Christmas: A Time for Transformation

Light Hall at The Ashram
Shree Peetha Nilaya, 25 December 2018

Gurudev gave a heartfelt satsang on Christmas Day right after the abhishekam with the children to Baby Jesus. He spoke about what Jesus came to do, the importance of transforming ourselves, and the kind of love that mankind is forever searching for. 

Jai Gurudev everyone! Merry Christmas to all of you!

Christmas Talk – Paramahamsa Vishwananda

The birth of Jesus in the West has become very commercial, you know. So here, when you talk about festivities, it’s all about talking about 'What shall I buy?' But in reality Christmas brings this atmosphere of gathering, family, which very often people nowadays have forgotten. You see, gathering is to remember, not to have parties. Well, we have parties also, but at the same time we remember the most essential thing of life which is the spiritual side.

Jesus has come to remind humanity of the Love of God. You see, before Him, people were fearing God. Everything they would do was out of fear, so He came to remind that God is loving. He has also shown that to love is a sacrifice. Love is not something that is easy. In that, you are all experts; you know about it. So, in love, what does sacrifice mean? When we look at His life, His life was a life of sacrifice. In love it is the same. When you love, you forget about yourself. You place your beloved first.

That’s what Lord Krishna has shown also. If you want to attain God, which is the main aim of one’s life, you must transform yourself. And the transforming of oneself is to place God first, above everything. Somebody asked, ‘Did Jesus not know that He would be sacrificed?’ Of course, He knew that He will be crucified. He knew why He was coming. He knew that His life was a life of sacrificing for the Love of God, a life of sacrifice to show the way. How many of people will say, ‘Yes, we are celebrating Christmas. We have found this love’? You know, hearing in all the songs, 'oh, Jesus was born and we have a saviour', whatever, whatever. Those are beautiful words, but words have power. It’s not about just saying or singing it, but we have to transform ourselves into that love. We believe in Krishna, we believe in Jesus, we believe in God, we believe whatever name we give to Him, but ultimately He is that Love and it is through that Love that we are bound, that we are related. We became one family through the universal Love which God has placed inside each individual.

Without realising this Love, you can’t call yourself a human being. And that’s what connects the whole humanity, and not only humans. I’m talking about every individual and everything that has been created. In the Gita, Bhagavan Krishna said, ‘The animate and inanimate, I am present inside of them.’ So, God is not only present in those whom we love, in whom we say, ‘This person is dear to me’. God is present in the animals, in the plants, in the stones, everywhere. But it just needs a little bit of your time to really open up your heart and see. Open up your mind so that you can truly comprehend that, whenever a saint, a sadhu, or an Avatar incarnates, they bring the same message, and that message is how to attain God. Because this is our main purpose in life: to attain back to who we were.

Christmas Talk – Paramahamsa Vishwananda

If you hold upon the negative side of your life and sit and cry, you will never move forward. Then you will say that love is very difficult, because your aim will be only to get something. That's not even love, because you have not yet understood what love is. When you want to get something that you can use for your own benefit, then life doesn’t become a life of sacrifice, it becomes a life of possessing things. Even the individual you love, even the people around you that you say, yes, you love, you will try to take, and try to make them become a thing. Then you will never be able to appreciate what God is giving you, because whatever God does, He does it perfectly.

He created you perfect. There is no defect in you. The defect comes later! You see, God created you perfect, but you make yourself defective. And that is because you can’t accept yourself. So, because you can’t accept yourself, you make yourself defective because you keep judging yourself. That’s why Jesus said: 'Don’t judge so you shall not be judged', no? This is one of His first commandments, no?

But this is one thing that everybody does, first thing. And this is normal, it's human, because you have not taken time to really be absorbed and soak yourself with the Love of God. You have thought that you have understood the Love of God, but Love is not to be understood. Love is to feel and to live and to spread. Then your life becomes a life of sacrifice.

Sacrifice doesn’t mean that you will be killed on the cross or that you will only suffer. No, sacrifice is not about that. Sacrifice is about forgetting your petty self and placing something greater in front. So, forgetting about your little needs which your mind makes you think you need, but aiming for something greater. You are a human being, no? You are created in the image of God. You are created with all the power which God has inside of you, but yet, you look for petty things, when you could earn something greater. You can earn the Ultimate Himself, but yet you long for only little things. You are not made to earn little things. You are made to earn something beyond, you know. You are made to earn great things, to do great things in life. But you must want it. It’s not about just saying, ‘I love God’. That everybody will say. Yes or no? If I ask you, do you love God, none of you will say, no, you don’t love Him. Eh? You fear it if you say you don’t love Him, you know. You, yourself, create that fear inside of you.

Everybody will say, ‘Yes, I love Him’. Do you know Him? You see, this is the thing: you love a concept of God, but you don’t love God. Why don’t you love God? The concept is more beautiful. The concept will never harm you, yes, because you find that the concept is a security that you can stand upon. It’s easy to believe in a God which is not to be seen. It’s easy to believe in a concept, because nobody will come and tell you you are wrong. But those who have experienced the Love of God, they have transformed; they have gone beyond. They don’t live in fear of God, but they live in the Love of God. God doesn’t want you to fear Him. He wants you to love Him. He wants you to love Him in each person in which He comes to you, you know. He wants you to love Him in yourself which He has created.

Why are you crying? Crying will not help you. Transform! That will help you. Beautiful words don’t change anything. A few drops of tears—that doesn’t change anything.  

That’s what He wants: that you love Him first in yourself. Recognise that He IS the essence of your life and He has made you perfect in His image. Learn to accept yourself, learn to know yourself.

Continuously, in the entire 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna has reminded Arjuna of that. But reminding Arjuna is not only about reminding Arjuna: it’s reminding each person how to save themselves.

Christmas Talk – Paramahamsa Vishwananda

You know, in Christianity you hear ‘save your soul’, no? But save your soul for what? The soul is beyond. So, you save it, how? It’s said if you don’t save your soul, you are damned. Well, of course, you are damned. You are damned in the cycle of birth and death continuously. So, the only way to save your soul is to realise the Love of God. We are celebrating a birth of Jesus, and I’m sure He is very happy to see everybody happy, but He would be even more happy to see you awakened in the Love of God. Then, you see, His birth will truly have a meaning. All the saints and sages keep reminding humanity.

It’s not only Jesus, but many saints, many sages, many avatars, have done such a great sacrifice. Coming down from heaven is a big sacrifice itself, you know, to come here. You know, poor chap, He came down from heaven to be crucified here. Eh? We can’t say that He didn’t know about that. He knew! The saints, the sages, the Avatars, they all know when they come down from that beautiful place, you know, and come to this place here where everything gets rotten with time, where everything disappears with time; when you leave the permanent things which are eternal there and incarnate here. This is already a sacrifice itself! He has done that to remind you that you are not to stick yourself here. You have to free yourself. And to free oneself is only through Love. There is no other way. And if you think that there is any way to free yourself other than love, then you are completely mistaken. It is only through love that you can be free.

That’s why from the beginning of your life, your life first starts by feeling this love. You feel the love of the mother, no? When you are baby, everybody loves you. Of course, when you drive your parents crazy from time to time they will say, ‘Why the hell do I deserve that kid?’ But nevertheless, love is always there.

So, you are surrounded continuously with that love. Even when you grow up, you are still looking for love, but yet, you don’t know about it. What do you say? You are ‘looking for a relationship’. That’s what you say, no? ‘I am looking for a boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife’, and so on, but actually, what you are really looking for is love. It has nothing to do with the individual in front of you. You just want to feel something different from normality. And something that can give you that feeling of difference is someone who you feel close to. But that is the love. Again, nature reminds you of love. Then you start your relationship happily, happily – for one month. Maybe one year. Then you feel that love is changing. You need some more excitement in your life. 

Either you look elsewhere or you have some babies. To feel again the need of loving. It is continuously of reminding you of love. Yes, you are thinking, yes, it’s a baby, but deep inside, if you sit and analyse yourself, you are having babies just for the reminder of this love again. You are having children so that that love can stay the same way. But again, you are limiting that love to only the external things. How long will this child be like that? How long will the child fulfil that need of love inside of you? How long will that husband, wife or anyone fulfil that need of love? It fades. Anything which you focus on the outside without knowing the deeper meaning of it, will fade away. Even that love will dim itself. Then you will try to look again for that love somewhere else.

But God has sent the saints, sadhus, Gurus, and Avatars incarnated to remind you that what you are looking for is not outside of you. It is inside of you, but you have to hear it. Continuously Jesus said this, no? If you 'have ears to hear' that, you hear. Why do you think He said that? Because He was just speaking flowery words? No, He was not just speaking flowery words. He was just continuously reminding you of the Love of God which Nature itself reminds you of, but yet, you remain blind. That’s why He also said that those who have eyes to see that, they will see. So, if you carry on remaining blind, this is your choice. And many more saints and avatars and Gurus will come again and again through many lives to keep reminding you.

Christmas Talk – Paramahamsa Vishwananda

That’s why Mahavatar Babaji said, ‘I don’t need to come back again. I will stay here.’ Easy. He said, ‘Okay, I will wait until the whole humanity awakens; I will sit and wait for them.’ Well, He is not sitting and waiting. He is doing His work. But know what you want, you know, and know that what you really are searching for is this Supreme Love inside of you. Once you have attained that Supreme Love inside of you, then there is no need to look for anything else. Then you will realise that what you were looking was always with you. That’s why those who attain Self-Realisation, even God-Realisation, they laugh, you know. They laugh because they see the journey of millions of lives that they have gone through to look for something which was always there with them. They see how many times they were reminded, but yet, they didn’t hear. How many times the Lord has graced them, has planned their way, has made everything for them, but yet, due to their unfocused minds, they chose completely the opposite?

If you want truly to give something to Jesus on His birthday, try your best to transform yourself, try your best to feel this unconditional Love inside of you, try to find this Love inside of you first. That will even embellish your relationship outside, not only the inside, because only Love can connect to Love. Love is a big magnet, you know. So, remove all the dirt which is keeping you away from that. It’s not an easy thing, like I said, it is a sacrifice. Sacrifice doesn’t mean that you have to go and jump in a fire or kill yourself, or whatever, no. Sacrifice is about letting go of your negative qualities.

Bhagavan Krishna speaks about these three qualities. Tamasic, rajasic and sattvic. Most of the people live in a very rajasic way. Even devotees, they live in a rajasic way. Few live in a sattvic way. But even that is not enough. You have to become Divine. You have to go beyond sattvic. And this is who you are in reality, in truth. You are Divine, because the Lord resides deep. ‘I am the soul of the soul, I reside deep within the soul of men.’ Not this gross matter of the outside, not this petty self which we call yourselves when you don’t even know yourself. Not this body which is made up of the five elements, which you say, yes, this is you. This is a vehicle in which you have been sent to do your work; the vehicle which you have been sent to attain Him, to awaken into Him. Even that body can transform, you know. Earlier I was saying that Mahavatar Babaji has chosen to stay alive permanently here, and although He is in the physical body, His body has become light.

Christmas Talk – Paramahamsa Vishwananda

Continuously every year you are reminded. On Krishna’s birthday we celebrate, on Jesus’ birthday we celebrate, on my birthday we celebrate, on every birthday we celebrate, but what is changing inside of you? Are you changing? Or do you stay the same? You are changing, that’s a good thing. We’ll see how many lives it will take. But I hope that it is only this life. You know, like Krishna said, ‘Whoever surrenders to Me, they attain Me.’ So, try your best to surrender your mind to Him and make it so that this life becomes your last life. I think that’s why in the church they use the fear of hell, you know? They say you have only one life. But imagine, if you had only one life, you would do anything to attain heaven! To attain God. So, like Lord Krishna has said, ‘Even in this life itself if you surrender to Me, you will attain Me.’ Don’t make it so that your life becomes another one in this rotation of life and birth. Don’t become a slave to that circle. Become a slave to love...Become a slave to God inside of you.

Yesterday we were talking about refugees. We are all refugees. You all have taken refuge at the Feet of the Master and to the Feet of God. So, if you truly trust in Him, in His Word, then hold strongly to it. Yesterday we were talking at the table, and I said a devotee doesn’t have any problems. Because a devotee knows that for every step of their life, from day one until the end, God will provide and look after you. He will carry you.

I wish you all again a Merry Christmas! And if you want to really be merry, marry the Lord inside of your heart.

Jai Gurudev!