On Jesus: What does it take to believe in miracles?
Acharya Prashant: The next question says:
Dear Acharya Ji, Pranam
After reading the story of Lazarus, this is what comes to the mind. We all want to see miracles in order to believe in the existence of a God. Something that is magical or out of the ordinary. Most of us have witnessed those moments at some point in our lives. Yet those moments pass and we go on with our normal lives as if nothing has happened. So what does it then take to believe fully and completely? And why do we find it so difficult?
‘Miracles’ are continuously happening Nimisha. But to whom are the miracles happening? Who would perceive the miracles as happening? The one who is to perceive is lost in the gross material. He can perceive nothing but that which is loud, sensory, material.
The subtle can be perceived only by the subtle.
That is the reason why blunt demonstrations like the one in the case of Lazarus are talked of. That Lazarus loved Jesus was in itself the highest miracle. But that miracle would not be appreciated. It would not even be called a miracle because we are gross people. We have lost the sensitivity, the receptivity to perceive, record, register the little, the faint, the delicate and that is the reason why we talk only of some miracles. We do not talk of a continuity of miracles.
We talk as if miracles happen sometimes.
‘Time’ itself is a miracle.
We do not see that, because we live like automatons. We live very conditioned and programmed lives, very loud lives. Silent and loving whispers have seized to appeal to us, to matter to us, to be heard by us.
You are saying what does it take to believe fully and completely? And why do we find it so difficult? Because if you believe in miracles, you cannot believe in yourself. That is why it is difficult. You want to believe in yourself. You want to believe in all the knowledge that the senses and the world have brought you. That is why it will be very difficult to continuously believe in miracles.
To believe in miracles is to believe in your personal helplessness. To believe in miracles is to accept that the center of doing is not you, that what is happening is not really your accomplishment.
Not only is it not your accomplishment, it is also something not amenable to be comprehended through your logic and that is a double humiliation. If miracles are indeed there, then not only are we not working the miracles, a miracle is by definition something that cannot be comprehended by human intellect. So you are robbed of both, the pleasure of doership and the pleasure of personal comprehension.
The miracle tells you that neither have you done it, nor do you understand what has been done that is too much for the ego.
Had you just been told that the miracle, the event is something that you have not done, at least some hope would have remained. You would have said ‘Okay we have not done it this time, maybe the next time we will be able to make it’. But the miracle tells you that it is totally beyond you. You have not only not done it, you also do not know what has happened, so how will you ever do it?
You will never be very open to believe in miracles.
To believe in miracles is to believe in grace.
‘Grace’ is a miracle.
To believe in miracles is to believe in love, truth.
You would much rather believe in yourself; Love, truth, grace, they obliterate you.
The work of God is miraculous.
The work of God is not something that the human mind can make sense of.
And that is miracle.
But as we just said, if you cannot make sense of something you feel humiliated. There is another mind that feels delighted when he sees something of the beyond happening. He has faith. He now knows that he is in safe hands. But we are creatures of suspicion. When we come across something that we cannot make sense of, we become afraid. We feel something might be lost. We do not feel in control anymore and we are control freaks. If something is just happening, it is a threat to us. Things must not just happen. They must happen within our control. If something is just happening, it threatens us even if it is causing us no ostensible damage.
The very fact of the miracle is a threat. So we keep denying miracles and because we keep denying miracles, we necessitate that there are miracle makers who present miracles so loudly and so irrefutably to us that we can deny them no more. One such miracle is the myth of Lazarus. The event was so loud that it could not be denied. Look at the way it is presented.
A man buried since four days gets up, is asked to walk. His dressings are cut open. His body is supposed to have rotten. But he walks away alive and afresh. This is a miracle. But it is for those who would not accept subtler more delicate miracles.
The very existence of Jesus is a miracle. No other miracle is needed.
That you can understand what I’m saying is a miracle. You don’t need a loud and blunt miracle after this that matter rises to become man is a great miracle that these eyes of mud, water and stone can see is a miracle that a restless mind can enter meditation is a miracle.
Life is nothing but a series of great miracles.
They are everywhere, all the time. There is nothing but miracles. But if you are egoistic, if you’re conditioned, you won’t admit miracles. Then you would talk of miracles as an exceptional happening. You would say “There was X number of miracles that Jesus performed”. You would remember them as if they were special, exceptional, very qualified events. By doing this you are just serving the interests of the ego. You are saying there were only four or eight miracles, and the rest of his life Jesus was not performing miracles that’s a blatant lie.
The very existence of the Jesus is a miracle.
Obviously everything that happens through him is bound to be a miracle.
Jesus looks at you with a loving eye. His glance is a miracle. His touch is a miracle. The Rishi of the Upanishad proclaims “Bramha am I”.
Do you think human intellect can ever suggest this? Would you want to wonder where this declaration comes from? If you indeed may wonder, you would find that there is no knowledge base, no reservoir of reason from where such an assured declaration may arise. So much is the sureness behind the declaration that no proofs are offered as if it is self-evident.
The entire Bhagavad Gita is a miracle. But there are people who’d say that it was a miracle when Krishna displayed his cosmic form to Arjun. That too was a miracle. But the entire instance of Geeta from the very first syllable till the last is a miraculous flow in itself why single out one particular happening as a miracle?
When you say that something is within the domain of reason, then you say that it is not miraculous, right? That’s the definition on which you proceed. When you say that you can comprehend something fully, then obviously it is not miraculous. Have you ever comprehended anything fully? Does reason ever take you to the very base, the very root of happenings?
The movement of the earth with respect to the Sun, the movement of the moon with respect to the earth, tell me do you really know why is it happening? You would probably offer a reason, a scientific reason. I would ask for the reason behind the reason. You might still offer a reason. I would still ask for the reason behind the reason. Very soon all your reasons will be exhausted. And where reason is exhausted, where reason stands helpless and naked, shorn of all its ammunition, that is the point where you may trust that a miracle has happened. If you want to proceed through the intellect, at least don’t be someone with a shallow intellect. If you indeed believe in reasons, if you are a reasonable man, then why not go right till the last reason behind every reason. And if you will want to go till the last reason behind every reason, you will find that the mind stops working. The intellect is exposed. Human frailness is laid bare open and then you will know that behind the veneer of reason and rationale, it’s all actually very incomprehensible and hence miraculous.
Don’t be afraid of miracles. There are miracles that are just earthly, wizardly, tricks, slight of an arm, someone has just pulled off a fast one, those are earthly miracles. When things of that kind are happening then you know somebody is out to fool you. Don’t even call those things miracles.
Man performs no miracles.
Miracles performed by man are very mechanical. Your so-called wizards mechanically practice and rehearse a lot before they can display a miracle to you. Mechanical miracle, rehearsed miracle, is obviously no miracle then there is the miracle of God, never never be suspicious of it. When you see a man performing miracles, never be assured. When you see God performing miracles, never feel alerted or suspicious or defensive. God’s miracles are for your good.
The ego will be startled because that which is happening is not happening with its consent. That which is happening is not breakable into reasonable pieces, but don’t be startled. God’s miracle is compassion and compassion itself is a miracle, Isn’t it miraculous, the fact of compassion? You’re not asking for anything from somebody, you just want to give. It’s so difficult to believe in compassion, right? We are Alerted. The alarms go off. It should be otherwise. The alarms should go off when you do not see a miracle.
Wherever you see mechanical activity, that’s where you should feel alerted that’s where you should know the danger lurks in apparently innocuous figures. You see love, don’t be alerted. You see deep understanding, rejoice, you see silence, you see surrender; don’t be suspicious. It’s going to be good for you.
-Excerpts from a ‘Shabd-Yoga’ session. Edited for clarity
Watch the session: On Jesus: What does it take to believe in miracles?