Thursday, August 4, 2011

Ask Asha: Christ Consciousness as a Universal Concept

[You can ask your own question here.]


Can you describe in more detailed manner the CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS that PY talks about.

Is there an analogy in Hinduism to Christ Consciousness?

from USA


Dear DP:

It is interesting that you would ask the question in just this way. Perhaps the reason the question arises is because “Christianity,” by its very name, and “Christ” as the focus of that religion, seems to have claimed “Christ Consciousness” as its unique property. Jesus didn’t do that, but the church that followed has.

In fact, the concept of Christ Consciousness — perhaps more accurately, the fact of Christ Consciousness — transcends Hinduism, Christianity, and every other religion known to man. Christ Consciousness comes first, expressed through a fully Self-realized incarnated person. Religions come later, as an attempt by those of lesser consciousness to bring to a focus divine revelations impossible for them to grasp directly.

Christianity, like most religions, had a specific founder, “Jesus the Christ” — “Christ” being a title, not a name.

Hinduism has no founder, but is periodically renewed by incarnating Masters — each one a “Christ,” i.e., a fully Self-realized person. The Master who is known as “Krishna” was, Paramhansa Yogananda explains, “Jadava the Krishna,” the word “Krishna” being the equivalent in that language of the word “Christ.” The names and titles together, as you can see, are similar.

To make this point more clearly, Paramhansa Yogananda sometimes wrote the name “Krishna” as “Christna.”

The Sanskrit equivalent of “Christ Consciousness” is “Kutastha Chaitanya.”

These concepts, then, are as much a part of Hinduism as they are of Christianity. But they are not widely understood in either religion as it is practiced now.

In India, however, there is a deeper understanding of these truths than in the West. All true religions, Indian culture teaches, are expressions of “Sanaatan Dharma,” which means “Eternal Truth,” or, even more simply, “That Which Is.”

In other words, creation itself is a divine expression. All true religions in the world — which is to say God-inspired rather than man-made — include the same understandings. Christ Consciousness is one of them, not merely as an abstraction, but as the goal of all spiritual seeking and, in fact, as the inevitable destiny for all of us.

To understand more about Christ Consciousness as Paramhansa Yogananda explained it, I would suggest looking up that phrase in the index of any and all of his books and books by Swami Kriyananda. The Essence of Self-Realization, as an example, has some wonderful explanations; so does The Essence of the Bhagavad-Gita.

Nayaswami Asha

[Questions and answers from other Ananda ministers worldwide can be found on the Ask the Experts page of]

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