The joyous festival of Christmas (December 25th) is celebrated each year by millions of people all over the world. The day commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, some two thousand years ago.
The birth of Jesus, the Divine Child, marks the beginning of the current Western Gregorian Calendar. Jesus Christ is revered as the true savior and Son of God, so, in Christian civilization, his birth marks the beginning of a new era for mankind.
Christmas essentially celebrates the birth of the Divine Spirit in human form, the salvation of souls lost in the material world. Jesus, the Incarnation of Spirit, is said to have been born in a stable, in Bethlehem (now part of the Palestinian Territories), accompanied by angelic proclamations and miraculous portents — not the least being that his mother, Mary, is believed to have been a Virgin (thus is the Divine brought forth from Nature). His birth is also said to have been marked by the appearance of a marvelous star, the Star of Bethlehem, which was followed by three Wise Men (Magi, or Astrologers) from the East, who brought gifts to mark his birth.
This happy celebration has also spread to a number of non-Christian cultures as well, for the pleasures of gift-giving and feasting are universal.
Christmas is the biggest Christian festival throughout the world and one of the national festivals of India. Christianity came to India around 52 AD, a couple of decades after the crucifixion of Christ. One of His apostles, St. Thomas, is believed to have landed on the Malabar Coast in India and established a few churches and converted a number of local inhabitants in Kerala.
The first church was established in Lahore under the rule of Akbar (1556-1605) the great Mughal emperor. Lahore was then part of India.
At present over twenty three million Christians are living in India mostly in southern Indian states. After Hinduism and Islam, Christianity is one of the prominent religions in India.
Because of the broad-minded view of Hindus many different religions exist side by side in India. The Hindus believe that the Divine incarnates in many forms from time to time. Lord Krishna revealed through Bhagvad Gita the truth behind the Divine incarnations (Avataras),.
In one of the verses Lord Krishna tells Arjuna:
‘yadayada hi dharmasya glanirbhavatibharata abhyutthanamadharmasya tadatmanamsrjamyaham’
‘Whenever righteousness is on the decline and unrighteousness is rising, then for the protection of the virtuous, for the removal of the evil-doers and for establishing righteousness (Dharma) I am born from age to age’.
Many Hindu families’ and their children are seen decorating a Christmas- tree over Christmas with the same zest with which they decorate their homes on Diwali. This reminds us that the true celebration of Diwali or Christmas is when the Divine element begins to express itself in the heart of a human being. If such feelings spread the world over then it could be a turning point in the history of this dying world of human values and universal brotherhood.
Jesus Christ the incarnation of the Divine was born to very humble and poor parents in a place as lowly as a stable this fact proves that the spiritual awakening comes only to a humble and down to earth person who truly seeks God.
Let us not only focus on feasting and exchanging gifts over Christmas and also give a serious thought to the hidden esoteric knowledge in the Bible.
Most of its verses are not understood as they should be. Just for an example, refer to the King James Version, Matt 6:22, it says, ‘The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.’
The modern translators not understanding the meaning of ‘if therefore thine eye be single’have tried to alter the original versions. Only a person with real and in-depth knowledge of Yoga can understand that by ‘thine eye be single’ is meant the inward focusing of gaze (both eyes) at the Ajna Chakra (eyebrow centre) during meditation fills the whole body with the divine light of spiritual awakening. This focusing of both eyes is what is meant by ‘thine eye be single’.
Let us; believers of different religions and faith, over this Christmas come out of our narrow cocoons of dogmas and study the verses of Bible under new light.
All religions and faiths are just different means to reach the Divine and were not created for narrow selfish interests.