The Spirit of Christmas

Christmas is not just about buying gifts and eating sweets. The essence of this day lies in finding goodness within the heart, writes Sant Rajinder Singh

The basis of Christmas is, of course, the celebration of the birth of Christ; although in reality saints are beyond the cycle of birth and death. At this time of the year, let us turn our hearts and souls to the significance of the life and teachings of Christ. Traditionally speaking, it is the day when God Power descended on Earth in human form to give the first hand experience of “Word” to humanity. To celebrate Jesus Christ’s birthday is a moment of great joy. We sing carols, celebrate, present gifts, and exchange best wishes. Though the temperature outside shudders us, our hearts are filled with the warmth of love and brotherhood. Every year, people from across the world get together to celebrate the big day of Christmas! This is a festival of happiness when people present gifts, especially to children who are given plenty of gifts on this occasion. The tradition of presenting gifts to children is associated with Jesus’ birth when after his birth; three wise men came from the East and presented plenty of gifts to the infant Jesus. Christmas, is an occasion when we must give a thought to understand the meaning of ‘Christ’. Jesus Christ, in the Gospel, often called himself the “Child of Man” and “Son of God”. He can be understood in this dual context. According to St John’s teachings, Jesus Christ was the Holy Word, he was in human form amongst us. He reached the spiritual heights where the soul realises itself as a part of God. God Power worked through him. God power is called Master power and this power grants us salvation and merges us back into God. World can be destroyed, but not this power. This power, in the initial Gospel of St John , has been described as: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the blight of men.” This light was in the form of Jesus and till the time he lived, he was indeed the light to the world. Because he was in the human form, he was the “Son of Man” but also because he was one with God, and came as a medium of this power, he was “Child of God”. In reality, this power is nothing but the “Holy  Word”, or the “Holy Spirit”, as mentioned in the Gospels. In other religions, it has also been called as kalma, Baang-e-asmani, Sarasha, Lagosa, Shabad, Shruti, Udgati, or Naam. It was with the word that the whole world was created. It may be described with different names in different religions, but it means the same. It is important that on Christmas, we follow Christ’s teachings. Christ, too, like other great Saints, emphasised on leading a pure life. He said: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”— Matthew (King James Version) Ethical life includes non violence, truthfulness, purity, humility, selfless service and love for all. Christ was a living example of all of these.  Being one with the Father, Christ embodied all virtues. He was an epitome of love, forgiveness and humility. He represented full flowering of God’s love in the world. Indeed, if forgiveness can be defined as the perfume that flowers breathe when they are trampled upon, then he was a veritable garden of divine fragrance. His love encompassed all, and he embraced all. Humility was his adornment. Like one the greatest Urdu Poets of past century has said: “Humility and love are the priceless gifts of God-realisation; Humility is the be-all, and love is the end-all of the spiritual path.”—  Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj It is love which opens our hearts to share in the suffering and joys of others. And it is humility which inspires us to reach out to the lowly and the poor, the forsaken and the forgotten. It is not the magnitude of our acts of loving-kindness that ultimately matters. It is the sincerity with which they are offered. Whenever we celebrate birthdays of the Great Masters, we must try to follow their teachings/ keep their commandments. What did they preach? What did they explain? On Christmas, when a lot of people throughout the world celebrate Jesus Christ’s birthday, it is important to present a gift to our own selves — the gift to practice Jesus’ teachings. His teachings were teachings of love. His teachings taught us that we can be one with God. It is important that we must not stop only at the outer rituals. We must focus at the foundation, called the esoteric side of the religion. We must feed the soul so that it travels within and rises above body consciousness to be one with God. As we celebrate Christmas, let us do so in its true spirit. If we but develop the eyes to see, we will find that each day is filled with the opportunities to express love and compassion and to perform acts of kindness which can bring joy to those around us. Each day is filled with opportunities to spread the fragrance of forgiveness and apply the balm of soothing words. If we build our lives where there are no outer disturbances so that life is filled with virtues and we are connected with God from within, we will speedily reach our destination. Those who are rich may possess everything, but if they lack love, they are poor and destitute. So to give love consciously is not only a panacea for the hardships, the torments of modern life, it is an enriching experience for the giver also. It enriches the giver as well as the receiver; we all grow. So let’s celebrate this Christmas with its true spirit of love, humility, and forgiveness. Merry Christmas! Read more posts…
Sunday, 23 December 2018 | Sant Rajinder Singh

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