In the spirit of Christmas
A couple of years ago I happened to be in India over Christmas. Although it wasn’t the first time for me to be abroad during that time it certainly was the first time to have Christmas explained by a Swami – a most wondrous and authentic experience. The love he expressed for Jesus Christ and the Glory of God clearly manifested his own authority on the subject.
Two years later I am once again in Switzerland and again reflect on what Swamiji said at dinner 2 Christmases ago. The following is basically an abbreviated version of the notes I took; these are by nature in-complete and any misunderstanding naturally mine:
Besides Swamiji, we were 5 Ladies: 2 from Germany, 1 from Austria and 2 from Switzerland. The 3 Ladies from Germany and Austria had spent the afternoon decorating the room in a ‘Christmassy’ way.
Normally, Swamiji doesn’t make speeches during meal-times. As it was Christmas-eve, though, he made an exception and said a few words.
He started out with the question “Are you happy? – Then it is a happy Christmas.” He says this with a smile only to announce immediately “Glory to God.”
Swamiji continues to explain how this “Glory to God” helps to increase Self-confidence. Without self-confidence no life is possible. He looks around the table at us, letting his words sink in.
Usually, he is very pragmatic and thus he asks the question: How is this (Self-Confidence) to be achieved, though? – Mainly through dispassion and discrimination. This means: decrease (worldly) desires and understand clearly what is true and right. Discriminate between what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is not the truth.
In order to be able to do that, Self-Responsibility is necessary (i.e. there comes the point whereby no one else can tell you or help you as to what is right and what is wrong; you have to figure it out yourself). He continues to explain: you come alone into this world and you leave alone. Nobody can go with you, when you leave your body. That is why it is important to lead a self-responsible life.
When self-responsibility increases for one’s own life, self-confidence increases and vice versa. Then X-Mas becomes Ex-Mess. Again, he says this with a big smile as we laugh at this pun. Free yourself from the Chaos and go into the Light.
Then he states again, with a smile, “Glory to God, AMEN.”