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27

 

The story of Jesus is a strange one, for, apart from his birth in a stable, the accounts cover less than 3 years. He seems to have made no provision to preserve his teaching (mostly given to a few). The Gospels, regarded as inspired works,—which is the belief of piety, though in fact they are very good records, as inspired as everything that proceeds from the spirit is inspired,—are the genuine insight and intuition of man. Jesus was acclaimed by crowds from time to time, for the Jews were eagerly looking for a Messiah, but he always eluded the crowds. He allowed himself to be misunderstood, to be betrayed by a close disciple who didn't understand him at all, and to be killed as a miserable criminal in the false guise of an agitator, his disciples deserting him. It is indeed a very strange story.

 

There has been difficulty in reconciling the idea of One Divine Son and the flesh and blood Jesus. It was one of the earliest and the most understandable heresies—Docetism—which at the end of the first century maintained that a divine being entered into the human being Jesus and left him at the crucifixion, because people couldn't believe that God could be crucified and die. This idea in various forms has survived until the present day. I think it to be false and that Jesus and the divine son are one and the same. There is no need to suppose separation between suffering and rejected humanity, and sublime divinity. As I believe body and soul to be one, so I believe body, soul and spirit to be one. (We distinguish for merely empirical reasons, for the sake of discussion.) Jesus was a single divine-human being. Every man when he fully realizes himself is unique and eternal; a perfect one. That is to say, he becomes completely what he should be in God's likeness. He too becomes a divine-human being, a Son of God, and knows himself as such. That is what is said in the New Testament. "Christ in you" said St. Paul, which is glory and the end.

 

It is my conviction that Baba is the Only Son, as Jesus was, and is unique, as Jesus was. The story of Baba's life does not show his becoming perfect; he had to realize who he really was, just as Jesus had to do. But it was not the way of the saints and of those who overcome the flesh. Baba appears to us, however, as a man in his limited and phenomenal aspect. He appears because, as Jesus was, he is sent. It is this being sent that is the Incarnation, which is the strict definition of the Sanskrit word—Avatar. It is important, however, to realize that we see Baba as a man, for he was born as a man and lives as a man, though we accept him as an Incarnation because he says so. There is no other explanation.

 

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