The Inner Christmas

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Every year we celebrate Christmas through our body, mind and emotions. I don't think that our inner spirit can celebrate it. So, there are two types of Christmas celebrations. One we know and the other is when the baby is born within. Now, we are all barren, like barren women who don't conceive. We are childless; the child is not yet conceived. In order to conceive the child, there has to be union. Without union there is nothing. That union does not need to be physical; it has to be immaculate. The two forces within you must unite, but at present they are not together. When these two forces unite, then an event takes place. That event is the birth of a divine baby from an immaculate mother. Do you understand? You can celebrate that Christmas any time in your life, not necessarily on the 25th of December. The best time to conceive that baby, to give birth to that baby, is when you are practising yoga, not while you are cooking in the kitchen, driving a car or operating a computer in the bank. For that purpose, you have to set apart some time every day of your life.

The second coming of Christ

This divine baby is the Christ who comes onto this mortal plane of consciousness in order to save and to redeem us, and to destroy the tamasic and demonic forces in and around us. I believe – you may or may not – that this is the second coming of Christ. Often it is announced from the pulpit that Christ is coming again, but if he comes in the same way as he came the last time, it will be a disaster for all of you and maybe for him also, just as it was before. When Christ came, he destroyed avidya (ignorance). He denounced the so-called institutionalized forces which were surviving and thriving in the name of religion. Is the situation any different today? Is he going to accept what is going on in the name of religion?

Therefore, the second coming of Christ would be nothing short of a disaster on the external plane for those who are waiting for him. I do not know when he will come or if he will come. May he not come! How many establishments is he going to kick? How many beliefs in his name, in my name, in anyone's name is he going to throw out? How many denominations, sects and paths is he going to destroy? It would be a calamity and ultimately people would start thinking about how to put him into the electric chair. That is sure, too!

So, I'm not waiting for him. Should such a man, who speaks the truth, nothing but the truth, the ultimate truth, be crucified, electrocuted. No. History would repeat itself. Another crusade might begin because his disciples would still be there. Our generation and those that come after us would have to pay the penalty. Therefore, I am not praying or waiting for the second arrival.

Knowledge and experience

However, I definitely know one thing. If that higher consciousness, which is called Christ consciousness, Buddha consciousness or Krishna consciousness, is awakened in you at any time in your life, it is not going to bring disaster. It will be the beginning of knowledge, experience, bliss and the feeling of unity with every living being. It is only for this that yoga and tantra are being taught and practised.

Beyond the existence of body consciousness, beyond the borders of the mind and emotions, beyond this logical intellect and the deep-rooted egoism or individuality, there is something more in you, in me and in everybody. You have heard about it, but you haven't experienced it because it is beyond the reach of your physical senses, of your physical self.

The intellectual concept of that reality is known to you all. You have heard about it time and again in every scripture, in every book on philosophy and religion, through every guru, through every master, but that is only knowledge. It gives you nothing but information. The real thing is experience and that experience need not be prolonged to one minute or even one second. It is a momentary experience, taking much less time than a flash of lightening.

That experience, which can come to anybody within a split second, is the birth of a baby. It is for this purpose that we have to work. When that experience takes place at any time in your life, then you will have to celebrate another Christmas. Then you will dance in ecstasy and joy, as many of the saints have done in their lifetimes.

There is an area of joy and ecstasy which is intellectual, mental, emotional and psychological. There you want to be ecstatic, joyful and blissful; you want to dance. That is the empirical side of joy. However, there is another area of joy where you don't know and you sing, where you don't know but you are compelled to feel the joy and bliss and dance in ecstasy. Then that experience goes out of hand. You don't know how it happens, but it happens.

Unless you lose yourself you can't gain yourself. In losing yourself lies the secret of total acceptance, total achievement. You do not want to lose yourself because you think, “If my ego dies, what will happen to me?” Nothing will happen. Five bottles of champagne and whiskey still bring you back; marijuana day after day, year after year, for ages together, still brings you back to the lower mundane plane.

Every joy, every hypnotic substance, every psychedelic drug takes you somewhere but ultimately brings you back to the same point of pain and duality. You cannot transcend it in that way. However, there comes a moment in life when your eyes are turned inward and you begin to see the twinkling, the trickling of an experience. Sometimes it appears as a musical note, sometimes as a voice, sometimes a streak of light, a fragrance, a shadow.

That experience has thousands and millions of forms by which it can manifest itself in you, not just one form. If that experience comes to you just once at any time in your life, then you are thrice blessed and after that, even if you commit suicide, I don't mind. The purpose of your life, of your incarnation in the human body, on the mortal plane, is justified after that experience and not before that.

Christian or churchian

You may be a great scholar, industrialist, musician, orator, writer, painter or guru, but these are all worldly achievements and they don't go with you. You haven't come here for all that. Because of maya, desires, passion, ignorance and so on, you want to have all that. But why have you really come? What is the purpose of your incarnation in this body? Every wise man has said it is for that glimpse. Of course, that experience is the inner Christmas. Then that light is born and that is called the birth of the baby. If he grows and becomes greater within you, then he is the real Christ and you are a Christian. Unless that happens, you are a churchian.

Now, this baby is within you but it is beyond you. You will have to cross barrier after barrier in order to reach it and all these small barriers are situated within the fold of your personality. They are not external. Your wife is not a barrier, your children, family and friends are not barriers. The barriers are all within you. These barriers are psychological. In reality they do not exist, but you are experiencing them. In order to remove these painful experiences yoga has to be practised, because by the practice of yoga and tantra, you awaken the consciousness. With that special consciousness you can visualize the inner spirit. With these eyes you cannot.

The birth of a great experience

So, on the occasion of this day I wish you a promising Christmas at any time in your life. You may not expect to hear Merry Christmas and so forth from me, but I am trying to bring home to you who the Christ is, who Mother Mary is and who that immaculate son is. If you can realize that, if you can understand that, then anyone of you can become the mother. I'm not talking to the ladies only. Anyone can become a mother, because you don't have to be a female to give birth to a great experience.

The birth takes place with the union between ida and pingala, between spirit and consciousness, between Shiva and Shakti, and that union takes place at ajna chakra. With that union, a great experience is born and that experience takes you away, very far away from this earth, from this sky, from this name and form. Sometimes it takes you so far away to the point where time stands still. You don't feel the time, the space, the object; you don't feel anything! That experience is called transcendental.

Who is the Christ?

In India we celebrate the birth of the divine baby on various occasions, on 25th December with the birth of Christ, in August with the birth of Krishna, and in April with the birth of Rama. We think of Rama, Krishna and Christ as representatives of the omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent spirit in each and everybody. Of course, those who celebrate these birthdays usually do not understand their significance. A great poet has written, “Who is this Rama? Is he the son of a worldly father? Or is he that Rama who is seated in each and every heart? Or is he the Rama who has created the cosmos, the universe? Or is he the Rama who transcends creation, who transcends physical birth and who transcends everything?” The answer he has written, my dear ones, is all four.

The same thing can be said about Christ. Which Christ do you mean? Is he the Christ who was born of a worldly father? Is he that Christ who is the indwelling entity in every heart? Is he the Christ who creates the vision of the whole universe within and without? Or do you mean that Christ who transcends everything? The answer apparently, my dear ones, is that he is all four. Christ came down in the physical body. He was not a myth, not a metaphor, not an allegory, not a symbol, not a replica. He was a man in flesh and blood, as you are. Yes! But he means much more to us. Even though he did not live in this physical body, he lives in our hearts. Wherever and whenever you can awaken yourself, he is there in your heart. When you think about him, it is not imagination or an hallucination. He is there, but you don't know it.

A vision of transcendental reality

Of all the universe which you can think about, he is the master, he is the guru, and yet he is a transcendental reality. When he is a transcendental reality, then you also must become transcendental. How to become transcendental? By transcendental meditation. Just as you transcend the body when you sleep at night, in the same way you have to transcend the body idea, the name idea, the form idea, the idea of 'I', the idea of male and female, the idea of past, present and future – you have to transcend these all together.

You have to transcend through the smooth passage of consciousness. When you practise pranayama and then mantra, you learn how to transcend. Therefore, yoga teaches many ways for transcending yourself. After all, if you have been able to transcend yourself, to jump over your mind and your existence, then what happens? It is very unpleasant. Duality is withdrawn, dissolved. Once you have a vision of transcendental reality, that's all!

A river uniting with the ocean becomes ocean. A drop of rain uniting with the river becomes river. The individual soul meeting and uniting with the universal consciousness becomes universal consciousness. The local 'I', which has been cleansed all around, is dissolved completely. I am no more! The extinction of this 'I' must take place and then you will celebrate this inner Christmas. In every age it has been destined that some such person will come who will awaken his inner consciousness and then show the true path to humanity. Let us hope this happens.

Australia, December 25, 1983