embarrassed his less-saintly superiors. After fifteen years of virtual incarceration in an apartment of the Basilica in Assisi, he was carted off—not once, but repeatedly whenever his whereabouts became known publicly—in the dead of night to a succession of small, distant monasteries.
A Claretian monk of my acquaintance in Los Angeles, California, developed a reputation for bilocation (appearing in more than one place at a time). He was quietly transferred to a distant house of the same Order in Spain. Catholics themselves describe this quiet removal as “sending one to prison.”
Therese Neumann, the great Catholic stigmatist in Bavaria, Germany, was prohibited for a time by her bishop from even seeing people.
And Padre Pio, in southern Italy, was also for a time forbidden from performing mass in his capacity of priest. Regarding this saint, an Italian friend of mine in Rome once visited him, and, during his confession, stated that he practiced Kriya Yoga (a meditation technique brought to the West by my great Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda).
“Oh, hush!” the saint warned hastily. “You mustn’t speak of these things.” Then he added, “But you are doing the right thing.”
There are two major disadvantages to having a church as the supreme authority. The first is that the churches are committed—necessarily so—to giving priority to their own supremacy as Christ’s representatives. Therefore they cannot be objective concerning any concept they perceive as a threat to that supremacy.
The second disadvantage follows from the first: Church authority, if too firmly exercised, reduces religious teachings to a faint echo of the divine truths it proclaims. Water cannot flow higher than its source. When religious institutions appoint themselves as the only source of truth—though in fact, such truths as they utter can only flow through them— they block that flow. Of course, they never state that they are that source; all of them claim to be representing Christ’s Truth. Nevertheless, the teachings they promulgate wane in power from a mighty waterfall to a gurgling rill.
My purpose in writing this book is to present the teachings of Jesus Christ as they were proclaimed by one of the great saints and spiritual masters of our own times, Paramhansa Yogananda, who was sent by God to the West with the commission of restoring the teachings of Jesus Christ to their full and original glory.
There is another, urgent reason why this book is being written. Christendom has come under attack not only from theological dilutions which it has long endured and has at least succeeded in surviving; and not only from those familiar enemies of religion, the materialistic sciences: but also from a new and seemingly formidable (though in fact spiritually toothless) source. For, since the discovery in hidden places of ancient documents, some of which seem to cast doubt on traditional perceptions that have come down from early times, scholars have been attacking the very foundations of Christianity. Works of fiction have, more recently, attacked with false invention some of the basic deeds and utterances of Jesus Christ, which they have twisted out of all recognition.
Only a declaration of certain deep truths in Christ’s original divine teachings, proclaimed once again by a truly enlightened spiritual master, can bring the authority that is needed in the world today to counter these bee swarms attacking from all sides. Since the saints in Christendom have been debarred from freely speaking their own perceptions of the Truth, it is urgently important for an enlightened spiritual master to come from outside Christendom, and to proclaim once again clearly, forcefully, and unfettered by outside control, speaking from the highest level of perception, the revelations of Christ.
Within the Catholic Church, loyalty to its authority has always been rewarded. On the other hand, disobedience, disagreement, and disloyalty have been punished as severely as the times permitted. Praise, preferment, and even promotion, both in religion and in the world, were frequently the rewards of loyalty. Therefore people felt an incentive to demonstrate, with ever-increasing fervor, the firmness of their loyalty. Jesus Christ gradually became promoted in people’s understanding from the status of a great spiritual master to someone higher than anything even imaginable: the Absolute Master, the “only Son of God.”
Few dared to contest this claim. Protests even by sincere Christians were eliminated by the all-powerful Church, and were finally dropped by the writers of Church history. Indeed, it was a foregone conclusion from the start that dogmatism would eventually win out.
Lest anyone think, from what I have written so far, that my own view of Jesus Christ is detached and disinterested, let me affirm unequivocally, here at the outset, that I believe in his divinity with all my heart. I do resist, however, the concept that he was the only Son of God, and therefore God’s unique offspring. I will clarify what I mean by presenting the teachings on this point of Paramhansa Yogananda, whose humble disciple I have the honor to be.
Many subjects will be covered in this book as we proceed, for the teachings I’m giving are Paramhansa Yogananda’s, and they address—profoundly and far-reachingly—many of the facets of Christ’s teaching.
“This book is a great gift to humanity. It is a spiritual treasure to cherish deep in the heart, and to pass on to children for generations. This remarkable and magnificent book brings us to the doorway of a deeper, richer embracing of Eternal Truth. At once crystal clear and wonderfully insightful, we are invited to move through that doorway into a place of gloriously larger views of Jesus and God and of Life Itself than many of us have ever been blessed to behold.”
—Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God
“Kriyananda’s revelatory book gives us the enlightened, timeless wisdom of Jesus the Christ in a way that addresses the challenges of twenty-first century living.”
—Michael Beckwith, Founder and Spiritual Director, Agape International Spiritual Center, author of Inspirations of the Heart
“Revelations of Christ helps us rediscover the original meaning and majesty of the teachings of Jesus Christ, with a clarity and simplicity that transcends theological nitpicking. In a world seemingly intent on sacrificing itself on the altar of religious extremism, this timeless, unifying message is urgently needed.”
—Larry Dossey, MD, author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things
“Reading Revelations of Christ is like having a dialog with our Creator about the meaning of Jesus’ life, actions and teaching. The closing sentence of the book says it all: ‘The more you tune into [Christ’s] deep message, the more you will know that only one thing matters in life: selfless, divine love, like that of an eternal child for his Heavenly Father, and for his Divine Friend.'”
—Bernie Siegel, MD, author of 365 Prescriptions For The Soul
“This is a wonderful book for people who want to understand the similarities between the spiritual teachings of east and west; of Christianity and Hinduism. This book offers Christians a deeper understanding of the teachings of yoga and likewise gives Hindus a more in-depth approach to Christianity. Swami Kriyananda is an inspiring teacher who carries on the tradition of his guru, Paramhansa Yogananda.”
—Terry Cole-Whittaker, DD, Founder of Adventures in Enlightenment, author of Dare to be Great
“Revelations of Christ is simply marvelous. I have asked myself how Swami Kriyananda could write with such simplicity, beauty, and inspiration. The explanation, I feel, is that his great master writes through him. The profundity and lucidity of this book acts like a clear mirror, reflecting the greatness of Christ’s teaching as proclaimed by Paramhansa Yogananda.”
—Swami Nikhilananda Saraswati, Head of the Chinmaya Mission, New Delhi, India, author of Miracles of Prayer
“The beauty of this book is that Kriyananda, gives the average person permission to search for themselves, to read this book and begin to know Jesus as He truly is—a living, tangible Holy Teacher. A very timely book for the world, and for those seeking to know Jesus personally.”
—Reverend Paula T. Webb, Founder and President, National InterFaith Council, author of Creating Perfect Relationships
“Jesus, a great spiritual master, or the only son of God? This is the book that church authorities may not want you to read, but if you do, the Christ light will shine through you brighter than before.”
—Rev. Christian Sorensen, DD, Seaside Center for Spiritual Living, Encinitas, California
“A profound and highly original perspective on the teachings of Christ. Based on the work of one of the most beloved spiritual masters of the twentieth century, Revelations of Christ suggests how the ancient insights of yoga can inspire a fresh understanding of Christianity.”
—Richard Smoley, author of Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition
“A treasure of spiritual insight. Swami Kriyananda, wasting no words, but in modern language stripped of theological and intellectual aridity, opens wide many doors onto sacred wisdom that have long been closed. Chapter after chapter, with down-to-earth reasoning and unprecedented clarity, this book transports the reader into a multidimensional world of the spirit. It makes even abstract concepts tangible.
“This is a wonderfully rich volume, and has the potential to reach a wide public: Christians and non-Christians alike, scientists, psychologists, and even those whose special focus is the arts.”
—Donatella Caramia, Professor of Neurology, University of Rome Tor Vergata
“Swami Kriyananda conveys Yogananda’s spiritual wisdom of universal love that transcends the dogmatic doctrines and limitations of any particular religion. . . . instills hope and inspiration for everyone who has grown cynical and weary of the self-serving, politicized misrepresentations of Christ’s profound revelations.”
—Kenneth Pelletier, PhD, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, author of New Medicine: Complete Family Health Guide
“Swami Kriyananda’s meditations on Christ point to the ‘cave of the heart,’ the meeting-point of Christian contemplatives with the realizations of India’s rishis. I pray that his readers may enter that deep, still point and discover Christ, ‘in [Whom] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.'”
—Father Thomas Matus, Director, Incarnation Monastery, author of Yoga and the Jesus Prayer Tradition
“Revelations of Christ by Swami Kriyananda comes to us as a ‘tour de force’ of wisdom. The universality of Christ consciousness as seen through this all-embracing vision rings aloud page after page. Here is truth, not doctrine. Here is peace beyond understanding.”
—Roger Montgomery, Leader, Spirit of Peace Monastic Community, co-author of The Sacred Light of Healing
“Anytime we have a chance to re-look at the man and the message of Jesus Christ we should do so. This history-changing message or gospel is as relevant now as it ever was. Yogananda captures the Eternal Truth of the Eternal Christ.”
—Rev. Kathianne Lewis, Center for Spiritual Living, author of 40 Days to Freedom
“Truly inspired writing. The inner meaning of Jesus’ teaching is revealed by a writer whose insights come from direct, inner communion with God. Speaking from outside the confines of Christianity, he voices Christian truths from a level, not of dogmatic faith, but of divine realization. While acknowledging the divinity of Jesus, his emphasis is clearly on our privilege, even our duty as children of God, to realize we too are projections of God’s consciousness.”
—Rev. Robert H. Henderson, DD, Church of Spiritual Living
“In its simplicity and practical commonsense it plumbs the depth of the perennial insights that surround every great prophet in history—and especially the figure of Jesus the Christ. There had to be one from outside the official fold of Christendom to undertake the daring task of going straight to the source without the detour of official doctrine. . . . Every reader, whether Christian or not, owes a deep debt of gratitude to Kriyananda, and his master, Yogananda.”
—Ervin Laszlo, PhD, Nominee for Noble Peace Prize, author of Science and the Reenchantment of the Cosmos
“I believe that every sincere seeker of truth will benefit from reading this book. I expect it to become a force of illumination for all mankind. I feel myself uplifted even in writing these few words of praise for this truly great work.”
—Swami Shankarananda, Rishikesh, India
“Revelations of Christ liberates Jesus’ message from the sepulcher of religious bigotry and small-mindedness. Revelations, like Francis of Assisi in the thirteenth century, resurrects the spirit of Christ. This is a book that all spiritual seekers can rejoice in and treasure.”
—Richard Salva, author of The Reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln and Walking with William of Normandy