Ananda Sangha Chennai
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Jesus Christ

christ-krishna97aWhy is Jesus on our altar?
Jesus is at the center of our altar because he appeared to the yoga master Babaji and asked him to send someone to the West to spread the teachings of original Christianity. Jesus told Babaji that his followers needed to learn how to receive him through deep meditation, as beautifully described in the verse, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become children of God” (John 1:12). He said that although his followers still do good works, they have lost the ability to commune inwardly with God. Because of Jesus’ request, Paramhansa Yogananda came to the West. Thus, Jesus Christ is honored with a place on our altars and in our daily prayers.

Who was Jesus Christ?
Yogananda taught that Jesus, who began his journey as a human being like all of us, eventually became one with God. He then agreed to return to Earth to help others attain the same. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21) In the Hindu tradition, such a one is called an “avatar.” Jesus was his given name. Christ was his title. “Christ” refers to the “Christ Consciousness,” the highest state of consciousness that one can attain spiritually, wherein one is completely immersed in God’s presence within and all around, or as the Bible says, lives in the “Kingdom of God [that] is within you” (Luke 17:21).

Resources

Revelations of Christ by Paramhansa Yogananda, as presented by his disciple Swami Kriyananda
The Promise of Immortality by Swami Kriyananda
The New Path, Chapter 33, “Original Christianity” by Swami Kriyananda