Love Your Enemies, Quoted from Paramahansa Yogananda

I am reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s book, The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You, as we humans read all holy books—slowly and while in a contemplative mood. In this two-book set he shares, in depth, his Eastern wisdom as it relates to the verses of the New Testament.

I am quoting several paragraphs below from his discourse on John 1:29-34, in which he writes about the most important of all subjects: the power of love over evil–and Jesus’ role in God’s great plan:

P.Y. writes that Jesus, “was not the arrogant power of a tyrannical crusader out to destroy evil by force. Rather he came…to offer himself as a sacrifice to exemplify the supreme power of love. If God used his omnipotence to punish man, it would be impossible for a mere mortal to exercise independent judgment and thus learn and grow by his mistakes. The karmic law works whereby man punishes himself proportionate to his misdeeds, while at the same time God uses love to encourage discriminative right behavior and to awaken in the human spirit the higher soul qualities of God’s image within the true Self.

“Jesus exemplified God’s love in a rare expression of spiritual magnanimity: the willing oblation of his own life. By sacrificing himself for the spiritual welfare of others, a savior who is empowered by God to do so can expiate the sins of others. Jesus, a world savior, took on himself not only the karmic debt of his disciples but also the sin of the masses by allowing himself to be crucified.”

Jesus offered himself as, “an exemplar of the consummate power of love over evil, wisdom over ignorance, forgiveness over vengefulness, light over darkness.

“Jesus’ sacrifice was, primarily, to exemplify for all time the power of spiritual force over ignorance and brute force. He showed that the power of love could conquer the Roman Empire, with which all its might could not suppress his philosophy. His reign has outlasted
that of all warrior conquerors, based on the divine edict: “Love your enemies.”

Love your enemies. This, whether they know it or not, is the calling of the world’s young people (but old souls) who have entered this world now, as a college grad said on the news a few nights ago “to stop the hate.” Thanks be to God, Creator, Love, Universe, Great Mystery.

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