Our Times and The Times of Christ…..

SwamijiSwami (Dr) Snehanand Jyoti
I have been for a long time reflecting on our Age and the time of Christ. I could not but see the parallelisms between our times and His times. Christ stands out as the greatest reformer of all times for which He paid a price with His own life. He condemned in no uncertain terms the pomp, ostentations, and the hypocrisy of the rich, the powerful, and the learned who held sway on society in religious and secular spheres. Interestingly the powerful religious and political leaders put such heavy burdens on the poor and the downtrodden that they themselves were unwilling to carry. The leaders in both spheres made laws and rituals the spirit of which they themselves were not following. 
Certainly there was no democracy at the time of Christ. There was an emperor in Rome whose will was carried out by his governor in the province of Palestine. The Jewish authorities wanted to get rid of the enslavement by the Roman power but used that very power when it was convenient for them, for instance to crucify and get rid of Jesus who was preaching a Kingdom neither the Jewish priests nor the Roman governor understood. The Jewish establishment was threatened by Christ and wanted to eliminate him; the Romans did not care about this crazy man Christ as long as he did not undermine their power. The emotions of ordinary Jews were carefully manipulated by the power of the priestly Jesus on the other hand stood for an other-worldly, spiritual power that flowed from within coming as it was from his on-going communication with his father. He did not want anyone to parade one’s status, position, or importance. He emphasized humility. He stressed purity of intention. He did not interfere with the secular power. He did not have much use for the religious and priestly class who put religious rituals including Sabbath above day to day human living and concerns. He lashed out at double-standard and hypocrisy.
Movement of Prayer


He followed the agenda of What is happening in our times?  Similar things. Only the players are different. In the name of democracy anything goes. Any political party in India, especially in Kerala, that has frequent strikes and lawlessness, can declare a strike at any time and paralyze a state for any real or perceived wrong. The legislators in the Kerala Assembly, India, for instance, displayed wanton destruction and violence in front of the whole world. The political grid-lock powered by vested interests and multi-national corporations through their powerful lobbyists in the USA almost shut down the government in the USA a few years ago. Yet the extent of anarchy and undemocratic conduct and violence not seen heretofore is causing concern and talk about possible declaration of emergency in India. The religious powers, overtly or covertly aligning with political parties for their own agenda, are increasingly losing their credibility. They seem to be more intent on establishing a temporal kingdom by establishing powerful institutions and building expensive, glamorous places of worship. There is no political or religious leaders like Christ, Gandhi, or Mandela, with principles, in the horizon. We do not need them either. They have modeled political and religious life for us. We need to get into our hearts and examine our own motives, and scrupulously practice, in words and deeds, human rights, and give to others the freedom we want for ourselves. I do not think that Christ currently will find the Kingdom of God that he preached in the Church that stands in his name. The Kingdom of God is half-dead lying on the wayside looking for a Good Samaritan to rescue it. Gandhi’s principle of non-violence (perfect love) is lying in the intensive care waiting for the transfusion of a good dose of democracy that respects everyone’s rights. 

Swami Snehananda Jyoti  

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