Have a Merry Christmas!

Christmas, in the words of Sri Krishnananda. I have taken a few bits of his lecture – parts that are relevant to you and me. Have a read:)

The way spiritual is one of the ways in which man can live in the world, is what the common populace may be thinking. The way spiritual is not one of the ways or modes of living; it is a total transvaluation of values that takes place when we become spiritual. We cease to be human for the time being, at least for the moment, when we feel that we are really transformed into a centre of spiritual aspiration. The humanity in us is outgrown by the indwelling presence of Divinity, which is the Incarnation, as far as the seeker is concerned, in the form of his longing for God. The asking for God is also the work of an Incarnation of God.

This incarnation takes place in the midnight of the senses; Christ and Sri Krishna were both born at midnight. These analogies of religiously mystifying experiences tell us that the closure of sense activity is a requirement for the luminosity of Divinity to manifest itself adequately. When the senses are awake, the Spirit is sleeping; when the Spirit is awake, the senses close themselves.

Therefore, celebration of this august occasion of Christmas is not merely a merry-making occasion for people in the world, a few hours of freedom from our normal work-a-day existence. It is not a joy of the feelings or the emotions, and it is not a psychic action taking place in our celebrations. It is a participation on our part in the spirit that has descended in the form of Christ.

All religion is divine participation. When you are unable to participate, you are inadequately religious or spiritual. In this sense it is that many a master has proclaimed that religion or spirituality is not doing anything; rather, it is a kind of being something. God is known as Supreme Being, and not just doing. We do not say that God is Supreme Doing, we say that God is Supreme Being. And a participation in a ray of His Being—call it Incarnation or any operation that can be regarded as divine in this world—such a participation alone can be regarded as spirituality, and each one should know for oneself to what extent this participation takes place in one’s life.

The heaven above coincides with the heaven within.

“God is in heaven” is what we generally say, and what we are told. When we say that God is in heaven and the light of God descends from above, we speak of the transcendence of God, but when we say that heaven is within, we speak of the immanence of the very same high heaven. The highest is also the deepest and the innermost. The highest heaven, which is the abode of the Almighty, is also the innermost recess of the bottom of our own heart. It is into this divinity of the inner recess of our being that God descends.

Christmas, therefore, is a spiritual participation on our part. It is a recollection of our old forgotten heritage, a memory that we bring back to our conscious level of thinking. That which is within tries to keep before its vision its harmony, its relationship and its kinship in the high heaven from where it has descended.

Here is the grandeur of the Incarnation. To contemplate this, to find an occasion to meditate on this aspect of divine work in this world, we have occasions of this kind—Christmas, which is the hour and the moment when we honestly, in the heart of hearts, refurbish ourselves and become different in the quality of our being. We do not become different in any possessional character of our life, we become different in quality.

When the celebration is over, the quality of our life has changed. This change is internal in the sense that it is spiritual. The deepest in us has touched the highest, and God has descended into us. If this feeling can become our own and we live by this feeling, we have truly and properly celebrated this wondrous Christmas, which gazes at us every year at this moment, reminding us again and again that God never forgets man and God is ever with us.

Merry Christmas!