Circle Meditation 
Universal Christmas
Brian Afton

YogaBetsy Discourse Number 10

   We do not generally attempt to hold circle meditations during the Christmas season because most people are too busy to attend them, however, a few words on the subject are in order and we will, at least, post them among the newsletters on our web site.

With all due respect to our Christian members, people have held celebrations at or around the time of Christmas time well back into prehistory thousands of years before the birth of Jesus.

The reason for those early celebrations at, or about, Christmas was because this time coincides with the winter solstice.  This night has long been special to people because it is the longest night of the year.  This year the solstice occurs physically on the 21st of December.  From this point on the days will become longer and the celebration thus symbolizes the return of light to a darkened world.  Christmas is thus, a very universal idea but, as it happens, very few Christians understand that fact.

There is a very old joke told about a man going to heaven.  He enters the pearly gates and in the process of being shown around comes to an area he is told to avoid.  When the man asks why, the angel gives an explanation which varies according to the religious preference of the individual telling the story.  “Well,” the angel says, “that’s where the people of some other denomination are and they think they’re the only ones here.”

That little story captures perfectly the hallmark, the very essence of the arrogance which permeates virtually all of the contemporary Christian religious sects of today. Far more of them than not believe and act like they are the one and the only repository of truth and understanding.

As it happens, not only do all of the Christian sects teach very much the same things but all the major religious faiths of this world teach essentially the same things.  They do not generally explain it in the same way and they do not use the same names that we use but, as the saying goes, a rose by any other name is still a rose.

A typical Christian regards Hinduism, for example, as being a heathen polytheistic religion which has no resemblance whatsoever to Christianity. In fact, that is simply not so.  There are, of course, many forms of Hinduism, but in its general basic form Hinduism has no more gods than Christianity does.

In Christian theology the followers learn about the trinity: The Father, Son and Holy Ghost and since they do not immediately see anything like that in whatever miniscule exposure they have had to Hinduism they immediately become guilty of something called, false judgment.

  The Hindu trinity is Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.  Westerners know them as the Destroyer, Preserver and Creator.

  Shiva is equivalent to the Father or the Father Principle of Christianity.  This is a point easily misunderstood and it is misunderstood by many Hindus who do not understand their religion any better than most Christians understand theirs.  It is easy to get destruction mixed up with creation because all beginnings we know anything about are also endings of some kind.

  The father principle and its creative will does, in fact, obliterate anything which stands in the way of fulfilling that will and so it is easy to get caught up in that aspect of it and to regard Shiva as a destroyer.  Nevertheless, Shiva or the Father Principle is essentially creative.

  Vishnu corresponds to the Christian Christ.  Vishnu is the logos, the word of God.  The word God spoke to create the world and universe.  It is the energy which vibrates in everything which is and holds it into existence.

  Krishna is the physical incarnation of Vishnu and corresponds to the Christian Jesus or the word made flesh.

  Brahma corresponds to the Holy Ghost or Spirit.

  Many Christians who have studied comparative religion will admit this much.  What they have trouble with is admitting that Vishnu is not just like Christ, Vishnu is Christ.  Krishna, the physical earthly incarnation of Vishnu, did not just live a life very much like Jesus and teach things very similar to what Jesus taught, Krishna was Jesus.  Likewise the light which infused Zoraster and Buddha was not the illumination of some alien god from some distant planet, it was the light of Christ irrespective of what name those people gave it.

  The primary conceit of contemporary Christianity is the idea that Christ came to the world only once, and only to them.  That after millions of years of human history and evolution Christ came only to the western culture and civilization that they are familiar with and a part of; that Christ chose only them and forsook all others who came before them or who live in distant parts of the world today.

  Five thousand years of scriptures from many lands and many cultures do not support that view.  They support the position that Christ has descended into this world again and again.  Again and again the word has been made flesh and the same ideas and principles which are taught in the Christian churches of today were taught to the people of distant lands and times in the context of their own cultures and in terms that those people who wanted to, could understand.

  At one time in the past people understood this. According to the sacred Hindu scriptures Krishna was not the first physical incarnation of Vishnu, Krishna was the 8th physical incarnation of Vishnu.  This was 5000 years ago or some 3000 years before the birth of Jesus.

  Actually, no one knows when the historical Christian Jesus was born with any real certainty.  Many different calendars were in use during that period and many have come and gone since.  The actual date of Jesus’ birthday is generally thought to have been in the year 4 or 5 B.C. and probably occurred in March or April of those years.  But there is some reason to believe that it may have occurred as much as 90 years before that time.  Not only were many different calendars in use during that period but a number of people and even geographic places had the same names.

  When this occurred, however, is not as important as what happened.  When the Christ consciousness descended into the material world the vibratory rate of the world was raised an octave; people became more sensitive, more conscious and conscious in a different way than they had been before.  Moreover, the scriptures, and not just the Christian scriptures, say that Christ will come again.

  Both Judaism and Islam accept and teach that the messiah will eventually come.  They do not call him by the name Christians do and they put this coming at a time in the future.  Many Christian denominations also accept the idea that this coming will be in the future and assume that this coming will be a material manifestation.

  Now that is a reasonable interpretation of this idea, but it is also an incomplete one.  To accept that view and only that understanding is to miss one of the central and probably the most significant ideas of the collected spiritual teachings of this entire planet and what is certainly the central point of Christianity itself.  It is not the idea that Christ, by whatever name, is coming to rule the world that is the central theme of the various faiths of this planet.

  To begin with all futures eventually become now.  Secondly, people have been told over and over again by virtually every major faith on this planet, including Christianity, that they will find the kingdom of heaven within themselves.  Unfortunately, because of the language of the scriptures it is not obvious what that means.

  In the Hindu tradition, the incarnation of Vishnu, the word made flesh, was known to them as Krishna.

  In the Hindu scriptures which in that language are called “The Song of God,”  Krishna explains the mysteries of life.  In our Culture and in the context of Christianity one of the songs which most succinctly expresses what Krishna sang about three thousand years before Jesus said many of the same things again is : “The Lord of the Dance.”  For those of you not familiar with that piece, it’s the part about  “If you live in me I will live in you” that deserves our special attention at Christmas time.  “If you live in me, I will live in you.”

  A spiritual life is not about living a list of don’ts.  The true measure of a person’s life is not about things they did not do.  It is not about many of the things people generally associate with it.  It is about growth, evolution, cosmic attunement and development.

  Christmas means that the vibrations, the energy of the Christ consciousness, by whatever name that is called, will physically descend into your very flesh and you will be physically changed by that.

  The Christ consciousness has descended into this world before and Christ will come again.  He will descend into you the moment you are prepared to allow that, to the degree that you are prepared to understand and allow that.  This is what Christmas is about.  

  It is for everyone by whatever name they call it and whenever it occurs.  It has been for many thousands of years.  Christmas is universal.

© Copyright 2004  Brian Afton 2822 Grover Rd Olean, NY 14760