This offering of a new interpretation of the Beatitudes, by Swami Kriyananda (J.Donald Walters), can be used for daily inspiration or meditation to bring timeless wisdom into your life.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount begins with the Beatitudes. Tradition depicts him as delivering this sermon to the multitudes. It is more likely that he was addressing his disciples. His statement, for example, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14), would hardly have been directed at everybody.
The Beatitudes are an “inner” teaching, given to the few who deeply longed to know God. Worldly people, enmeshed in selfish desires, would have considered the teaching irrelevant to their needs. What would they have understood, for instance, from the words, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you”? A more pertinent counsel for them might have been, “Don’t participate in the reviling.”
That Jesus was speaking to a more intimate group is implied at the very outset of the Beatitudes:
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Blessed are they who rejoice in their own unimportance in the great scheme of things. By their non-attachment to ego, they live even now in a state of heavenly bliss.