I was reading the Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda, a very interesting book about some of the great sages of India. My belief has always been that if you want to learn about another culture and its faith, then you should read books written by people born into that culture. In the very beginning of this book Yogananda is reflecting upon the first great sage that influenced his life and in describing this sage he uses the word Christlike. “My own path led me to a Christlike sage whose beautiful life was chiseled for the ages”
Interesting that this man would choose a non-Indian Spiritual Teacher to describe an Indian Holy Man, I find this very interesting indeed. You must remember that India was just freeing itself from many years of being a colony of The British Crown, a “christian nation.” Yet Yogananda does not call this sage (Lahiri Mahasaya) a christian like sage but rather a Christlike sage.
Christlike is a word that stands apart and has not be tainted like christian has, Christlike speaks of Love, Patience, Wisdom, Forgiveness, Mercy and Very Deep Spirituality. It has a transcendent quality that speaks of heaven and the angels, of a connection with God the Father beyond the bounds of time and matter. Christlike is the perfect word to describe someone who lives in two worlds, heaven and earth seamlessly and seeks to unite them. Christlike is a word that has stood the passage of time even as christian has lost its original meaning of being Christlike.
Jesus was the most Christlike person who ever walked the earth, more than that he was sent from God to show what the future of Humanity through Him will look like some day. We are told in the holy book of Hebrews that Jesus (The Christ) was only first of many divine son’s and daughters of The Living God. What if the whole world secretly desired to be Christlike and live in a Christlike world? Then indeed The Kingdom of God would have come among us and Christ would be king among christs.* *(see 1 John 3:2-3)
Funny it takes someone from a foreign land a “non-christian” to remind us what being christian is all about, it’s about Being Christlike.Maybe its time to drop the word christian and all its baggage, and fully embrace the word that says it all “Christlike.”
I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. Mohandas Gandhi