By Bhakti Ananda Goswami
CHRIST HAS RISEN HALLELUJAH !
DEAREST FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
BEHOLD ! HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW!
PEACE AND LOVE TO YOU AND YOUR DEAR ONES THIS BLESSED
ALL GLORIES TO JESUS YUPA DHVAJA!
BHAKTI ANANDA GOSWAMI / BROTHER DAVID
AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS
A SERIES OF CONTEMPLATIONS BY A BUDDHIST, A SHAIVITE AND A
THE FOOT OF THE CROSS
PART ONE: BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF
A Pure Land Buddhist meditation at the foot of the Cross,
by Bhakti Ananda Goswami
Humankind had entered a dark age of confusion and
Everywhere, in the name of God's revealed knowledge
(Sanskrit Veda, Hebrew Yeda, Greek Oida), God's once-and-all-sufficient Cosmic
Self Sacrifice as Purusha Yupa Dhavaja (Rig Vedic Purusha Sukta) was being
horrifically mocked by the bloody ritualistic slaughter of innocent cattle,
goats, lambs and other sacrificial victims, even sometimes by the tamasic
sacrifice of humans. God's priesthood had become corrupted
and His temple had become a den of thieves transacting the
life and death of slaves and sacrificial victims for blood-money. Into this
culture of sin and death the Adi Purusha Lord Lokeshvara (Vishnu) descended
Himself to diagnose the condition of humanity and provide a cure.
Everyone knows the basic story of the Prince Gautama
Buddha, but there is an oral tradition about Him that can only properly end with
"Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the
Here is my retelling of that legend, from the versions that
I heard while traveling in the East.
As the run-away Prince Gautama, the Second Person of the
Godhead (Amitayus-Lokeshvara Vishnu) had performed great austerities and had
lived under the rigid discipline of various masters, only to find that their
goals and methods of 'self realization' or 'enlightenment' seemed either
undesirable and / or unattainable. After submitting to various disciplines and
masters, He had become discouraged, thinking that the relief for suffering,
which He was seeking for all beings, was unattainable. The world was pervaded
with sin and its consequential suffering, and there seemed to be no remedy for
it. Vedic religion was corrupt and what passed for 'spirituality' was a cold
impersonal flight from the reality of the personal suffering of the beings in
the saha world of birth, death, disease and old age.
Frustrated with His directed religious and 'spiritual'
experiences, the Lord set off on His own as a wandering mendicant. As a solitary
monk He headed up into the mountains, where He sat deep in meditation alone for
many days at a time. Contemplating the suffering of the beings of the saha
world, His desire to save them all increased day-by-day, until one day He was
startled out of His deep meditation by a cry so pitiful, that it reached into
the very bodhi heart of His compassion, and stirred Him once again to external
A shepherd was bringing his flock down from the high
pastures, and the pitiful bleating that startled the Lord had come from a
desperate mother sheep, who had twin lambs, one of which was quite crippled and
slow, lagging behind the flock, while the other was quite healthy and frolicking
up ahead of the flock. In an instant the Mendicant Lord realized that the poor
mother was emaciated and full of worry as she rushed back and forth between her
sickly and her healthy lamb. She was just skin and bones due to her constant
efforts to both help along her crippled baby and chase after her vigorous lamb,
who had to be brought back, so that she could near his feebler twin. Her voice
was strained from her constant calling to her frightened lame lamb "I am coming
my darling babe, mother is coming...I will not abandon you" and calling to her
adventurous lamb "come back my darling babe ! Please do not make me chase you !
Please do not go so far ! There are wolves! You can get lost! "
In this way she was unwilling to abandon either of her
precious babies, and was straining every fiber of her being to guide and protect
them. Between their struggling and gamboling, she hardly had time to eat, and
she ran-off so much of what she did eat, that she was starving. Yet despite her
obviously impending starvation, she lovingly gave her sore almost milkless teats
to her beloved babies at every opportunity that she could find.
With many sheep, the shepherd tending the flock seemed
unaware of her plight, and if he had noticed, he probably would have sacrificed
and eaten the crippled lamb, rather than to allow it to be the death of its
The Lord Teaches His Doctrine of Compassion
"It is better to ease the suffering of one dumb beast, than
it is to sit in perfect impersonal meditation for an eternity" Thus the Lord
declared His doctrine of compassion, as leaping to His feet, at once He
approached the crippled lamb, and in spite of the worried mother's frightened
protests, He lifted the little creature to His own emaciated shoulders, and
began to carry it.
'Worry no more my Woolly Mother, I am your servant now. I
will protect and carry your precious baby"
And so it was, that with the crippled lamb on His
shoulders, the Lord became the servant of a sheep. (Think my dear friends of the
traditional early icon of Jesus as the Good Shepard, with the lamb draped over
His shoulders !)
...but the story does not end here...
Soon Woolly Mother trusted her new servant, and was
confident to leave her darling lamb with Him. Relieved of her worries, she would
soon regain her health. Carrying the lamb, and striding down hill with the
flock, the Lord reached the flock's shepherd, who seemed unusually preoccupied
The Lord inquired as to why the man was so distracted:
"Why are you bringing your flock down the mountain at this
time of the year" asked the Lord. "The upper meadows are lush and green. It is
not yet the season to descend to the valley floor. Why are you headed for the
"Haven't you heard?" replied the shepherd. "The King has
instructed the Brahmins to perform a great Vedic Sacrifice for the sins of the
nation." "Thousands of sacrificial animals will be needed to atone for the sins
of the people, the King and the Brahmins". "Preparations are underway for the
greatest state sacrifice ever performed in our kingdom".
"Hundreds of sacrificial Brahmin priests, Mantrins to chant
the Vedic Hymns, and other experts to assist in the sacrificial rites are coming
from near and far. Thousands of crafts people, food-stuff peddlers and laborers
are flooding into the city and the Great Temple is being readied for the biggest
event in its history. We herdsmen and shipyards have been ordered to bring our
herds and flocks, to provide the sacrificial victims. The altars, temple and
city will be flowing with rivers of their blood, and the debt for the sins of
the nation will be paid-in-full by the blood of these many victims!"
Both men grew silent as they walked side-by-side down
towards the valley, and then in speechless grief, the Lord purposed in His
"Ah, for all my lost sheep, who have no Shepard to protect
them, and who are blindly heading towards the knife...IF I COULD GIVE MY LIFE
FOR THEM I WOULD!"
There is more to the story, but I cannot tell it now.
Suffice it to say that the Lord condemned the great
sacrifice and stopped it. Throughout the rest of His Earthly quest for the end
of sin and suffering, and the relief of all beings in the saha world, the Lord
Purusha Himself, as Prince Gautama, practiced self-sacrificing compassion.
Then in the end, He assured His followers that although His
present dispensation would one day end, at that time the Buddha of Infinite
Compassion would appear, and His order would have no end. In Pure Land Buddhism,
this is the prophecy of the Adi Purusha's (Buddha's) return as Maitreya Buddha,
the Buddha of Infinite Compassion.
Ever since Gautama Buddha disappeared, leaving this
promise, Buddhists have been awaiting the coming of Maitreya, the Buddha of
Upon the Yupa Cross of all creation, BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD
AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD. BEHOLD THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO
HAS GIVEN HIS LIFE FOR HIS SHEEP. BEHOLD THE ADI PURUSHA WHO ALONE CAN ATONE FOR
THE SINS OF HIS CREATION. BEHOLD THE SAVIOR WHO IS THE SERVANT OF HIS SERVANTS.
BEHOLD THE BUDDHA OF INFINITE COMPASSION WHO HAS TAKEN UPON HIMSELF ALL OF THE
SIN AND SUFFERING OF THE SAHA WORLDS, WHO HAS ENDED ALL OF EARTH'S BLOODY
SACRIFICES, AND WHOSE KINGDOM OF LOVE WILL HAVE NO END.
IN JESUS CHRIST THE GOOD SHEPARD, PURUSHA-BUDDHA'S DESIRE
TO GIVE HIMSELF FOR THE SALVATION OF ALL BEINGS HAS BEEN SATISFIED. AS A
BUDDHIST AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS, I SEE MY LORD ADI PURUSHA VISHNAU-LOKESHVARA
AS THE GOOD SHEPARD WHO HAS GIVEN IMSELF FOR HIS SHEEP.
ALL GLORIES TO THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY THE SIN OF
THE WORLD ! ALL GLORIES TO THE GOOD SHEPARD WHO HAS GIVEN HIS LIFE FOR HIS
SHEEP! ALL GLORIES TO JESUS CHRIST PURUSHA YUPA DHVAJA, WHO IS THE BUDDHA OF
INFINITE COMPASSION !
JESUS CHRIST THE GOOD SHEPARD HAS DIED (FOR OUR SINS)
JESUS CHRIST THE GOOD SHEPARD HAS RISEN !
(BEHOLD HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW !)
JESUS CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN
AND HIS KINGDOM WILL HAVE NO END!
A JOYOUS EASTER TO YOU ALL !
BHAKTI ANANDA GOSWAMI
(There is a voidist Buddhist interpretation of one version
of this Buddhist legend in Sir Edwin Arnold's "The Light of Asia".)
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To Love God
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