Introduction to the Gospel of Thomas

Jnana Yoga - The Yoga of Jesus

 

Remains of the Thomas Gospel
The Thomas Gospel is a very interesting text for studying the teachings of Jesus. As it was only discovered in 1945 in Egypt, it remains free from any censuring, as opposed to the official gospels of the Bible. The Thomas Gospel was written during the lifetime of Jesus or shortly afterwards, presumably by the apostle Thomas. It consists of 114 sayings that are presented without particular order, probably as they have been noted down or remembered.

Surprisingly, the teachings that Jesus presents in these sayings corresponds very strongly to the overall yoga philosophy that originates with the vedic texts. There is particular correlation with the Jnana Yoga developed by Shankara, among others. This correlation is not immediately obvious, as in many sayings the teachings are hidden in stories and riddles. That was quite usual in those times and might also have been protecting Jesus from the Pharisees and the sensitivities of the ancient Jewish people. However, upon closer study, the teachings come forward with absolute clarity.

For westerners involved in yoga it is particularly interesting to study the teachings of the Thomas Gospel. Our Christian background often strongly influences how we look at yoga and especially how we deal with Bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion or religion. Because of the corruption that is often found in religion, many of us have developed an aversion against all religion. And yet at the same time, many of us have learned to love Jesus through our education. Thus we may feel confused about this love and feel guilty about embracing 'another religion'. It thus may be very refreshing and relaxing to clearly see that what Jesus taught is not different from what the Vedic seers were teaching.

The Yoga
of Jesus
Of course, it is very difficult to be sure about the correct interpretation of these sayings. The author of the following interpretations of the Thomas Gospel is not a historian and as such might wrongly interpret certain symbols and words. There might be errors also in the original translation of the gospels, which may lead to false interpretation. And there might be error in any case, as no interpretation is perfect. So, please do not take these interpretations too seriously, rather see them as an inspiration to develop your own.

In order to facilitate the reading, the 114 sayings have been sorted according to their main subject, though many sayings are overlapping in nature:

THE TRUTH

1. The illusion of the world (sayings 11, 56, 80, 110)

11. Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

Interpretation :

The world of forms has no permanent existence of itself. All forms, worlds and heavens must pass away and thus do not truly live. Only the Supreme lives, unchanged, unborn, present in each and every Self (the living will not die). The egos (the dead), who think they are alive, never truly existed (are not alive). The false identity (what is dead), must be eaten by the self (you), merge with the self, to become truly alive (you made it come alive). However, the Supreme alone can do nothing but dwell in its own light, so what will you that are this Supreme do (when you are in the light) but again enter duality (when you were one you became two) ? Thus the one creates the illusion of becoming many - starting with two, the essential duality of consciousness/energy.This only for the many - and essentially the two - to try to become one again (when you become two, what will you do?). What else can they do ? Thus the game goes on.

56. Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy."

Interpretation :

Once you understand this world then you know it as an illusion, dead (a carcass), not living apart from the Supreme. Once you have this understanding about the world (whoever has discovered a carcass), it will no longer be interesting to you (the world will not be worthy of you).

80. Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered the body, and whoever has discovered the body, of that one the world is not worthy."

Interpretation :

The one who understands the universe (the world) as being a dead form (a body), will no longer be interested in the universe (the world is not worthy of that one).

110. Jesus said, "Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, renounce the world."

Interpretation :

When we realize the truly illusionary nature of sensory input (found the world) and have attained self-knowledge (become wealthy), it is time to detach from sensory input (renounce the world).

2. The supreme truth behind the illusion (sayings 29, 44, 77, 83, 96)

29. Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels. Yet I marvel at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty."

Interpretation :

Jesus is rather laughing here at those who believe that consciousness is just a byproduct of matter, appearing to follow their point of view, yet ridiculing it at the same time. The body and the entire universe of names and forms are a product of the self, the Supreme only (flesh came into being because of the spirit), which is an incredible miracle indeed (a marvel), but nevertheless true. For the self to be a product of the body (spirit came into being because of the body) is too much of a miracle to be true (a marvel of marvels), because then one cannot understand (must marvel) at how the greatness of the self (this great wealth) can originate from the smallness of the body (dwell in this poverty). How could such richness grow out of such poorness ?

44. Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven."

Interpretation :

Supreme consciousness (the holy spirit) is the one above all and should always be respected, whoever you are (whether you are on earth like a man or in heaven like a god). Even the creator of this world (the Father) stands below it. And so does the individual self (the son), the spark of supreme consciousness.

77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. You will not find me in a house of wood and stone. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

Interpretation :

The self is the truth (light) that is within and beyond everything (over all things). It is everything (I am all), the source (from me all came forth) and the objective (to me all attained). It cannot be found in a construction, a technique, a body of concepts, a church (a house of wood and stone). Yet it is (I am there) within (split it) and underneath (lift it) everything.

83. Jesus said, "Images are visible to people, but the light within them is hidden in the image of the Father's light. He will be disclosed, but his image is hidden by his light."

Interpretation :

The manifested universe (images) is visible, but the self (the light) within them is hidden in the form (the image), which is created by the Supreme (of the father's light). The Supreme (he) will be revealed (disclosed), but the form of the Supreme (his image) will ever stay hidden by the Supreme (his light), as the seer can never see itself.

96. Jesus [said], "The Father's kingdom is like [a] woman. She took a little leaven, [hid] it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

Interpretation :

Enlightenment and the self (the kingdom) lie hidden inside the body (as the leaven in bread). It is not seen, but it truly creates the body (as the leaven creates the bread). The one who can hear needs to also listen.

3. The immortality of the self (sayings 1, 15, 18, 85, 111)

1. And he said, "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death."

Interpretation:

The one who is fully identified with the self (by discovering the interpretation of these sayings) can no longer die as the self never dies.

15. Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father."

Interpretation :

The unborn (not born of woman), self-existing Supreme is the source of everything and everyone (the Father) and the only one truly worthy of devotion & worship.

18. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?" Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."

Interpretation :

The self, the Supreme, is the beginning and end of everything. If one knows the self (to stand at the beginning), one will know that the self is endless and beginningless (one will know the end as no true end), and one will know oneself as unborn and undying (will not taste death).

85. Jesus said, "Adam came from great power and great wealth, but he was not worthy of you. For had he been worthy, [he would] not [have tasted] death."

Interpretation :

Adam, as the Jewish tradition tells it, was directly created by God (came from great power and great wealth), yet ate an apple from the forbidden apple tree (was not worthy). Had he not created bad karma by doing so (had he been worthy), he would not have had to suffer and die (tasted death), after having lived for 930 years as the first man ever to die, according to tradition. Another more simple interpretation could be that as Adam was not eternal (tasted death), he is less worthy than the eternal self (not worthy of you).

111. Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will roll up in your presence, and whoever is living from the living one will not see death." Does not Jesus say, "Those who have found themselves, of them the world is not worthy"?

Interpretation :

The illusion of the universe (the heavens and the earth) will disappear in the presence of pure beingness (roll up in your presence). The one who lives out of his presence, beingness, the self (the living one), will not die (not see death), as the individual which is supposed to die was never alive. Whoever finds the self (found themselves) is no longer interested in the universe (of them the world is not worthy), which is nothing but a manifestation of the self.

4. Energy and Consciousness as the purest manifestation of the Supreme (sayings 30, 50, 105, 114)

30. Jesus said, "Where there are three deities, they are divine. Where there are two or one, I am with that one."

Interpretation :

Jesus accepts (they are divine) the divine existence of many (three) deities, yet points out that his preference lies even closer to the Supreme. When the many are reduced to two (where there are two), then only primordial consciousness and primordial energy remain, purusha and prakriti. Together they are the supreme One (or one), beyond all duality. The supreme one is the perfect unmanifested, the two are the perfect manifested, because for manifestation this minimal but essential duality is needed. The two are one, thus when one is in balance with the two (where there are two), one is with the one (or one), like Jesus (I am with that one).

50. Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.' If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.' If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'"

Interpretation :

We originate from the Supreme (the light), from the beginning of the manifestation of the Supreme (the place where the light came into being), which developed into the creation as we experience it through the senses (appeared in their image). As such we are manifestations (children) of the Supreme (the living Father), always chosen to be brought into the light if we want it. The evidence of the Supreme (the Father) in us is the always changing energy and the never changing consciousness (motion and rest), the two basic qualities of the Supreme, which itself is beyond qualities that mind or intellect can grasp or describe.

105. Jesus said, "Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore."

Interpretation :

We are all children of the same cosmic consciousness (the father) and the same cosmic energy/nature (the mother). Thus it may be somewhat wrongly said (be called) that our mother is a whore who is uniting with every man. As children of whores do not usually know who their father is, neither does the one who knows the Father really know who the father is, as he is without name or form.

114. Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life." Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven ."

Interpretation :

Consciousness is often named male, and nature/energy female. This is a symbolism that has some grounds in male/female differences, such as women being generally more intuitive than men and as a result may be somewhat less rational. Being a man I have to chose my words carefully not to offend the ladies, as Jezus had to be careful when confronted with the male chauvinism of those times (females don't deserve life). To find the self & enlightenment (enter the kingdom) first of all means to merge with pure consciousness (make herself male, become a living spirit resembling you males), which is true for every female and for every male also of course. What Jesus does not mention here is that part of this process is to realize through the seeing with pure consciousness (the male) that the pure energy (the female) is just the other side of the same coin, just as divine.

5. The nature of the ego (sayings 61, 86, 87, 112)

61. Jesus said, "Two will recline on a couch; one will die, one will live." Salome said, "Who are you mister? You have climbed onto my couch and eaten from my table as if you are from someone." Jesus said to her, "I am the one who comes from what is whole. I was granted from the things of my Father." "I am your disciple." "For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness."

Interpretation :

Of the two entities that we can find upon introspection (when reclining on a couch), the ego is the one who will die (one will die), the self is the one who will always live (one will live). To be whole means to experience the ego as a manifestation of the self, which thus will shine like the self (be filled with light). If one is divided between them, serving now one and then the other, unhappiness will be the result (one will be filled by darkness). Then also the division between me and the rest of the world will remain. That division is absent in the person who is whole, because then the world is also seen as a manifestation of the self and one feels united with everybody.

86. Jesus said, "[Foxes have] their dens and birds have their nests, but the son of man has no place to lay down his head and rest."

Interpretation :

The body or the animal nature can rest in sleep (foxes have their dens and birds have their nests), but the ego (the son), as the false identity of the self (of man), can never rest his mind (lay down his head and rest). As long as the ego is present, peace is not.

87. Jesus said, "How miserable is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on these two."

Interpretation :

How unhappy (miserable) is the astral body or feeling body (the body) that depends for its happiness on the physical body (on a body). And how unhappy (miserable) is the causal body (the soul) that depends on both these bodies (these two) for happiness.

112. Jesus said, "Damn the flesh that depends on the soul. Damn the soul that depends on the flesh."

Interpretation :

The body is but a manifestation of the self (the soul). If the self identifies with the body and becomes the ego (the soul that depends on the flesh), it will be unhappy (damned). And if the body or the ego believes that the self will make it immortal (the flesh that depends on the soul), it will likewise be disappointed. The body is expendable, replaceable. The self can only depend on itself. All else is ego.

THE PATH

6. The seeker will find (sayings 2, 59, 76, 94, 97, 109)

2. Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. And after they have reigned they will rest."

Interpretation :

When you seek you will find, so don't lose faith. When however you start to see the truth of the self (when they find), the only reality, then the ego often feels troubled (will be disturbed) by its own lack of existence. Where to hold on to ? Yet, once the realization deepens to that level where the ego becomes really thin (when they are disturbed), the fear about the lost identity is replaced by wonder (they will marvel) at ones true identity and you will be more and more identified with the self. That will give you influence over others, the ability to lead them (reign over all) to the same light, which is an essential part of spiritual progress, the 5th chakra phase. After ones role is fulfilled in this (after they have reigned), final rest dawns with enlightenment (they will rest).

59. Jesus said, "Look to the living one as long as you live, otherwise you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see."

Interpretation :

Focus on the self (the living one) throughout your life (as long as you live). Otherwise when dying (might die), you will not be sufficiently connected to the self to truly merge with it (will be unable to see). When dying, a major part of the illusion of the world is lifted because the sense organs disappear along with the physical body. For many souls it is the most auspicious time to seek the self (try to see the living one) and merge with it. However, those that are too much attached to their body and personality and not enough turned towards the self during their lifetime, will miss the opportunity and will again be caught in the game of birth and rebirth.

76. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself. So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys."

Interpretation :

To find enlightenment (the father's kingdom), seek that which is eternal, never changing (like a pearl). Get rid of that which is temporary, ever changing (which is not enduring, eaten by moths and worms).

94. Jesus [said], "One who seeks will find, and for [one who knocks] it will be opened."

Interpretation :

The honest seeker will find the door to the truth (who seeks will find) and when he can also release the sense of doership of the ego and be humble in front of this door (knock), he will find enlightenment (it will be opened).

97. Jesus said, "The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty."

Interpretation :

When we feel in connection to enlightenment and the self (the kingdom, the meal) it may happen that when we are involved in the world of names and forms (walk along a distant road), we lose this connection because our mind is not longer centered inside (the handle of the jar broke) and slowly the connection is lost (the meal spilled) without us noticing (she didn't know it, didn't notice a problem). But when at some point we pause (reached her house) and try to relax our mind (put the jar down) we are surprised to find this connection gone (it was empty). Remain focused, stay connected.

109. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it. And [when] he died he left it to his [son]. The son [did] not know about it either. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer went plowing, [discovered] the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished."

Interpretation :

We all have the treasure of self-knowledge inside (hidden in his field), but most remain unaware of it (did not know it). This treasure is found only by those who seek (plow). When they find it, they can share it (lend money) with anyone (whomever he wished) and get it back with interest (at interest).

7. Look beyond the senses (sayings 3, 5, 17, 113)

3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

Interpretation :

Truth, enlightenment and happiness (the father's kingdom) are the reality that is nowhere to be found in particular (not in sky or sea) because it is everywhere, both inside and outside (within and without). Still it is primarily by looking inside (when you know yourselves) and finding your own true self (you will be known) that you can leave the poverty of separation aside, stop being that poverty and live fully in tune and in union with the unlimited richness of our divine nature, as a family of children of the Supreme (the living Father).

5. Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. And there is nothing buried that will not be raised."

Interpretation :

The one who recognizes the illusionary nature of sensory input (know what is in front of your face), at the same time starts to see the truth that includes everything (what is hidden from you will be disclosed). Truth is not hiding, nor is it hidden (there is nothing hidden) by anyone but our own idea of truth having a form, a shape or a color that we can experience and define through the senses. By definition, truth is beyond form because it is absolute and unlimited and form is always relative and limited. Hence, only when closing our eyes we can truly see. Then that reality which was ever there (nothing buried), will appear as if rising out of nowhere. There is no need to dig up anything.

17. Jesus said, "I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart."

Interpretation :

The self, the Supreme, the truth which Jesus offers (will give you), is entirely beyond the senses (eye, ear, skin). It is also entirely beyond the comprehension and imagination of mind and thus beyond our desires (what has not arisen in the human heart). Mind offers only a sense-based understanding, which can only qualify things in relative comparison to each other, bigger/smaller, etc., which means in separation, and not in absolute union.

113. His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?" "It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."

Interpretation :

The enlightened self and enlightenment (the kingdom) are not found by seeking it (watching for it) in the manifested universe (here or there). It is always present (spread out upon the earth) in each and everything. We just don't realize it (people don't see it). We are already enlightened. There is nothing else to find.

8. The need to get mind under control (sayings 7, 20, 27, 28, 35, 53, 98, 103)

7. Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human."

Interpretation :

Mind (the lion) is in bliss (lucky) when absorbed by the self (eaten by the human, Man). Then mind loses its animal nature and really becomes human (the lion becomes human) by only serving the self. However, if mind believes it can take control of the self (the lion eats the human) and takes its place as the ego - mind becomes impure (foul). However, there is no escape from the self as the essential "I" is the self, so mind (the lion) will someday again recognize the self and re-identify with it (still will become human).

20. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like." He said to them, "It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky."

Interpretation :

Enlightenment (the Kingdom of Heaven ) comes through absolute onepointedness, to become smaller than the smallest of atoms (the mustard seed), also called the power of anima in Hinduism. When this onepointedness which is obtained through meditation exercise, occurs in one who is ready to drop the last karmic impressions and thus any remaining ego (falls on prepared soil), an enlightened being is created (produces a large plant), which provides shelter to everyone, including more subtle beings of light (the birds of the sky). Heaven's Kingdom descends on Earth in the presence of an enlightened being.

27. "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father's) kingdom. If you do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath you will not see the Father."

Interpretation :

To find the self and gain enlightement (the Father's Kingdom), one has to turn inside (fast from the world). To have the power to turn inside, the mind must be exercised by a variety of "fasts", which remove past addictions. Such fasts must happen regularly, which used to be organized by religion through regular spiritual festivals (like the Sabbath). The ones however who observe such religious duties without truly respecting their essential fasting nature, who dream of pastries while mouthing their prayers to god (do not observe the Sabbath as a Sabbath), will not see any spiritual progress (will not see the Father).

28. Jesus said, "I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty. But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways."

Interpretation :

When a true spiritual teacher like Jesus meets the world (appears in flesh), he finds people mind-drunk to stupidity (all drunk) by their worldly desires and attachments. They are not thirsty for the knowledge and the path that is on offer. This unending empty intoxication (came into the world empty and seek to depart empty, meanwhile they are drunk) and the lack of connection to the inside (blind in their hearts) may be somewhat saddening to the teacher (his soul ached). Only when his students may see the dissatisfying, empty nature of their attachments (shake off their wine), they may truly learn to control mind and the senses and turn inside (change their ways).

35. Jesus said, "One can't enter a strong person's house and take it by force without tying his hands. Then one can loot his house."

Interpretation :

To destroy the ego (the strong person), one must remove all attachments or possessions (loot the house). To do that, mind must first be bound (tying his hands), brought under control.

53. His disciples said to him, "Is circumcision useful or not?" He said to them, "If it were useful, their father would produce children already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become profitable in every respect."

Interpretation :

To remove the veil of the body-mind that surrounds the self (circumcision in spirit) is always valuable (profitable in every respect).

98. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a person who wanted to kill someone powerful. While still at home he drew his sword and thrust it into the wall to find out whether his hand would go in. Then he killed the powerful one."

Interpretation :

To find enlightenment (the kingdom) we need to kill the ego (someone powerful). In order to prepare for that, we first need to exercise and test our strength and mind-control (find out whether his hand would go in). Only then the ego (the powerful one) can be killed.

103. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who know where the rebels are going to attack. [They] can get going, collect their imperial resources, and be prepared before the rebels arrive."

Interpretation :

The thieves of our happiness are the desires (the rebels) that enter through the senses (where the rebels will attack). Continue on the spiritual path (get going), gather your strength (collect their imperial resources) and be prepared to fight them off in advance (before the rebels arrive) by shutting down sensory input.

9. Becoming like a child (sayings 4, 22, 46)

4. Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live. For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one."

Interpretation :

The seven day old child is yet without name, without ego, without separation. It knows reality (the place of life), because duality has not yet set in. The answer to life (the place of life) lies in the living, in the pure being (will live). So, many of those who believe that they are ahead of others, older, wiser (the first), will find themselves behind (the last), because they have lost the innocent, carefree, trusting attitude of the newborn. Yet first and last are temporary illusions, just characters in a play where all is well that ends well, as all are one and the same and all originate from the One and will return to the One (will become a single one).

22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom." They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?" Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."

Interpretation :

Like nr. 4 referring to the egoless nature of a baby. Also, the image comes forward of the ones that achieve enlightenment being those that drink the knowledge that is offered (Jesus saw some babies nursing). The nipple is there, the milk is there, the mouth is there, the only thing that ever gives trouble is that baby not wanting to drink. Enlightenment (the Father's Kingdom) means to stop discriminating, embracing absolute union (two/one, inner/outer, male/female,.). It also means to fully understand that all that we perceive is created by us, fashioned by us, that a hand is no hand except through us, a foot no foot, a likeness no likeness. For the baby, there is no difference between the experiencing, the one who experiences and that which is experienced. There is no image without the perceiver, which as such is the imaginator or creator. All creation is imagination. When that is perfectly clear, then everything will be seen as entirely dependent on the self, the Supreme - rather than the opposite - and the deepest peace will manifest (you will enter the Kingdom).

46. Jesus said, "From Adam to John the Baptist, among those born of women, no one is so much greater than John the Baptist that his eyes should not be averted. But I have said that whoever among you becomes like a child will recognize the (Father's) kingdom and will become greater than John."

Interpretation :

Same message as nr. 4. While it praises John the Baptist (no one is so much greater), it also implies that John the Baptist is just a form, born of a woman. When we lose the ego (become like a child), we will become enlightened (recognize the father's kingdom) and merge with the unborn self and thus become greater than any man (even John).

10. The need to detach from the material world (sayings 54, 63, 64, 81, 100)

54. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's kingdom."

Interpretation :

The least stuff one has (the poor), the more one can remain detached and attach to that which is truly valuable (the Kingdom). Likewise, the less knowledge one carries around (the poor), the more one can remain aware of the one truth and reach enlightenment (the kingdom). Less is more. More is just more trouble.

63. Jesus said, "There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, 'I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing.' These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

Interpretation :

Jesus points out that to seek security in worldly things (fill my storehouses with produce) has no value, as they may be lost in an instant (that very night he died). Hear the truth (listen) and drop everything else.

64. Jesus said, "A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his slave to invite the guests. The slave went to the first and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said, 'Some merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I have to go and give them instructions. Please excuse me from dinner.' The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master has invited you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time.' The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'My friend is to be married, and I am to arrange the banquet. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me from dinner.' The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought an estate, and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me.' The slave returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused.' The master said to his slave, 'Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to have dinner.' Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my Father."

Interpretation :

Same meaning as in 63 - those that are too much involved in worldly matters will not find spiritual growth (enter the places of my Father).

81. Jesus said, "Let one who has become wealthy reign, and let one who has power renounce."

Interpretation :

The one that has true knowledge (has become wealthy) can lead others. The one that has gained worldly power (has power) should renounce it and seek true knowledge.

100. They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, "The Roman emperor's people demand taxes from us." He said to them, "Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine."

Interpretation :

People are trying to involve Jesus in the politics going on between the Jews and the Romans, which are occupying Judea and imposing taxes. Jesus answers to let the problems of money and politics be dealt with by those who are attached to them (give the emperor what belongs to the emperor), and to give the divine their hearts (give God what belongs to God) and the teacher their minds (give me what is mine).

11. The need to detach from family (sayings 49, 55, 75, 99, 101)

49. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again."

Interpretation :

When you can remain detached (alone) and you have acquired sufficient good karma, then you are sufficiently connected inside so you can get the help needed (are chosen). Then you will reach enlightenment (find the kingdom). You originate from the Supreme (come from it) and your natural course is to return to it (will return again).

55. Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate their father and mother cannot be my disciple, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, will not be worthy of me."

Interpretation :

To be a disciple, one has to leave ones attachments behind, also to family (father, mother, brothers, sisters). This is the cross of detachment that the worthy disciple has to carry.

75. Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the bridal suite."

Interpretation :

Many disciples want to unite all opposites and find enlightenment (many standing at the door). But only those that are fully detached (who are alone) can find it (enter the bridal suite), can unite consciousness and energy into the Supreme.

99. The disciples said to him, "Your brothers and your mother are standing outside." He said to them, "Those here who do what my Father wants are my brothers and my mother. They are the ones who will enter my Father's kingdom."

Interpretation :

The disciples inform Jesus that his blood relatives (brothers and mother) are outside and thus he should give attention to them. Jesus answers that only those who seek the truth (do what my Father wants) are his relatives (are my brothers and mother) and need his attention. They are the ones who will find enlightenment (enter the kingdom).

101. "Whoever does not set aside father and mother as I do cannot be my [disciple], and whoever does [not] love [father and] mother as I do cannot be my [disciple]. For my mother [...], but my true [mother] gave me life."

Interpretation :

Whoever cannot detach from their blood relatives (does not set aside father and mother) as Jesus has done (as I do) cannot be a true student of truth (my disciple). And whoever does not love the pure consciousness (the father) and the pure energy (the mother) as Jesus does (as I do) cannot be a true student of truth (my disciple). For while Maria (my mother) gave birth to my body, the true universal mother energy gave me the life force or prana (life).

12. To dissolve the ego (sayings 10, 16, 26, 71)

10. Jesus said, "I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I'm guarding it until it blazes."

Interpretation :

The fire of true knowledge is required to destroy the ego and must be well guarded unless it is manipulated by the ego. It is the fire that comes out of the third eye of Shiva and the saints; Tejas, the fiery essence of knowledge of the intellect, buddhi. It is a teacher's duty to cast this fire upon the student and guard it until the student can maintain it without help (until it blazes).

16. Jesus said, "Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war. For there will be five in a house: there'll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone."

Interpretation :

The fight against the ego is a tough one and should not be underestimated. Jesus cannot magically bring peace and happiness (cast peace upon the world), but must first attack the ego (cast conflict, fire, sword, war). All your attachments will need to be questioned. Yet also these attachments will continuously counter-attack the truth, for example through the intermediate of ones relatives and their attachments (father against son and vice versa). Hence the true seeker must be free of personal attachments, ready to leave family and friends if necessary (stand alone) to transform himself. The spiritual battle is a battle one ultimately must fight alone.

26. Jesus said, "You see the sliver in your friend's eye, but you don't see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend's eye."

Interpretation :

Clean up your own act (take the timber out of your own eye) before you want to clean up the world (remove the sliver in your friend's eye). We sometimes criticize minor things in others (mere slivers), while we have not removed the main problem of the ego (the timber) in ourselves.

71. Jesus said, "I will destroy [this] house, and no one will be able to build it [...]."

Interpretation :

Jesus will destroy the ego (the house) of his disciples and once that is done it cannot be restored (no one will be able to build it).

13. To chose between ego and self (sayings 21, 37, 47, 60, 69)

21. Mary said to Jesus, "What are your disciples like?" He said, "They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, 'Give us back our field.' They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them. For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions. As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can't find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come. Let there be among you a person who understands. When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"

Interpretation :

Disciples live with an understanding, a set of concepts (living in a field) that is not yet theirs, as it is still based on hearsay, ideas explained by the teacher, rather than understood through direct experience. The ego (the owners), who also owns every one of these concepts (the field), will soon start claiming them back, turning the story to its own advantage. Till then the disciples are only wearing these concepts as parts of their ego, their public image (as clothes). In again surrendering to the ego, the concepts obtained from the teachings also have to be given back to the ego, repudiated (take off their clothes). Thus, the ego is the thief that will always try to steal away our true understanding (our possessions). So, one must ever be on guard against the illusion of form (the world) and exercise mind control (prepare with great strength), because the ego will counter-attack when given an opportunity (the trouble you expect will come). Jesus then expresses his hope that one of his disciples really understands this. He must not delay in fully embracing the truth (harvest it when it is ripe), hear what there is to hear, now.

37. His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?" Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."

Interpretation :

The self (the son of the living one) can be seen only if one can accept oneself fully, without shame. Only then will it be possible to remove the concepts and attachments that constitute the ego (take off your clothes), renounce them (put them under your feet) and destroy them (trample them). Then one can see oneself as the self, as the son of the supreme, the only truly living One and be truly fearless (will not be afraid). Accepting the ego as a natural phenomenon, it can be shed, rendered powerless, subdued. There is no shame in being caught by illusion or Maya, because without it the play of life or Leela could not have been possible.

47. Jesus said, "A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows. And a slave cannot serve two masters, otherwise that slave will honor the one and offend the other. Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil. An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create a tear."

Interpretation :

Make your choice, serve either the ego or the self, cause you can't do both (mount two horses, bend two bows, serve two masters). Also, don't mix the old ways of the ego (aged wine) and the new spiritual ways and practices that lead to the self (young wine). It neither makes sense to absorb the knowledge of the self without releasing the attachments of the ego (pour young wine in old wineskins), nor to soil the new understanding by reviving old concepts (pour aged wine in a new wineskin, sew an old patch on a new garment). You have to let go.

60. He saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb and going to Judea . He said to his disciples, "that person ... around the lamb." They said to him, "So that he may kill it and eat it." He said to them, "He will not eat it while it is alive, but only after he has killed it and it has become a carcass." They said, "Otherwise he can't do it." He said to them, "So also with you, seek for yourselves a place for rest, or you might become a carcass and be eaten.

Interpretation :

To enjoy the self (eat the lamb), first the ego must be killed by seeing it as an illusion, as a dead object (a carcass). One must stick to calmness (a place for rest), so that one stays ever close to the self. If not, identification with the ego is likely to increase (you might become a carcass) and you will be attached to something which is entirely perishable (you might be eaten) and will fear death.

69. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who have been persecuted in their hearts: they are the ones who have truly come to know the Father. Congratulations to those who go hungry, so the stomach of the one in want may be filled."

Interpretation :

When one starts to understand the truth of the Supreme (know the Father), then a struggle inside starts between the ego and our understanding of the self (persecuted in their hearts). That is a good sign (congratulations). Yet one should not dwell on this feeling of separation from the divine. By fasting from the world and our attachments (go hungry), we can direct our attention towards the self who has been lacking attention (fill the stomach of the one in want). At that stage, this is the best approach (congratulations).

14. No need for feeling guilty (sayings 6, 14, 89, 104)

6. His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?" Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."

Interpretation :

The answer lies not in "what to do" (fast, pray, charity), nor in "what to avoid" (diet,..). If one can drop such foolish questions altogether then true being is uncovered. Action inspired by true being (no lie, no hate) is always truthful, natural and enjoyable. It may involve doing and not doing, yet there will be no urge to do or not to do. That which one needs to find is anyhow not hidden and requires no doing nor non-doing, covering or uncovering to be found.

14. Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits. When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them. After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you."

Interpretation :

Humbly accept what you receive (eat what they serve) and give what you have, which is the healing power of love (heal the sick). All else is just an ego-game - most of all any attempts at severe austerities (fasting), at changing the course of things (through selfish prayer), or at buying your way out (giving to charity). After all, there is nothing wrong with the natural act of eating (what goes in your mouth will not defile you), but a lot can go wrong in a display of wisdom or preaching (what comes out of your mouth will defile you). Teach by example, by pure being, only.

89. Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don't you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?"

Interpretation :

Why do we often put so much attention into trying to purify the mere form (wash the outside of the cup), such as body, mind or society ? It is because we are still attached to the unreal reality of the form and do not recognize that the self is both the source of itself (the one who made the inside) as it is the source of the body and the entire universe (the one who made the outside). When being centered in the self, all outer problems disappear.

104. They said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray today, and let us fast." Jesus said, "What sin have I committed, or how have I been undone? Rather, when the groom leaves the bridal suite, then let people fast and pray."

Interpretation :

Penances (fasting) or surrender (prayer) are not needed for an enlightened being like Jesus. He does not need to detach from anything, as he is detached from everything (what sin have I committed). He is always connected to the Supreme (how have I been undone). However, when in people there is no union between energy and consciousness, between individual consciousness and cosmic consciousness, between ego and self (when the groom leaves the bridal suite), then penances and surrender through prayer are required (let people fast and pray).

15. Accepting truth (sayings 38, 41, 51, 79)

38. Jesus said, "Often you have desired to hear these sayings that I am speaking to you, and you have no one else from whom to hear them. There will be days when you will seek me and you will not find me."

Interpretation :

Often we are searching for the truth (desire to hear these sayings) but we can find no-one to enlighten us (no one from whom to hear them). Both the truth as the teacher of truth are sometimes hard to find even though we seek (you will seek and will not find). So now, when Jesus is speaking (that I am speaking), is a time for really listening.

41. Jesus said, "Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have."

Interpretation :

If some understanding is there (has something in hand), more will come (will be given more). When not even some understanding is there (has nothing), will lose everything else - such as worldly happiness - also (the little they have).

51. His disciples said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?" He said to them, "What you are looking forward to has come, but you don't know it."

Interpretation :

While we may look forward to a release from the suffering of the ego (rest for the dead) and the coming of enlightenment (a new world), both are always available. And with the coming of the spiritual teacher, it is also made available (has come). One needs but to see it (know it), accept it, to make it work its magic.

79. A woman in the crowd said to him, "Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you." He said to [her], "Lucky are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Lucky is the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.'"

Interpretation :

Only to hear the truth (the word of the Father) and to stick to the truth (truly kept it) brings happiness (are lucky). It is more valuable even than giving birth to an enlightened being like Jesus (the womb that bore you), or to feed the baby Jesus (the breasts that fed you). Also because in the end (there will be days), one will truly understand (you will say) the self is only true source of happiness (lucky), the one who is unborn (from the womb that has not conceived) and self-sustaining (from breasts that have not given milk).

16. The power that comes from self-knowledge (sayings 19, 48, 84, 106)

19. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being. If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you. For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death."

Interpretation :

Blessed is the self as the Supreme, who was before it ever manifested (came into being before coming into being). In the undivided Supreme Being ( Paradise ), the 5 elements - Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space - (five trees) exist as one element beyond the elements, which in Hindu scriptures is called Mahatattva, the element associated with the 6th chakra. Within this supreme element, the five elements are ever unchanging (do not change, summer or winter), ever in peaceful paradise, never disturbed (their leaves do not fall). The one who can master the five elements (knows them) will master all matter (the stones will serve you) and need not fear death (will not taste death) as this element never dies. It is this mastery that allows an enlightened being to take any form at will.

48. Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in a single house, they will say to the mountain, 'Move from here!' and it will move."

Interpretation :

There are no limits to what one can do (move a mountain) if one can be fully at peace within oneself, joining the inner opposite forces of consciousness and energy, purusha and prakriti (the two making peace in a single house).

84. Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you are happy. But when you see your likeness that came into being before you and that neither dies nor becomes visible, how much you will have to bear!"

Interpretation :

When you look into the mirror (see your likeness) then you naturally love your image (you are happy). So when you will recognize yourself as the self, the source of your being (the likeness that came into being before you) and neither mortal nor manifested (that neither dies nor becomes visible), how much love will you feel (how much will you have to bear) ? Of course, some people hate themselves when looking in the mirror, precisely because the form they see is limited, imperfect, mortal and they have difficulty accepting that. But when they will find the self, only love will be available, because they will see how unlimited, perfect and eternal they really are.

106. Jesus said, "When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, 'Mountain, move from here!' it will move."

Interpretation :

When consciousness and energy, purusha and prakriti (the two) finally become one (into one), then we become like the first man (Adam), untainted by division (before tasting the apple). Then also the full potential of magical powers that we all possess is realized and we will be able for example to move mountains.

17. How to live the teachings (sayings 25, 36, 42, 45, 57, 58, 66, 70)

25. Jesus said, "Love your friends like your own soul, protect them like the pupil of your eye."

Interpretation :

Everyone is to be loved as the one common soul (your own soul), a brotherly/sisterly love indeed, which recognizes that we all arise from the same source, that we all are connected, all family, all the same, all one. Thus we should care for others as much as we care for ourselves, as the pupil of our eyes is probably that part of our body which we will guard the most.

36. Jesus said, "Do not fret, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, about your food, what you are going to wear.

Interpretation :

Do not be concerned about your public image (what you are going to wear), nor about your survival and enjoyment (what you are going to eat), whether you are having a difficult time, moving in darkness (from eve to morning) or whether you are having an easy time, moving in light (from morning to evening).

42. Jesus said, "Be passersby."

Interpretation :

Be detached, an observer.

45. Jesus said, "Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they yield no fruit. Good persons produce good from what they've stored up; bad persons produce evil from the wickedness they've stored up in their hearts, and say evil things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil."

Interpretation :

To feel bad or think negative thoughts never produces good (no grapes from thorn trees, no figs from thistles). To feel good and to think positive thoughts never produces bad. That is the essence of the law of Karma, produced by the creative power of though and emotion. The karmic impressions (stored in our heart) see to the execution of that power. From the same richness of our feeling nature, which is the true witnessing quality of the self, the feeling centre (the overflow of the heart), one person produces the negative, the other the positive.

57. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a person who has [good] seed. His enemy came during the night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The person did not let the workers pull up the weeds, but said to them, 'No, otherwise you might go to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them.' For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be conspicuous, and will be pulled up and burned."

Interpretation :

The self, the Supreme, enlightenment (the kingdom) produces many divine tendencies (good seeds). The ego (his enemy) produces demonic, selfish tendencies (weeds). There is no need for the Supreme to remove all demonic tendencies (pull up the weeds) from creation. Neither should the teacher (the person) focus his students (the workers) on removing those selfish tendencies (pull up the weeds). That might at the same time damage the divine tendencies (pull up the wheat along with them). Both are just tendencies. How can one chose to be good if one is left with no choice to be bad ? Demonic and divine tendencies are two sides of the same coin. In the end, when enlightenment dawns (on the day of harvest), the demonic tendencies (the weeds) will be easy to recognize (conspicuous), remove and destroy (pulled up and burned).

58. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the person who has suffered and has found life."

Interpretation :

Through suffering (who has suffered) we become detached from the attachments that make us suffer. Through detachment we may find the true self, the true life (has found life). Of course, to suffer does not necessarily mean to learn. Blessed is the one (congratulations) who can turn suffering into learning (has suffered and has found life).

66. Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the keystone."

Interpretation :

The key message as well as the key path (the keystone) is rejected by those that believe enlightenment is something to be constructed, conceptualized, contained, used (the builders). The key message is the self, the path is silence. Nothing needs to be done, which is both easy and difficult.

70. Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."

Interpretation :

If you focus your attention (bring forth) on the self (what is within you), then you will have the self and will be saved (what you have will save you). If you cannot find the self (do not have that within you), then the absence of the self or the identification with the ego (what you do not have) will make you suffer (will kill you).

THE TEACHER

18. The nature of the teacher (sayings 72, 82, 88, 90)

72. A [person said] to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me." He said to the person, "Mister, who made me a divider?" He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I'm not a divider, am I?"

Interpretation :

The teacher is not a divider, he is a unifier.

82. Jesus said, "Whoever is near me is near the fire, and whoever is far from me is far from the (Father's) kingdom."

Interpretation :

Whoever remains near to the teacher & the self (near me), loves both, is near to the loving puri-fire (is near the fire) that destroys the ego and brings enlightenment (the kingdom). Whoever holds a distance from the teacher & the self (is far from me), is far from attaining enlightenment (the kingdom). It just can't be 'your' enlightenment.

88. Jesus said, "The messengers and the prophets will come to you and give you what belongs to you. You, in turn, give them what you have, and say to yourselves, 'When will they come and take what belongs to them?'"

Interpretation :

The angels (messengers) and saints (prophets) bring us the truth of love, which is already ours (what belongs to you). We then feel grateful (in turn) and give them what we have (what you have), such as food and shelter. But we are still feeling indebted and fear that these angels and saints may return to reclaim (come and take) this great wealth, of which we feel unworthy (what belongs to them). However, nothing needs to be returned or retaken. Truth and love do not become less by sharing. There is no need to feel indebted to those who share it. The closer we come to the self, the more we will understand that it belongs to each and everyone.

90. Jesus said, "Come to me, for my yoke is comfortable and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves."

Interpretation :

Come to the teacher, for his union or yoga (yoke) is easy (comfortable) and his teaching (lordship) is gentle. Follow the teachings and you will have peace (find rest).

19. The teacher must be choosy (sayings 8, 9, 23, 73, 107)

8. And he said, "The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"

Interpretation :

Some people have ears (two good ones), but are not yet ready to hear the truth. Those (the little fish) the wise teacher (a wise fisherman) drops back into the sea of illusion, so that they can grow spiritually some more through their life experiences. Thus the wise teacher can direct all his attention to the one who is ready to understand (the fine large fish).

9. Jesus said, "Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn't take root in the soil and didn't produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure."

Interpretation :

Same message in another story as nr. 8, the seeds being the knowledge of truth. Yet, it adds that the sower of wisdom cannot avoid some of his message to fall where it cannot be understood (didn't take root), or where it easily gets lost again (fell on thorns, choked, worms ate them). However, it is worth the effort as in the few students where the message does strike home (fell on good soil), the wisdom is multiplied (produced a good crop). There may be a difference between students as to how strong they become (yielded sixty per measure or one hundred twenty per measure), yet in any case the sowing of truth continues in an ever more abundant fashion.

23. Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one."

Interpretation :

Same as 8 and 9. How many are chosen is not just depending on the numbers of those with ears that hear that are available. It also depends on the teacher, on what he intends, what he receives and what he can handle. Hence 2 and not 10 out of 10.000 as compared to 1 out of 1000. Quality is more important than quantity. Anyhow, there is just the One and those chosen will act like the One, be the One (stand as a single one) and thus the numbers don't really matter.

73. Jesus said, "The crop is huge but the workers are few, so beg the harvest boss to dispatch workers to the fields."

Interpretation :

Enlightenment (the crop) is great (huge), but few disciples work to find it (workers are few). Please Lord (the harvest boss), send me more disciples (dispatch workers) to harvest the truth I have sown (to the fields).

107. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it. After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, 'I love you more than the ninety-nine.'"

Interpretation :

The majority (the ninety-nine) easily follow the shepherds' rule and live a rather spiritual life lead by tradition and society leadership. Those with more potential however (the largest) see that they have a choice between good or bad and thus know that essentially we are all free and behave as such (went astray). Those promising students are especially taken care for (until he found it) and loved by the teacher (I love you more). The one who chooses the good consciously, is so much more valuable compared to the one who does good only in as far as tradition and society require it.

20. We must be ready to hear the truth (sayings 13, 62, 92, 93)

13. Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like." Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a just messenger." Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher." Thomas said to him, "Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like." Jesus said, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended." And he took him (Thomas), and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?" Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you."

Interpretation :

Thomas rightly understands that Jesus - as the self or the Supreme - cannot be described, is beyond words (unable to say what you are like). What Jesus answers him is a compliment for really trying to understand (you have drunk), and thus having understood (become intoxicated), so that Thomas no longer even needs a teacher (I am not your teacher). Yet, the understanding must be brought to a deeper level by teaching Thomas more in private (withdrew) that understanding for which the other are not yet ready. What Jesus told Thomas in private is not discussed, but we may guess that the three sayings might be : 1. Jesus is not different from anybody else (not a son of God in any particular sense), 2. All can be like Jesus, merged with the Supreme and 3. Nothing exists but pure consciousness/energy, the Supreme, not even Jesus or his father as the creator-god, which are also illusions. Anyone of those 3 revelations might indeed have caused anger among the other apostles (pick up rocks and stone me) if Thomas would have uttered them, because the other apostles still need the ideal of a son of God talking to them. Thomas wanted to spare them the consequences of that anger, the devouring fire of action and reaction, Karma (fire will come from the rocks and devour you).

62. Jesus said, "I disclose my mysteries to those [who are worthy] of [my] mysteries.

Interpretation :

Quite straightforward...

92. Jesus said, "Seek and you will find. In the past, however, I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now I am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them."

Interpretation :

The answer is in the question (seek and you will find). However in the past, Jesus may not have been able to answer all questions of his students (I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then), as they may have been premature, as the students may not have been ready to accept the whole truth. Now, Jesus is ready to teach the whole truth (am willing to tell them), but in order to do that he needs the students to be interested in asking the right questions (you are not seeking them).

93. "Don't give what is holy to dogs, for they might throw them upon the manure pile. Don't throw pearls [to] pigs, or they might ... it [...]."

Interpretation :

If those who are still very much ruled by their animal nature (dogs, pigs) would be told the truth (what is holy), their egos would corrupt it (throw upon the manure pile).

21. To recognize the self as the supreme teacher (sayings 43, 52, 74, 91, 108)

43. His disciples said to him, "Who are you to say these things to us?" "You don't understand who I am from what I say to you. Rather, you have become like the Judeans, for they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but hate the tree."

Interpretation :

The question of the disciples challenges the right of Jesus to teach, as he seems an ordinary man (who are you to say these things). However, the true teacher is the self, not the man. So you cannot understand the man (understand who I am) by what he teaches (from what I say). Through the teachings you can only come to understand the self. This way, if you love the teacher in a way that places him above you, as more than an ordinary man, then the fruits of his teachings will not be satisfying to you, out of reach for the ordinary person you think yourself to be (you love the tree but hate the fruit). Or if you love the teachings in a way of claiming them as your own achievement, without seeing their true source which is the self, you will have jealous feelings towards the teacher (love the fruit but hate the tree).

52. His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel , and they all spoke of you." He said to them, "You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead."

Interpretation :

The disciples seek reassurance about listening to Jesus in the announcement by the prophets of the coming savior, which they recognize as Jesus. Jesus points out that true reassurance on the value of his teachings will only come from the self, the beingness (the living one in your presence), where they may experience the truth directly themselves. The prophets are not only dead long ago, they have never truly lived (the dead) as the only one that truly lives is the self, the Supreme.

74. He said, "Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the well."

Interpretation :

Many disciples come to Jesus (the drinking trough) to be saved, but Truth is only found inside. The teacher can guide you inside, but cannot himself remove your ignorance and save you (there is nothing in the well).

91. They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you." He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment."

Interpretation :

People ask Jesus for proof of his divine nature in order that they may be more confident in following his teachings. To that Jesus answers that while they may know much from studying the outer appearance of the universe through astrology and other sciences (examine the face of heaven and earth), they do not yet know the self (the one who is), as the beingness (in your presence), that always remains in the eternal now and can only be known (examined) by witnessing the now (the present moment).

108. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him."

Interpretation :

Those who truly listen to the words of the teacher (drinks from my mouth) will become like the teacher (like me). They will become the one truth of the self (I will become that person) and nothing will be left hidden (will be revealed).

22. How to find a good teacher (sayings 12, 24, 34, 78)

12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?" Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are, you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

Interpretation :

The highest aim of creation, the very purpose and summit of it (for whose sake heaven and earth came into being), is in creating the possibility of achieving holiness amidst the limitation of being just a small human being like everybody else. From all accounts, such was the nature of James the Just and such is the nature of the true teacher & saint (our leader). To such a teacher one must go for guidance and to no other (no matter where you are).

24. His disciples said, "Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it." He said to them, "Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark."

Interpretation :

The one who knows the self (the person of light) must let it (the light) shine through and true, spread the truth (shine on the whole world). When seeking the self (we must seek it) we have to remember that we can recognize the self by its effect (it shines). If we do not feel that effect in someone posing as a teacher, then this is not a true teacher (if it does not shine it is dark). The source of all understanding is the self and only through the self one can bring understanding to others.

34. Jesus said, "If a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a hole."

Interpretation :

The message is pretty obvious : follow the real teacher and not the fake one (the blind leading the blind). It will ruin both the student and the fake teacher (both will fall). It is tempting to add that "the one-eyed is king in the land of the blind, but what you need is not just a two-eyed teacher, but a three-eyed one." (a saying of Harish Johari, referring to the third eye of the 6 th chakra).

78. Jesus said, "Why have you come out to the countryside? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a person dressed in soft clothes, [like your] rulers and your powerful ones? They are dressed in soft clothes, and they cannot understand truth."

Interpretation :

Spiritual searchers are too often focused on outer appearance to judge the value of a teacher. Neither the signs of heavy detachment such as food fasting (looking like a reed shaken by the wind), nor signs of worldly power (soft clothes, like those worn by rulers) which is only attachment, are indicative of true spiritual value.

23. How to be a good teacher (sayings 31, 32, 33, 68, 95)

43. His disciples said to him, "Who are you to say these things to us?" "You don't understand who I am from what I say to you. Rather, you have become like the Judeans, for they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but hate the tree."

Interpretation :

The question of the disciples challenges the right of Jesus to teach, as he seems an ordinary man (who are you to say these things). However, the true teacher is the self, not the man. So you cannot understand the man (understand who I am) by what he teaches (from what I say). Through the teachings you can only come to understand the self. This way, if you love the teacher in a way that places him above you, as more than an ordinary man, then the fruits of his teachings will not be satisfying to you, out of reach for the ordinary person you think yourself to be (you love the tree but hate the fruit). Or if you love the teachings in a way of claiming them as your own achievement, without seeing their true source which is the self, you will have jealous feelings towards the teacher (love the fruit but hate the tree).

52. His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel , and they all spoke of you." He said to them, "You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead."

Interpretation :

The disciples seek reassurance about listening to Jesus in the announcement by the prophets of the coming savior, which they recognize as Jesus. Jesus points out that true reassurance on the value of his teachings will only come from the self, the beingness (the living one in your presence), where they may experience the truth directly themselves. The prophets are not only dead long ago, they have never truly lived (the dead) as the only one that truly lives is the self, the Supreme.

74. He said, "Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the well."

Interpretation :

Many disciples come to Jesus (the drinking trough) to be saved, but Truth is only found inside. The teacher can guide you inside, but cannot himself remove your ignorance and save you (there is nothing in the well).

91. They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you." He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment."

Interpretation :

People ask Jesus for proof of his divine nature in order that they may be more confident in following his teachings. To that Jesus answers that while they may know much from studying the outer appearance of the universe through astrology and other sciences (examine the face of heaven and earth), they do not yet know the self (the one who is), as the beingness (in your presence), that always remains in the eternal now and can only be known (examined) by witnessing the now (the present moment).

108. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him."

Interpretation :

Those who truly listen to the words of the teacher (drinks from my mouth) will become like the teacher (like me). They will become the one truth of the self (I will become that person) and nothing will be left hidden (will be revealed).

24. Beware of scholars and priests (sayings 39, 40, 65, 67, 102)

39. Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so. As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves."

Interpretation :

The priests (Pharisees) and scholars hide the knowledge of the self and yoga (the keys) that leads to enlightenment (the kingdom of heaven). They do not live according to this knowledge (have not entered, used the keys) and they even stop others from doing so by keeping the knowledge to themselves (do not allow others to enter). You who are entering (as for you), be smart but inconspicuous (sly as snakes) by remaining outwardly humble and peaceful (simple as doves), otherwise they will try to stop you.

40. Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted apart from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish."

Interpretation :

Sometimes, even with good intend, a spiritual path (a grapevine) is created that is planted outside of the truth (apart from the Father). Because it is rooted in error, the error will be found (pulled up by its root) and the path will not last (perish).

65. He said, "A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. His master said, 'Perhaps they didn't know him.' He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they'll show my son some respect.' Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

Interpretation :

From the Supreme (the owner, the master), a field of spiritual understanding (the vineyard) has been leased to the Pharisees (some farmers) to work with in order to bring about enlightenment (the vineyard's crop). However, when God sends prophets (slaves) to the Pharisees (the farmers) to instruct them to use the knowledge and become enlightened (return the crop), the prophets (slaves) are obstructed (beaten). God then send a truly enlightened being (his son, Jesus), hoping for more respect. Him the Pharisees killed (killed him), because they knew that his understanding by far surpassed theirs (knew that he was the heir to the vineyard) and they feared for their position. They want to possess the knowledge because it gives them power, but they do not want to listen, truly accept it and apply it.

67. Jesus said, "Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are utterly lacking."

Interpretation :

Those who have a lot of spiritual understanding (know all), but are unable to bring it into true spiritual practice (are lacking in themselves), will be very unhappy (are utterly lacking). Better be ignorant, than to know and ignore the knowledge.

102. Jesus said, "Damn the Pharisees! They are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger: the dog neither eats nor [lets] the cattle eat."

Interpretation :

Jesus damns the scholars and priests (the Pharisees). They guard (like a dog) the understanding of truth (the cattle manger), yet they do not truly study nor follow the truth (neither eat) nor allow other people to do so (nor let the cattle eat).



About


Leela is the ancient vedic name for the theater of life. Life in all its forms is an illusion behind which we can find the ultimate truth of pure Being. Yet life is also a divine theater, a spiritual game played by us, the actors. Yoga allows us to hold on to the bliss of truth while playing the game. And also this yoga is a game, which we can only take seriously if we do not take ourselves and this game too seriously. That is the meaning of Leela Yoga, nothing more, nothing less. So, Leela Yoga is a vision on yoga and also a name for a simple organisation that allows me to bring this vision into practice... more about Leela Yoga & Peter Marchand

Peter Marchand Facebook page

International Leela Yoga Facebook Group

Belgium : www.leela-yoga.be

Harish Johari students sangha : www.sanatansociety.org

  in sweet memory
of Harish Johari

Quotes


As the destination is the same for all, it is easy to make the error of assuming that the path must be just as universal.

The attachment that happens in the pursuit of happiness is the main source of unhappiness.

Don't think of going somewhere, because this somewhere will come along with you wherever you go, as you are already there.

Yoga requires unity between enjoyment and suffering, between bhoga and yoga, even between attachment and detachment.

How can anyone be "good" without a choice between good and bad?

While the mind creates the illusion of the universe through the senses, the intellect creates the illusion of understanding it.

When our day has been entirely ego-centered, then our meditation will probably have similar poor quality.

When the focus on the self is held strongly enough, the flow of kundalini energy happens on its own, naturally.

Tiptoe inside, don't make a sound, don't scare away that which cannot be found.

Enlightenment is nothing more or less than the final level of the game of life.