Rays of the One Light

Weekly commentaries on the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita
by Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters)

Truth is one and eternal. Realize oneness with it in your deathless Self, within. The following commentary is based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda.

 

Week 51: What was the Star of Bethlehem?

Divine vision is the opposite of worldly sight. Divine vision sees God's presence behind all outward appearances. Worldly sight sees appearances, merely, coating even the blazing wisdom of a saint. A master, to the worldly man, is a human being with, perhaps, a slightly better attitude than the norm. The Scriptures therefore strive to demonstrate how the divine consciousness, when openly active among men in the lives of great masters, must never be viewed as an expression of ordinary human consciousness. To seek the presence of Divinity behind the life of a great master is to prepare oneself to recognize that same Divinity also in lower manifestations until at last one beholds God everywhere.

Thus it was that Paramhansa Yogananda, on observing his new disciple Swami Kriyananda struggling with the contrast between the guru's human appearance and his inner, divine reality, looked at him deeply one day and said, “If you only knew my consciousness!”

The story of the birth of Jesus Christ contains an account in the Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 2, of the star of Bethlehem. The wise men who sought Jesus in his manger said:

“We have seen his star in the east.” . . . And, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.”

This account was important, for it showed all mankind that Jesus was a divine incarnation, and no ordinary man—that he brought divine consciousness to earth, even though he would play a human role among human beings, and that others, too, by “receiving him” in their inner hearts, would acquire power, as the Bible puts it, to “become the sons of God.”

The Scriptures enjoin us to meditate on the lives of great souls, that we may discover our own latent spiritual greatness. As the Bhagavad Gita puts it in the fourth Chapter:

Who knows the truth touching my births on earth

And my divine work, when he quits the flesh

Puts on its load no more, falls no more down

To earthly birth: to Me he comes, dear Prince!

Thus, through holy Scripture, God has spoken to mankind.

 

Copyright © 1996 by Hansa Trust