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Home > Cover Story > Part 3  
the 'be-atTitudes' of jesus
…Through the lives of Enlightened Souls and Divine Incarnations

Part 3:
"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

Lord Jesus showed His followers that it is not by force that one can make gains – even in this world. He urged His followers to be gentle and to practice the path of non-violence and least resistance as a positive character trait. To be meek from a place of inner strength is a constructive and active virtue, one that inspires calm action, rather than a negative disposition of timidity.

“Then, the meek are those who yield to acts of wickedness, and do not resist evil, but overcome evil with good.”
~ St. Augustine

A few minutes after this Beatitude, Jesus would tell His disciples:

You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

~ Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5 v38-42

This quality of self-negation is a hallmark of the truly enlightened, as perfectly illustrated by an anecdote from the divine life of Sri Ramana Maharshi:

 
 

Sri Ramana Maharshi: Living the Benevolent Beatitude

It was 11:30 in the middle of the night, June 26, 1924. Though at that time Sri Ramanasramam consisted of only a few thatched sheds, some thieves came thinking it to be a rich mutt (ashram).

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    The Love of Sri Sathya Sai  
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The ever blissful Sri Ramana Maharshi
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They tried to break in through the windows by smashing them, and threatened to destroy everything. The noise woke up the devotees who were sleeping in the shed where Sri Bhagavan was lying.

Sri Ramana then invited the thieves to come in through the proper doorway and asked the devotees to give them a hurricane lamp so that they could look for whatever they wanted, yet they shouted angrily, 'Where are you keeping your money?'

'We are sadhus who live by begging. We have no money. From what you can find here, you may take away anything you want. We will come outside.'

Some days later the police caught the thieves and brought them before Sri Bhagavan, and an officer asked Him to identify the one who had beaten Him on that night. Sri Bhagavan at once replied with a smile, 'Find out whom I beat in a previous birth for it is he who has beaten me now!' He never denounced the criminal!

So saying, Sri Bhagavan came and sat outside followed by the devotees. As they came out of the shed, the thieves beat them with sticks and one blow even fell on the thigh of Sri Bhagavan. ‘If you are still not satisfied, beat the other thigh as well,’ said Sri Bhagavan feeling sorry for them.

Was this the limit of His kindness towards the thieves? No, He also prevented a young devotee who, unable to bear the sight of Sri Bhagavan being beaten, jumped up with an iron bar in retaliation. Sri Bhagavan advised him, 'Let them do their dharma. We are sadhus, we should not give up our dharma. In future, the world will blame only us if any wrong happens.’

Some days later the police caught the thieves and brought them before Sri Bhagavan, and an officer asked Him to identify the one who had beaten Him on that night. Sri Bhagavan at once replied with a smile, 'Find out whom I beat in a previous birth for it is he who has beaten me now!' He never denounced the criminal!

 
 

One may wonder if such meekness will really work in the present world where we see so much insensitivity all around us. But let us not forget that the independence of the largest democracy of this world was won not by force, but by the assertive strength of meekness. What startled, humbled and threw the seemingly invincible British Empire out of India in the early 20th century was the sheer power of Non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of independent India, said,

“ I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it. I can only teach you not to bow your heads before any one even at the cost of your life.... Non-violence is a weapon of the strong.”

Meekness is an amazing virtue which enables us to accept the Will of God. Instead of railing against the Lord when our life does not go the way we want it to, we can surrender and say, “Lord not my will, let Your will be done.” Perhaps the most profound example of this was when Lord Jesus prayed to God, knowing that He would soon be crucified, at a time when He could have escaped. Yet He accepted what was to come as His Father’s Will.

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  The Love of Sri Sathya Sai    
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Jesus prays in the
garden of Gethsemane
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Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”

He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may Your will be done.”

When He came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

~ Gospel of Matthew, chapter 26, v36-46

Meekness and the abasement of the ego before God is the holy and joyous path which culminates in complete surrender to the Lord. Bhagavan Baba describes this beautifully:

Then, what does surrender of the self signify or imply? To experience God as Omnipresent, to be aware of nothing other than God – this is true surrender. To see God in everything, everywhere, at all times, is true Sharanaagathi.

~ Baba

Meekness also refers to the quality of modesty. A meek person is free from the tendency to show off, and will never selfishly put himself forward to gain attention from others, or ever try and dominate people. Moreover, a meek person is wholly above the senses and shines with sattvic (pure) qualities. The Koran eulogises this quality emphatically and says:

And the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.

~ Holy Koran, chapter 25, v63

Clearly, through this Beatitude, Jesus was resonating the principle that runs like the common thread through all great spiritual traditions. This is, in fact, the hallmark of sincere seekers along the path of God, regardless of their religion, who are in search of a life filled with unruffled peace and spiritual joy.

End of Part 3

Dear reader, how did you like this story? Did it inspire you in any way? Would you like more such stories focussed on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and other such divine incarnations? Please write to us at h[email protected] with your name and country. We look forward to your feedback, comments and suggestions to help us serve you better. Thank you very much for your time.

- Heart2Heart Team


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Vol 6 Issue 12 - DECEMBER 2008
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