It is not by festivity and fun that you can celebrate Christmas. Celebrate it rather by resolving to put into practice at least one of the ideals he enunciated, or by endeavouring to reach at least one of the goals he placed before man.
Let me call upon you to give up, in memory of this holy day, two evils from your mind: self-praise and scandalising of others. Adopt one habit as yours: the habit of loving service to the distressed. If you spend all time and energy merely to pile up worldly comfort and sensual delight, you are disgracing this human existence.
You consider this habitation of yours as your body; no, it is the Temple of God. God resides therein. Keep it clean, fresh and fragrant through developing compassion and love. Christ’s birthday is when he is born in each person’s heart. It is only on that day that one is entitled to celebrate Christmas.
Jesus was a Master born with a purpose: the Mission of restoring Love, Charity and Compassion in the heart of man. He had no attachment to the self (ego), nor paid any heed to joy or sorrow, loss or gain. He had a heart hat responded to the call of anguish, and He went about the land preaching the Lesson of Love. His Life was a libation (the pouring of a liquid offering as a religious rite) for the upliftment of humanity... Jesus sacrificed His Life and poured out His blood to instil Love and Compassion in the heart of man.
Jesus was honoured by the populace as Christ, for they found in His Thoughts, Words and Deeds, no trace of ego. He had no envy or hatred, and was full of Love and Charity, Humility and Sympathy...
Jesus was Compassion come in Human Form. He spread the Spirit of Compassion and conferred solace on the distressed and the suffering. Jesus was Himself out in such Seva (Selfless Service). The heart full of Compassion is the Temple of God. Jesus pleaded for Compassion. Compassion was His Message. He was sorely distressed at the sight of the poor.
Noticing the torture of birds and beasts at the Temple in Jerusalem, He reprimanded the vendors and drove them out of the precincts. He drew upon Himself the anger of the priests. Good Works always provoke the wicked.
Self (Ego)-dominated people turn envious at greatness and goodness. But since Prema (Love), the Prema of Jesus, had no trace of (ego) in it, Jesus was unafraid... Jesus was the target for many obstacles and He braved them all. As a result His Name and Story and Message are shedding splendorous Light all over the world now.
Jesus taught simple practical lessons in spiritual advancement for the good of mankind; He manifested Divine Powers to instil faith in the validity of His Teachings; He marked out the Path that can confer on men the sweet nectar of Ananda (Bliss). He exhorted people by precept and example to cultivate the virtues of Charity, Compassion, Forbearance, Love and Faith...
People talk of the sacrifice of Christ as evidenced by His Crucifixion... Let us pay attention to the sacrifice that Jesus made while free, out of His own volition. He sacrificed His happiness, prosperity, comfort, safety and position; He braved the enmity of the powerful. He refused to yield or compromise. He renounced the ‘ego’, which is the toughest thing to get rid of. Honour Him for these. He willingly sacrificed the desires with which the body torments man; that is sacrifice greater than the sacrifice of the body under duress.
The celebration of His Birthday has to be marked by your sacrificing at least a desire or two, and conquering at least the more disastrous urges of the ego! This day, Jesus is worshipped but His Teachings are neglected. Sai is being worshipped but His Teachings are neglected. Everywhere pomp, pageantry, hollow exhibitionism! Lectures, lectures, lectures! No activity, no Love, No Seva (Selfless Service). Heroes while lecturing, zeros while putting what is said into practice...
Bring to mind the words Jesus uttered, the advice he offered, the warnings He gave, and decide to direct your daily lives along the Path Jesus laid down. His words must be imprinted on your hearts and you must resolve to practise all that He taught... Jesus teaches infinite Love and Compassion. To resurrect Love and Compassion, you must kill jealousy and selfishness, purify your hearts...
A cloud of ignorance veils the Truth. God sends sages, saints and prophets to unveil and Himself appears as an Avatar to awaken and liberate man. The Great Teachers belong to mankind. It is wrong to believe that Jesus belongs only to the Christians and that Christmas is a Holy Festival for the West only. To accept One of them as one’s own and discard the rest, as belonging to others is a sign of pettiness. Christ, Rama, Krishna-they are for all men everywhere...
Two thousands years ago, when narrow pride and thick ignorance defiled mankind, Jesus came, as the Embodiment of Love and Compassion and lived among men, holding for the highest ideals of life. You must pay attention to the lessons He elaborated in the various stages of His life. And, the story says, there was a Star in the sky, which fell with a New Light, and this led a few Tibetans and others to the place where the Saviour was born... What the story signifies is this: There was a huge halo of splendour illuminating the sky over the village when Christ was born. This meant that He, who was to overcome the darkness of evil and ignorance, had taken birth, that He will spread, the Light of Love in the heart and the councils of humanity. Appearances of splendour, and other signs to herald the era that has dawned, are natural when Incarnations happen on Earth.
Jesus was to shatter the darkness that had enveloped the world and the
Aura of Light was a sign that announced the event.
The birthday of Jesus must be celebrated by all mankind for such Masters belong to the whole human race.
Told by Sai Baba
Contributed by Tumuluru Krishna Murty