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Jesus, His Kingdom

The Kingdom of God is within you. Luke 17:21

Even though the teaching of Jesus is so clear the Kingdom of God is always preached as if it is somewhere else in time and space. Why does this happen? It happens because of the nature of the human mind. The human mind disappears in the present and lives in the future; it lives in the hope and promise of the future. The mind cannot exist without time. The more time one has, the more ground the mind has to play and fool around. When there is time the mind can create many dreams and desires. The Kingdom of God is presented as something that is going to happen at a later date because only the future can be understood by the mind.

If the Kingdom of God is presented as here and now no one is ready to accept it. Everybody thinks that there are many, desires to be fulfilled. Many, many things have to be done before you can even think about entering the Kingdom. Hence time is needed. Another reason is that everybody thinks that in the present condition they are in they themselves cannot accept themselves. How is God going to accept them? If the door of the Kingdom is opened right now and everyone has the opportunity to enter most would not find the moral courage to enter. So everyone seeks time to transform the self to reach the standard that will be acceptable in order to enter through the door. A little more time is needed to become saintly as there are many desires to be fulfilled.

Hence if the Kingdom of God is presented as something in the future it is readily accepted. Then there is time enough to work the way out, time enough to polish and make the necessary changes. Time to create an ideal and work towards becoming a saint. The truth is that the mind doesn’t want to change. If there is the time to postpone then the mind can remain the same. Postponing is the base of continuing in the same manner.

If a house is on fire then the inmates will not postpone their exit from the burning inferno they will simply jump out without even asking for the door or the stairway. They will not seek a teacher or guide. The mind is put aside in the face of danger since there is no time to think; only action can save.

Another reason for being content with the idea of the future Kingdom is that right now it is difficult but tomorrow it will be easier. But every tomorrow becomes a today and the same excuse is repeated since the possibility for postponing still exists. Those who are in this condition could be considered to be in a state of deep sleep. They need an awakening. Right now God is the last item on the list as many other things have to be accomplished, God is the last item on the list and the list is infinite. He is not going to get a chance.

Jesus was a Jew and he remained a Jew till the very last moment. And the Jews were waiting for the Messiah for thousands of years. All the prophets prophesied about him. They prayed and waited. But the irony is that when the messiah came the refused him. He knocked at their doors but the rejected him. It was good to think that the Messiah will come to them but it was very difficult him when he arrived.  It is easy for the mind to wait rather than change. The problem is because if the mind has to accept that there is no future, then desires cannot exist. If desires do not exist then the ego cannot exist. So the question is between choosing the ego or the Kingdom. Both cannot exist in one.

The Kingdom of God is in you. There is no other place or time where you can find it.

God Bless.

Ranji Varughis.

 

Postponing is not the way to the Kingdom as it does not lead to transformation. As long as it is possible to postpone there will be no change. For this change to happen the idea of tomorrow has to disappear. Realizing this is the way to the Kingdom.  So it is not a question of doing something.

 

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in Spiritual thoughts

 

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Jesus, His Fortification

A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14b.

The whole of life depend upon building it on a strong foundation. If the momentary is chosen then the foundation is being built on shifting sand. If the foundation has to be strong then it has to be built on the eternal. A city that is being built on the momentary is in ruins by the time it is ready, it is falling apart. This happens because the momentary lacks wholeness of vision. Only the moment is seen, and then it passes. These passing moments are seen and not a total vision. Since what is going to happen in the next moment is unknown what is done in the moment may have to be undone because it may not agree with the whole. So the uncertainty is always there. When decisions are made based on the momentary the whole may reject it and it may become absolutely useless and meaningless. For the city to be built on a rock wholeness of vision is indispensable. When life is built based on the momentary difficulties will arise as the whole will not adjust to the momentary.

The whole has to be consulted before the decisions are made. Life should be created and patterned with a vision of the whole. Have a vision that is timeless. For this to happen one has to move to a higher consciousness. A person standing under the tree can see up to the nearest curve on the road. If he climbs up the tree then he has a greater vision. From an aeroplane he can have a bird’s eye view of the whole city. The higher he ascends greater becomes the vision.

Imagine a person standing under a tree, he looks east and does not see a thing. Another person sitting on top of the tree says, “I can see a bullock cart tree.” The first person says, “I can’t see it. How can it be?” The bullock cart is in the future for him but for the man sitting on the tree the bullock cart is in the present. Hence present is not the same for everyone. Present is confined to each one and the present of one may not be the present for another. It depends upon the ladder of consciousness.

For Jesus everything is present: there is no future, there is no past. From the level of his consciousness the whole is visible. Nothing is past and nothing is future, everything is here and now. The existence of past and future only reveals the narrowness of vision. For an ordinary person when anything goes beyond the field of vision it becomes past; that which has not yet come becomes future. Existence is momentary as the vision is limited

The high altitude, which is awareness, is the fortification. A city that is built on a high mountain cannot fall nor can it be hidden. A city built on the timeless will be known for eternity. Nothing can hide it.

God bless.

Ranji Varughis.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Spiritual thoughts

 

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Jesus, His Light

3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5

Everyone wants to change the world. But the truth is that no one needs change more than you. With this handicap if a person tries to change the other the result will be disastrous. Instead of transformation disintegration will occur. Only when a person is filled with light can he/she become a light to others. When you change the world starts changing. Self-knowledge is the transforming force.

Self-knowledge is the most difficult thing not because it is difficult but because there is a fright in knowing the truth about your-self. Because of this unconscious fear a person will consciously try to create all kinds of hindrances to this effect. When a person within him/herself it will become obvious that the image created of the self to the world is false. It will become evident that the whole life is a pseudo-existence. That there no love only a pretence of love. There was no happiness only pretence of happiness. It will become undeniable that the whole life was an act of deception. Because of the fear of exposure a person will do everything possible to avoid it and in the process create many images of the self. This guilt of creating false images prevents people from looking within.

People tried to be occupied twenty four hours of the day because it keeps them from avoiding confronting the self. A person may be constantly occupied with money so that the self may be buried underneath this occupation. But no matter how much money is earned there is still no satisfaction as the basic motivation is not to gain money but to remain occupied. A person may do the same thing over and over again because it is difficult to be at ease with the self. That is the reason the great masters said that is person is able to sit for a few hours without doing anything he/she will become enlightened.

Another fact is that it is difficult to maintain these fictions, so changes have to be made again and again to perpetuate this falsehood. Because of the fear to look within clouds are created so that everything looks misty and the self becomes blurred. Jesus is insisting, “Know thy self”.

There are two was of being good. The first is being good – which is very difficult. The second is to prove that the other is wrong and even if you are not good it give you a feeling of being good. It is this second method to which Jesus is referring here. A person need not be good just prove that the other is wrong and it gives a feeling of being good. There is no need to change the self just magnify the badness in others to look innocent. It can be observed that if something bad is said about a person it is accepted without any argument but to accept someone as good proof is required. Deep down everyone seeks to be good but it is difficult so the only alternative is to prove that someone else is worse in order to feel a little better.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5

A person may be looking on others as darkness to get a feeling of being in the light. Jesus implies that this is the problem with those people who try to transform society. Everybody wants to change the other whether it is the priest, politician, social worker or a leader. The other is considered to be in darkness but the truth is that this is a projected darkness. Projecting this darkness on the other is the result of being in the dark. Hence such an approach is wrong and dangerous. The so called leaders are trying to destroy the darkness which is actually not there in others but which they (leaders) can see. They see hell in others because it is the only way they can feel heavenly.

Jesus in edifying his people to understand that self-realization is the way to change. A person can only change him/herself. The moment this happens the world starts to change. Realizing the inauthenticity of the images created the religious person begins to drop them. Self-knowledge is a transforming force; nothing else needs to be done. Jesus says, “first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye”. The beams in a person’s eye prevent clarity of vision of the self. Only when these beams are removed can the eyes penetrate into fact without any projection. Self-knowledge happens to a clear mind, a mind that is not filled with judgements of good and bad. Once this self-knowledge happens through a clear mind the light will flow from that person like from a lamp, or like fragrance from a flower. The lamp is lit which will light others and everyone is benefitted. Life becomes a blessing.

God bless

Ranji Varughis

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Spiritual thoughts

 

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Jesus, His Way

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8

 

This is one of the most profound sayings of Jesus. This saying is most basic to understand the message of Jesus and also the most difficult to achieve. Innocence is the door through which the divine descends into the human or vice versa. To be successful in the world a person has to be cunning. The more cunning a person is the more is the success. A person who is more calculating will become more efficient in the ways of the world. The nature of the human mind is being cunning and calculative. But because of this cunningness the Kingdom of God is missed even though it may help in attaining the Kingdom of the world.

The door to the Kingdom of God is exactly the opposite to the ways of the mind since there is no need for calculation or cleverness. The mind is not needed at all since there is no need to be clever or cunning. So the mind is unless with regard to the Kingdom but the heart becomes the source of being here because the heart is innocent.

Jesus’ emphasis is on innocence. Hence He talks about the innocence of children, or the beauty of flowers, lilies and the innocence of the birds. But the innocence of a child is not possible in an adult because it is already lost. Hence it is clear that Jesus does not intend us to take these words literally, it has to be understood symbolically.

How is it possible to be a child again? There is no possibility of going back the only option it to move forward. Once a person has tasted knowledge through the mind there is no possibility of losing what has been known so the only possibility is to transcend.

A saint becomes a child because of transcending and going beyond the mind by understanding the futility of trying to be successful in the world. The desire to be successful, the desire to impress others is renounced. The desire to become the greatest, the most important is relinquished. When this happens the person is transformed into a different dimension. Then there is childhood: ‘being born again’

This second birth is a virgin birth as it is brought about by the Spirit, and a person is innocent again. This innocence is higher than a child’s. The child’s innocence is not earned by the child but it is a gift of nature. It will be taken away and lost as the child grows. The saint remains innocent as it cannot be taken away.

The innocence of the child is poor because there is no experience: it is just the absence of something. But the innocence of the saint is the presence of something. The saint has known all the ways of the world and moved beyond. Having experienced all that the world has to offer the saint has now come out of it. This innocence is rich because of experience and cannot be destroyed.

When children are born they look at the world without the mind. The body comes first and the mind follows after many years because it takes time to develop. Till then there are no distinctions in the child. A person who has been born of the spirit will drop making distinctions. In short put aside the mind and look, be aware without the mind. When the clouds of thoughts are absent then the sun shines fullest. There is true awareness of reality like a child.

A child in the beginning, a child at the end – the circle of life is complete. This is what perfection is, returning to the source again.

God Bless.

Ranji Varughis.

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2012 in Spiritual thoughts

 

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Jesus, His Purity

It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what
comes from your heart.” Mark 7:15

The fundamental question about being religious is not what a person ‘does’ but what a person ‘is’. If a thief goes to pray his prayer is wrong because prayer cannot be born out of a heart that has been deceiving, stealing, lying and harming. A person needs to have only one weakness and out of that one weakness all others are born. This single weakness will follow the person like a shadow. Whatsoever is done will be coloured by it. So the basic thing in religion is not what to ‘do’ but what to ‘be’. ‘Being’ is the innermost core, ‘doing’ is what is on the surface. A person can ‘be’ without doing anything but cannot ‘be’ without the being. Doing is secondary and dispensable being is vital.

Jesus talks about ‘being’ and how to transform it whereas religions talk about ‘doing’. Jesus is concerned about ‘being’, morality is concerned about ‘doing’. This is the reason he gave scant regard to the observance of purity rituals of his day. The complaint against him was that he did not observe the Sabbath laws. That He did not insist upon disciples to fast or observe the rituals of cleansing and laws about purity. In fact He even condemned those who insisted upon the pharisaic observance of the Law as hypocrites.

The real issue is not whether the food consumed is pure or not. If whether an untouchable has touched it or if a woman who is having her periods has passed by and her shadow has fallen upon it. The question is not about what is eaten but what is brought out. How what is taken in is transformed reveals the purity of the person.

A lotus is born in a dirty and stinky pond but the lotus transforms what it absorbs. For a lotus nothing is impure because it has the transforming power within. If the transforming power is present within a person, a lotus will be born even though it absorbs dirt. But if this power is absent, even if gold is absorbed it comes out as mud. What goes in takes the quality of the being and comes out.

Jesus pronounces that it is not what goes into a person that defiles but what is done with it. Insults will never defile a person but whether it has been transformed into love or hate reveals the purity of the being. The emphasis of Jesus is not to be too concerned about the nature of things that are external but whether there is the capability to transform what goes in.

What comes out makes known the quality of what is within. If anger emanates from within then there is sickness inside. If hatred arises it reveals that there is no wholeness within. If love compassion and light springs up then it shows that there is wholeness in the being. Purity comes from within. Only when change and transformation occur within will goodness, love and purity will blossom. True purity is does not come from what a person does but what a person is.

God Bless.

Ranji Varughis

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in Spiritual thoughts

 

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Jesus, His originality

Matthew 18:3

And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”.

The real predicament with human beings is that they do not live with their original face but a painted one given to them by society. A child is born with an original face which no one has changed. But sooner or later society starts working on it and the original face gets hidden and many faces are given for different occasions. Through the day as the situation changes the need for different faces arises and many faces are worn. When a person in authority approaches a different face is put on it again changes when a beggar comes close. As the day progresses from moment to moment there is a change of faces. All these faces are gimmicks, techniques to deceive, techniques to defend.  What Jesus is implying is that all these false faces have to be dropped before you can enter the Kingdom. When all faces are dropped and the original face without modification is exposed only then the doors to the Kingdom will be open. Anybody who is lying through words, gestures cannot be part of the Kingdom. Only one step exists between a person and the Kingdom. Not a path but just a step: drop all the borrowed masks. Drop all the falsities – untruths, deceptiveness, fallacies, and hollowness.

Why does a person want to hide the original face? Simply because there is hatred for the self. The whole conditioning of society depends on creating self-hatred, a self-condemnation, and guilt. A child is forced from birth by everybody to become like them. Whatsoever the child proposes to do is condemned as wrong. The freedom is killed and the child is forced to feel that he is wrong. The child begins to hate the self. A person who hates the self cannot love anybody else and therefore the need for masks.  It is this self-hatred which leads to the charade of loving others that prevents the real face from being laid bare. Only few people are able to get out of this prison because it has such a strong foundation. The irony is that since the poison exists at the source it poisons all relationships.

People who cannot love the self cannot believe that anybody can truly love and that true love can be experienced. They become skeptical and doubtful. They cannot trust and find every means to prove the other person too does not truly love.

A boy and a girl were playing together. The boy had a collection of marbles. The girl had some sweets with her.

The boy told the girl that he will give her all his marbles in exchange for her sweets. The girl agreed. The boy kept the biggest and the most beautiful marble aside and gave the rest to the girl. The girl gave him all her sweets as she had promised.

That night, the girl slept peacefully. But the boy couldn’t sleep as he kept wondering if the girl had hidden some sweets from him the way he had hidden his best marble.

When a person cannot be truly honest in a relationship, there will be a doubt whether the other person is being truly honest.

When a child is forced to put on clothes for the first time there is rebellion against it. The child is against it because it confines the freedom and gives falseness. Though it is a natural response the child may be persuaded to wear the clothes on the pretext that in to go out clothes are essential. Since the child wants to go out with the parents, clothes are worn. But the moment the child returns home he/she removes the clothes, throws them on the ground and jumps on them because the child feels that the clothes are enemies that make him/her false. When the clothes are off there is freedom and the child celebrates by jumping on the clothes.

Accepting the self is the foundation. Being real and trusting reality without fighting against it is indispensable. If there is anger it has to be accepted without creating opposites like forgiveness. Forgiveness is a mask because the anger remains. Masks are created when opposites are created. Masks are not helpful but transformation is. Transformation needs deep acceptance of the self with no judgments about good or bad. With acceptance comes transformation. When there is self-acceptance only then can the acceptance of everything become possible.

Jesus makes it clear that a person has to become like a child by dropping all the masks given by society is a pre-requisite to enter the Kingdom. Society has not given a person life but masks. Society has not given a person the self but an ego. Drop the masks and the ego disappears. One can never succeed in anything with masks because it can be compared to a foolish person who builds his/her house on the sand. Jesus succeeds because He stands in His originality. When the masks are removed it leads to purity – it leads to the Kingdom.

God Bless

Ranji Varughis

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Spiritual thoughts

 

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Jesus, His Peace

Jesus says, ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34.

Peace is possible in two ways: The first could be called as the peace of the graveyard – no war, no conflict, no life either. It is not worth anything. Another type of peace is possible – when you are alive and centred in your own being. When self-knowledge has happened and you are enlightened. The flame is lit and you are no longer in darkness.

One of the enlightened souls from India is a man named Vardhaman, He is called – Mahavira – the great conqueror. He never believed in violence, war or fighting. But still he is called Mahavira because he conquered himself. The fight with others ceases for one who has conquered himself/herself. The war is not outside, the war is within. If you have not fought the war within, you will fight it without.  A person who is at war within can react in two ways; either he/she can suffer the unease or project it on somebody else. A person who is inwardly tense will find anything as an excuse to fight. When there is an inner conflict in order to pass the uneasiness another is made responsible. Anger violence is thrown at the other in order to get relief. This will be a temporary relief because nothing has changed inside. Within no time anger, hatred gets accumulated inside and again it will have to be projected. Only a person who has conquered himself/herself will remain at peace. Such a person will never fight.

A person who is at war within can never find true peace.  To find peace he may approach a Master. A false master is one who consoles without trying to effect a change from within. He is just like a tranquilizer or sleeping pills.  He can only console and the result is only loss of time, energy and life. A true master will help you grow. For him consolation is not the goal, growth is. That is what Jesus is saying here, His approach is different. He says through conflict growth is achieved. When He talks about the sword it should not be taken literally, He is speaking in parables. He is not talking about a sword of this world but of a sword that helps you destroy the inner conflict once and for all.

In every person heaven and earth come together. Each individual is a meeting point of the body and the spirit, the earth and the divine. There is a story in the Panchatantra:

It happened that a big forest caught fire. Two men were in the forest, one was blind and the other was lame. The lame couldn’t walk, run but he could see; and the blind one could walk and run, but he could not see. So they made a pact: the blind man took the lame man on his shoulders, and as the blind man could walk and the lame man could see they became one man. The came out of the forest safe.

This is what happens in every individual. The body feels hunger but it cannot know it because it is blind. Consciousness only sees, it is a witness. Both the body and the consciousness have made a pact because without the body consciousness cannot walk, cannot move, cannot do a thing or in other words it cannot function also without the consciousness the body cannot realize what is needed – hunger, thirst etc. There is a co-operation between the body and consciousness which is essential for both to be dynamic and energetic.  But a distinction has to be made in order to reach a proper balance. The consciousness should remain as the eyes while the body should follow the path seen through these eyes. Only through a strenuous struggle can this happen. This is achieved through the sword that Jesus is talking about. An inner transformation is needed which is very demanding. Only through the gruelling struggle does growth occur.

The whole quality of water changes when it turns to vapour. When it was water it always flowed downwards. But when it changes to vapour it floats upward never downward. The whole nature changes and this happens through heat. Every transformation occurs through fire, every mutation; every new change is through fire. You are fire: moment to moment, through food, through air, through water – fire is created in you. But this fire has to be raised to a particular degree at which the transformation happens. Energy is always created through friction. Suppose you are used to sleep at ten in the night. What happens if you don’t sleep at ten? For a few moments you will feel very, very, lethargic, sleepier and sleepier. But if you resist and fight a friction is created. One part of you wants to sleep and one part of you doesn’t want to sleep. If you don’t yield then suddenly you find all sleepiness has gone and you have become fresh as in the morning. Through friction energy was created.

It is only through friction that the energy is released for the transformation to happen. A transformation occurs resulting in the body being controlled by the enlightened consciousness in you. A transformation when the lower is transformed to the higher – the devil has become divine. Through this growth alone can you find true peace, true silence.

God bless.

Ranji Varughis

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in Spiritual thoughts

 

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