The Authority of Jesus
And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
~ The Sermon on the Mount
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Acharya Prashant: “And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes”.
The Real guru would always speak from an inner sureness. He would not act as an agent of the crowd, not as a social pleaser. He is not looking to get his authority from somewhere else. He is not looking to gain applause from the crowd. When he speaks it is very clear that it is not the gathering that gives him strength, his strength comes from somewhere within. And that display of inner strength is what really convinces the listeners.
The words never convince, for what are words; words are just social constructs, they can never convince anybody.
It is the manifestation of the inner authority that convinces anybody.
If you have a guru who just looks a social construct, out to please, coming from a tradition, following a method that has already been in circulation, then that teacher carries no intrinsic authority; he is just repeating like a parrot, what so many others and what the scriptures too have already said.
If you are drawing your authority from the work of someone else then you are not fit to be a teacher. The teacher is always original. His authority stems from within. He has a direct relationship with the Truth, not a borrowed one. He will never say that- I am the disciple of such and such person who in turn was the disciple of such and such person. The real teacher will never say that.
Did Jesus ever say that he is the student of such and such person and who in turn was the student of someone else? He says directly, ‘I am the son of God, full stop, and from there I get my authority, directly from God.’
The real teacher can never belong to a tradition.
The real teacher belongs only to God.
Listener: Sir, I have heard that Jesus came here in India, in the Himalayas to learn.
AP: Might be possible, but how does that matter? It is equally possible that he was roaming in the Antarctica, but how does that matter?
A Jesus is not a product of his situations. It doesn’t matter where he roams; if he roams in the Himalayas or the Alps. The Himalayas do not make a Jesus. The Jesus is not an evolutionary product. He is the direct son of Truth. All this is just sensationalism that did he came to India or did he live in Kashmir? Do we have the marks of Jesus somewhere in India? All this is just gesticulation.
The mind wants to have something to gossip, spiritual gossip. How does it matter?
Never try to judge a Teacher on his personal life because you will never know all the facts.
L1: No, what I meant is we can learn from others
AP: Is Jesus trying to hide something from you?
Had this been important that he has been learning from this and that then he would have disclosed. He is disclosing what he thinks is important for you to know. He is disclosing that he has direct authority from the Truth. Had he wanted to tell you that coming to India is beneficial to you then he would just have said that in the Bible—‘You go to India, full stop.’ Bible starts and ends.
Why are you so much interested in what Jesus did not say?
Why are you not interested in what he did say?
L1: Because this fact is almost hidden in the west.
AP: First go closely to what is available about him and that in itself is a treasure. When you have exhausted all that which he had to say then you can go to that which he probably didn’t say.
L1: I think these Jesus stories have some relevance because we have a large community that is identified with it and I think that it is very good because there are so many people doing things like Jesus did which are in line with the Truth.
AP: Is the Truth about what Jesus ate, what Jesus did or is the truth there in what Jesus wanted you to know?
L2: No, but it tells us about the Jesus.
AP: In the Vedas and the Upanishads is the Rishi telling the student about his personal life, how old he is, where he has lived, what is the name of his wife, what he eats or is he talking about the truth? Should I be interested in the personal and demographic details of the Rishi or should I rather listen to what he is saying to me?
In any of the Upanishads, do you even find the Rishi is saying anything about his personal life? Sometimes he does not even tell his name. Had the personal details been important then the teacher would have told them. If the teacher is not telling them then who are we to attach importance to them or do we think that the teacher is deliberately trying to obfuscate something, keeping it a secret. But no, we want to peep into the life of the teacher which is our normal tendency just as we want to peep into the life of our neighbor.
Limit yourself to what has been said and what is available.
Do not become susceptible to voyeuristic tendencies, otherwise, there is no end.
How many wives did Krishna had? Was Krishna having sex with them? How come he had sixteen thousand wives and there are only 365 days in a year?
There is no limit to where you can go probing into the personal details of a Prophet’s life. Where did he live? How did he eat? How was it that Krishna was born in captivity? How is it that just when he was about to be killed there came a voice from heaven? How is it possible that a little one was carrying a mountain on his little finger.
There is no end if you are trying to seek pleasure in all these stories. Limit yourself to the Bhagwad Gita—the direct word from the master. Rest all is gossip. Mostly the people who are the most interested in gossip are the ones who are least interested in the Truth. If you are filled with the truth then where is the space for gossip.
L3: Even Jesus, I think has kept aside himself and said- It’s not me, it’s the Truth that is speaking through me.
AP: Yes! Jesus is saying that I am not important at all; it is the voice of the father that is coming through me. When he is putting himself behind, when he is saying, ‘I am not important, my personal life is not important’ then who are we to make his personal life important.
Did Jesus really marry the woman that went around with him?
Was she a prostitute? Was she still an active prostitute?
~ Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity.
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