[book rec] The Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta

July 10, 2016

As I was window shopping through different religions,
with no aim to purchase (“no thanks, I’m just looking”), I made a pit stop at the Christian wares.

Let me start the story a little earlier.

See, in the beginning was the word.
A while later, I came around.
Hanging out by myself, I was fairly content.

Then, those Buddhists, with their nonchalant indifferent manner, attracted my attention. They’re so nonpushy, what’s all that about?? Took a trip to Japan, visited a bunch of temples, and bought a bunch of Buddha statues. I’m now all set, I thought.

But curiosity got the best of me.
I decided to go next door to meet their cousins, them flexible Hindus. Took a few deep dives into their essential texts. One of their yogis, Paramahansa Yogananda, gently nudged me to look at Christians. They’re not so different, he says.

By now, the barriers in my mind were eroding.
Ok, lemme see what these Abrahamic folks are all about.

I tried reading the Bible.
Nope. Not for me.
I tried reading the condensed Jefferson Bible, still too difficult.

Eventually, I found this yogic translation of the essential teachings of Christianity. The Sermon to Christianity is what Bhagavad Gita is to Hinduism.

The thing about religious texts is that it was written a long time ago. So there is naturally a difficulty in understanding ancient language and grammar. Also, these spiritual teachers taught differently to different groups. There was one message for the public and a deeper message for their apostles. It’s just like how we talk generally in a party situation, but do a deep dive with our best friend.

The Sermon is what Jesus taught his inner circle.

Thus, it’s important to get a spiritually wise person to translate ancient texts into a language we understand.

So, I want to highly recommend this audio book on The Sermon by Swami Prabhavananda. Especially useful for non Christians who want to understand what they’re all about.

It’s one of those audiobooks I can listen to repeatedly, like a multivitamin for the soul.

Resources:
The Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta