Thursday, March 22, 2007

Christ's Teachings, Vinoba Bhave

Bio: Vinoba Bhave was one of Gandhi’s closest and most trusted disciples. One of the most respected practitioners of non-violence in the world today, he has spent the last twenty years walking through India, begging land for the peasants of that country, and directing the land development movement. The selection here * is a translation of an article by Bhave in the journal Bhumiputra.


"Jesus Christ’s teaching can be summed up in three of his sayings: 1. Love thy neighbor as thyself. 2. Love thy enemy. 3. Love one another as I have loved you.
If Jesus had merely said: “Love thy neighbor,” that would have been axiomatic. If you love your neighbor, he will also love you, and if you abuse him, he too will do the same. So, to love him is in your self-interest. But Jesus added the words “as thyself.” This is deep thinking, and requires great effort to practice. How much love do we lavish on ourselves, how much affection on our bodies! Lavish the same on your neighbor. So said Jesus."

"One who serves God and acts according to his teaching truly worships.

Jesus therefore urged “Love thy enemy,” He did not say: Love thy enemy if he loves you. That way I lose initiative to others. This limits my effectiveness. When I say I hold the initiative in the process of love, my behavior is governed by love for everyone, no matter what others do to me. Then we can conquer the world with love. Gautama Buddha said this. “Hatred is not calmed by hatred. Conquer anger with love.”

Gandhi’s “satyagraha” (insistence on truth) was, I believe, a practical application of this principle."

"Jesus gave his third teaching to his followers toward the end. There would have been nothing new if he had merely said: “Love one another.” Most religious sects say this. But Jesus added “as I have loved you,” meaning, “Just as I gave my all for you, you do the same for your colleagues. Dedicate yourselves to this task.” This was his last message."

"The atomic weapons have sounded a clarion call to man to unite, or they will wipe him out.

I believe in Jesus Christ, but do not believe in circumscribing him within strictly sectarian or theological walls. To me Jesus was something far beyond any individual phenomenon. [Jesus] was Love and Compassion incarnate. We can carry his message to the people by serving them with love, mercy and compassion in our hearts. That message will spread despite you and me, because it is the innermost cry of the human heart."

"To unite hearts is therefore the most important task before us today."

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