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Fully Human - Fully Divine

How Integral Dynamic Monotheism can transform and renew our entire Christian experience

by Br. John Martin

All philosophies, all ideologies, all scriptures, all religions, and all prophets and sages tell us two important things: who we are and how we ought to live our lives in the world of time and space. The way people live their life, I believe, will depend largely on their self-identity -- on who or what they think they are.

In this paper, I'd like to explore with you some powerful teachings about who or what we are that have influenced the lives of millions. Rather than trying to rank these key teachings in any way, I want to show that they all have something of value to offer us and that it would be against our best interests to choose any one teaching to the exclusion of the others.

I suggest that each of us has the opportunity in this life to evolve or move beyond our present spiritual capacity and experience more deeply our essential nature. The mystery we call 'God' undoubtedly has many different aspects for us to explore and experience if we will but drop our narrow concepts and go forward with an open heart and mind.

I'll confine myself here to the major types of religious teaching that have shaped for centuries, and still shape today, our understanding of who or what we are and how we should live. I'll propose that we have much to gain by following the example of Jesus who seemed to combine and synthesize different understandings regarding personal identity and 'live out of' one or other, or several at once, at different times in his life-experience.

These days it's common for theologians to divide religions into two major overall categories (though not in an absolute sense) -- the Wisdom Tradition and the Prophetic Tradition.

The religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism belong to Wisdom Tradition. These religions have some common elements such as: karma, samsara, reincarnation and spiritual enlightenment.

The religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam belong to the Prophetic Tradition. These religions are also called monotheistic religions as they teach the belief in one God.

In our exploration, we will focus our reflection on the monotheistic religions and Hinduism.

Prophetic Monotheism

According to traditional Judaism, God is the creator and human beings are creatures of God. God creates creation and human beings out of nothing. There's a gulf between God and his creation -- an essential difference between God and humankind, and, coincidentally, between all of God's creatures, human or otherwise.

According to this tradition, no one can see God face to face. God is the liberator and saviour. He guides his people through the prophets. He reveals his will through the commandments.

The Torah reveals the will of God and people have to follow it. To obey The Torah is to obey God. One has to submit one’s will and intellect to the will of God and one has to be faithful and loyal to God. Jews consider themselves to be specially chosen by God. So according to Judaism, they're expected to live a moral life according to the will of God.

According to traditional Christianity, God is the creator and human beings are creatures of God. There's an essential difference between God and humankind. God revealed his will through the prophets in the Old Testament and he revealed his final will in the person of Jesus Christ. Most Christian churches believe and teach that the Bible, and especially the New Testament, is the inspired word of God and that to be guided by the Bible is to be guided by God.

Jesus is the only son of God. He's the incarnation of the third person of the Holy Trinity. He is the only way, the truth the life. One has to believe in Jesus as the only son of God and become a Christian to be saved. Some Christians insist only on believing in Jesus as the saviour to be saved while others insist, not only on believing in Jesus, but on living a moral life and doing good works. If one lives a good life, they believe, one will go to heaven and if one lives a bad life, one will go to hell after death.

According to traditional Islam, God is the creator and human beings are creatures of God. There's an essential difference between God and his creation. God revealed his will through the prophets in the Old Testament and through Jesus, but he revealed his final will in the Koran (or, Qur'an) through the prophet, Muhammad. Hence the Koran is the final word of God and the prophet, Muhammad, is the last prophet.

According to Islam, God didn't reveal himself but rather revealed the Koran in which he tells human beings what they should do and what they should not do. The Koran is considered as the eternal word of God dictated to the prophet, Muhammad. Submission to the will of God -- revealed in the Koran -- is necessary for salvation. To obey the Koran is to obey God. If one lives a moral life according to the Koran, one will go to heaven and if one does not live a moral life, then one will go to hell after one's death.

According to these three religions, God is the creator and human beings are creatures of God. A significant difference between Judaism, Islam and Christianity lies in their attitude to Jesus and the Trinity. Jews and Muslims don't believe that God is triune. They think the notion of trinity violates the unity of God. They don't believe that Jesus is the second person of the Trinity.

Jews and Muslims don't believe that Jesus is the only son of God and that he is the only way, the truth and the life. They believe that Jesus was a human being like any other human being. They think of him as a messenger of God or reformer of Judaism. If he called himself 'the son of God', they maintain, it was only in a metaphorical sense and that everyone is essentially a son or daughter of God.

These three religions are called monotheistic religions because their adherents believe that there's only one God and this one God is the creator of the universe. Their general teaching is that God created this universe out of nothing, and, that there's an essential difference between God and his creation ... which includes us.

In Christianity, an exception to this belief is made for Jesus. Jesus, it is believed, isn't a creature of God but an incarnation of God. There's an essential difference between Jesus and other human beings.

Hindu Monotheism

The expression Hindu monotheism may surprise some. In general Hinduism is described as monism, non-dualism, pantheism and polytheism! But one has to be aware that according to Hinduism, there's only one God or absolute Reality (monotheism) but this God isn't the creator but he/she/it manifests everything that is known. Hinduism doesn't propose the theory of creation out of nothing. This is the basic difference between prophetic monotheism and Hindu monotheism.

There are three important theological positions in Hinduism . These positions are based on the interpretations given to the teachings of the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Brahma Sutras -- the sacred scriptures of Hinduism. The Upanishads belong to the period of 5th century before Jesus and the Bhagavad-Gita belongs around the 1st century before or after Jesus.

These scriptures didn't propose any theological system, but the systems came later. The fundamental question of these systems is the relationship between God and the universe, or, God and humankind. In prophetic monotheism, this question seems to have been resolved with the theory of creation out of nothing. Since Hindu monotheism doesn't accept this solution, it needs to propose different solutions.

Advaita -- Non-Duality

The first Hindu philosophical system we shall consider is called Adviata, a system of non-duality proposed by Shankara in the 8th century after Jesus. According to Shankara, God (Brahman) alone is eternal (sathyam). The universe (Jagat), he taught, has only the appearance of reality. The illusory nature of the manifest world, in this system, is also known by the more often used word: maya.

Ultimately, the human soul (jivatman), he taught, is identical with God (Brahman). This can be explained with the analogy of water (representing God) and ice (representing us). Ice, as we know, comes from water and melts back to water. It could be said, that a block of ice doesn't have an existence independent of water. Also, the block of ice always has a beginning and an end -- it comes and goes, as we see with glaciers or icebergs.

The iceberg (or icecube in your drink) is essentially one with the water in which it floats, though it is functionally different. The ice doesn't become water. It is water. But it isn't aware that it's water. Because it's solid, it imagines, let us say, that it's an object like a stone. If this were the case, we could say it was in a state of ignorance. It would then need to free itself from this ignorance and realize that it is essentially water ... or God.

Shankara proposed a way of wisdom known as jnana marga. The paths of devotion, bhakthi and action, karma can prepare the way, but jnana is the ultimate in his view. Shankara taught that ignorance can be removed only through wisdom or understanding and not by devotion or action, as they're not the opposite of ignorance.

For Shankara also, God or Brahman is nirguna, without qualities. Brahman is impersonal. Human beings are essentially one with God, but they're ignorant of this truth. They need to awaken out of ignorance and realize the liberating truth about themselves. According to him, ultimately every one of us can say ahambrahmaasmi, 'I am Brahman, God and I are one.' A person who realizes this truth while alive is called jivan muktha -- liberated while alive.

In general, Shankara is considered to be a monist, but a better description would be that he's a non-dualist: God and the universe, he taught, are not two independent or separate realities.

Visista Advaita -- Qualified Non-Dualism

The second Hindu system we're considering is called Visista Advaita, a system of qualified non-dualism, proposed by one, Ramanuja, in the 11th century after Jesus. He disagreed with Shankara’s position regarding the nature of God, the universe and humankind. For Ramanuja, as with Shankara, God (Brahman) alone is eternal (sathyam). But according to him, God is not nirguna, without qualities, but saguna, with qualities.

Ramanuja taught that God is personal. The universe and our world (jagat) is the manifestation of Brahman (not a mere appearance, mithya, as with Shankara). The universe isn't created by God, but rather is seen as an emanation from God. God is the instrumental and the material cause of creation. We are part of God but not identical with God. There's a subtle essential difference between God and us.

Ramanuja saw the universe and humankind as the 'body' of God. The relationship between God and the universe, he taught, is like soul and body, or the body and the hair that grows on and from the body. God and the universe are inseparable. The material world isn't an illusion, mithya or maya. Maya, he teaches, is the creative power of God through which he manifests the world and everything in it.

If we go back to the analogy of water and ice, Brahman, according to this system, is water; ice is the universe. The universe isn't an illusion. It's the manifestation of Brahman. It's the body of Brahman. But there's a subtle difference between God and the universe, which includes humankind -- it isn't identical with Brahman.

Ramanuja also proposed the way of devotion, bhakthi marga. One has to surrender to God, he taught, through devotion or faith -- to God's will -- and one finds peace and joy in this surrender. There's no human soul identifying with God. No one can say, 'God and I are one.'

For him, a personal relationship with God is very important. If a human soul was one with God, then no personal relationship is possible -- it takes two to tango! He taught that we can have a personal relationship with God in one or more modes such as: father and child, lover and beloved, protector and protected, physician and patient, owner and the owned, sustainer and sustained, supporter and dependent, sun and lotus etc.

Ultimate liberation, Ramanuja taught, happens only after the death of the physical body. In general he is considered to be a pantheist. But this may not be correct since he holds that there's a subtle essential difference between God and the universe in general or humankind in particular. From the Sun come many rays, but one cannot say that every ray is a Sun. There is only one Sun and the universe is its manifestation.

Dvaita -- Duality

The third position in the Hindu system we're considering is called Dvaita, a system of duality, proposed by one, Madhva, in 12th century after Jesus. He disagreed with both Shankara and Ramanuja regarding the nature of God, creation and human souls and proposed dualism. Madhva would agree with Sankara and Ramanuja that God alone is eternal (sathyam).

But, according to his teaching, God is Brahman and Brahman is Vishnu and his other incarnations. The universe is essentially different form God. The material world is not an illusion (Shankara). It isn't the manifestation of God (Ramanuja). It isn't created by God. The universe, he taught, was there from the beginning, as if it is eternal, though essentially different from God.

Human beings, Madhva taught, are essentially different from God. There's a gulf between God, the world and humankind. The immeasurable power of Lord Vishnu is seen as the efficient cause of the universe and the primordial matter or prakrti is the material cause of the universe. God is personal and has many qualities, saguna. The human soul is essentially different from God. This position keeps human beings somewhat distant from God and strengthens the relationship between them.

Madhva proposed the path of devotion, bhakthi marga, and good works, karma marga. One needs to surrender to God through devotion and do good works. It's the Lord who performs actions -- energizing the soul from within -- awarding the results to the soul, but he, the Lord, isn't touched by it.

According to Madhva, we are more or less creatures of God (though he may not like to use the word 'creatures', in the sense of being created out of nothing). We are essentially different from him and remain so after this life. We are urged to come closer to God through devotion, but we can never merge with him. Liberation (bliss) is awarded to us according to our actions at the end of our spiritual practice, which would be after our death.

These three systems believe that there's only one God, one eternal Reality. In that sense they are monotheistic religions. But they don't believe that this one Reality is a creator. This is the main difference between prophetic monotheism and Hindu monotheism. Many think that Hinduism is polytheistic. In practice it looks like that, but Hinduism teaches that there's only one God and different gods are either various manifestations of that one God or like angels in the prophetic monotheistic systems.

It's very interesting to note how the Vedic tradition reached its climax in the Upanishads, in the 5th century before Jesus, when it was realized that human consciousness is identical with the divine, and in the 12th century after Jesus, it came down to the dualistic understanding in Madhva, where an essential difference between God and humankind is affirmed.

We can now see that there are three important concepts of a human being: essentially one with God, as per the Advaita of Shankara; manifestation of God as per the Visista Advaita of Ramanuja; and essentially different from God, as per Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Dvaita system of Hinduism. What's common to them all is the conviction that there's only one God. In that sense they're all monotheistic. The difference is in the way we relate with or to that one God.

Some Observations

It's this writer's contention that prophetic monotheism reduces us to mere creatures of God, and thus, closes the door to our realizing ourselves as sons or daughters of God and as being essentially one with God. The theory of creation out of nothing isn't a very liberating theory as it seems to disallow the spiritual evolution of human consciousness.

Shankara opened to us the possibility of realizing ourselves as being one with God. He focused on our divinity, but this was done at the cost of discounting our humanity. Human existence and relationships seem to have had little or no significance in the light of his teachings.

Ramanuja tried to correct this extreme position and give some meaning and purpose to creation and human relationships. He accorded us the dignity of being divine manifestations and of having divine kinship, but it was done at the cost of denying our oneness with God ... the All.

Madhva tried to bring God to the level of human beings with all their characteristics and limitations, but it was done at the cost of denying our essential divinity and thus our innate kinship with God.

The position of Shankara on the nature of the world is very ambiguous. If he really meant that the manifest universe is an illusion, then it could be said that we live a purposeless existence. If he meant that the material world, in the sense of names and forms, is not eternal then there is some meaning to the world and human existence. The names and forms aren't eternal, but what is within the names and forms is eternal. In that sense the world is also divine in its essence just as human beings are essentially one with the divine in their essence.

Shankara gave some meaning and purpose to the world at the functional level which he called vyavaharika. Only in the ultimate level, paramarthika, is the world seen to be illusory. This position doesn't give any positive role to the universe and human beings in the world of time and space. The entire focus seems to be on realizing our divinity and then everything comes to an end.

Ramanuja holds that Brahman is the material cause of the universe and human souls. In that sense they're essentially one with Brahman though functionally they may be different like water and ice. If this is so, what then would prevent us from being merged with Brahman, just as melting ice is finally merged with the water in which it floats? It seems that there's some contradiction in his proposition.

Madhva holds that creation is completely different from God. He also holds that the manifest world has no beginning as if it also is eternal. How can there be two eternal realities? Does this imply that there are two 'Gods'?

These three Hindu monotheistic systems seem to have something to integrate just as the prophetic monotheistic religions need to open themselves to the higher divine-human relationship. There have been many great Hindu mystics, like Sri Ramakrishna, his disciple, Swami Vivekananda, and Swami Shivananda, who've tried to integrate these three systems. So also there've been many mystics in the prophetic religions who opened human consciousness to the higher level of divine-human relationship even though they had to face many difficulties.

Was Jesus a Prophetic Monotheist or a Hindu Monotheist?

We can see that Jesus reportedly made statements which don't fit within the popular versions of prophetic monotheism. He referred to God as his Father. He referred to himself as the Son of God.

He said that he was in the Father and the Father in him. He said he came from the Father and would return to the Father. He also claimed that the Father (God) and he were one. His stated experience of God doesn't fit within the present belief systems of prophetic monotheism.

For Jesus, God wasn't his creator and he wasn't a creature. His origin, he reportedly said, was in eternity ... eternal!

Judaism and Islam reject his claims and consider them blasphemous. They think that his statements are metaphorical and not metaphysical. Institutional Christianity accepts his claims, but limits them to Jesus alone and holds that they're in no way applicable to others ... like us.

The claims of Jesus seem very close to the non-dualistic and qualified non-dualistic systems of Hinduism. In fact, his statements make perfect sense to adherents of these two systems. In this regard, Jesus was more a Hindu monotheist than a prophetic monotheist!

In non-dualism and qualified non-dualism, these claims aren't limited to any one particular individual but are a possibility for every human being ... and, of course, for you and me.

Was Jesus a Dualist, a Qualified Non-Dualist or a Non-Dualist?

We're here dealing with this question retrospectively. These systems weren't formerly established during the time of Jesus. But they do give us some tools to understand the experience of Jesus.

Jesus reportedly made three important statements: "my Father is greater than me," "I am in the Father and the Father is in me," and, "the Father and I are one."

The first statement is in accordance with the dualistic system. God is the creator and Jesus is the creature. God is greater than him.

The second statement is in accordance with the qualified non-dualistic system. Here, the relationship is much more intimate. It's not the relationship of creator and creature -- it's the relationship of Father and Son. He is in God and God is in him. It is an experience of mutual indwelling. Still there's some distance between him and the Father. He is not the Father.

The third statement is in accord with the non-dual system. Jesus and the Father are one. There's no distance. There's no separation.

If we take these positions all together, then it appears Jesus is contradicting himself. If God is greater than him, then he cannot say, "I am in the Father and the Father is in me." If there's a distance between God and Jesus, then he cannot say that he and God are one.

I suggest that Jesus began his spiritual journey with the consciousness of being a creature and experienced God as being greater than him according to his religious tradition. Then, as he was baptised by John, he went beyond that relationship and realized that he was not so much a creature but a son of God -- a manifestation of God!

Later, Jesus went beyond even this realisation and became conscious, or saw, that he was inseparably one with the Father -- with God. The gospels indicate though that he didn't remain pre-occupied with non-dual consciousness, but fluctuated between it and qualified non-dual consciousness and dualistic consciousness as long as he lived in his physical body and in the world of time and space.

We can say, therefore, that Jesus was essentially a non-dualist, but functionally a qualified non-dualist and a dualist. We cannot say, however, that he lived by any one of these systems to the exclusion of the other two.

Integral Dynamic Monotheism

We have here considered different types of monotheism:

Firstly, the simple monotheism of the Upanishads, which affirms one Reality (God, Brahman, Atman etc.) without a second, and which teaches we are ultimately one with that Reality (tatvamasi).

Out of this came the non-dual monotheism of Shankara which affirms that there's only one God and that the world in all its forms is illusory or unreal.

A further development of this system was the qualified non-dual monotheism of Ramanuaja, which affirms that there's only one God and that the universe is his 'body'.

These systems were contrasted with prophetic monotheism, which affirms that there's only one God and that his creation is essentially different and separate from him.

Prophetic monotheism was seen to have some parallels with the dualistic monotheism of Madhva, which affirms that there's only one God, and that the material universe is also eternal and essentially different from God.

The experience of Jesus, recorded in the gospels, doesn't fit exclusively into any of these monotheisms. So I'd like to describe him (but not to define him) as an Integral Dynamic Monotheist.

The Integral Dynamic Monotheism of Jesus

I would like to suggest now a different kind of monotheism that I believe Jesus modelled or exemplified and which can bring full freedom to each of us if we embrace it. I'm calling it Integral Dynamic Monotheism (IDM) and describe it as follows ...

In this monotheism, God alone is. God alone is eternal (sathyam and nithyam). God cannot be put into any human categories. He/She/It is absolutely independent, creative, timeless, peace and love. God is personal, impersonal, and, at the same time, beyond these and all other opposites.

God isn't an object or form but rather formless, like an infinite space. Our concepts of God are like houses that we build within the space. The infinite space allows the building of houses according to the needs and capacities of human minds, but the space always transcends them.

Our finite human mind can never build an adequate house to fill or accommodate the infinite space. God is the unconditioned space and systems (especially belief systems) are like conditioned space, within walls, as it were. Systems can never satisfy our deepest needs.

Creation (names and forms) is nothing less than a manifestation of God, and as such, is not illusory. It is, however, unreal in the sense that it isn't eternal and infinite. Creation, like all the forms that constitute it, had/have a beginning and an inevitable end. All forms are temporal.

The universe is essentially one with God, but functionally different, like water and ice, energy and matter etc. Water and ice, as we have seen, are essentially one, but functionally different. Likewise, energy and matter are essentially one, but functionally different. We too, it could be said, are essentially one with God, but functionally different:

Names and forms are like mirrors in which 'God' reflects. When the reflection identifies with the names and the forms, it feels that it is finite and no more. However, when it looks to its source, it realizes it's oneness with God.

We each have the opportunity in this life to evolve or move beyond our present spiritual capacity and experience more deeply our essential nature. The mystery we call 'God' undoubtedly has many different aspects for us to explore and experience if we will but drop our narrow concepts and go forward with an open heart and mind.

IDM is Integral: This monotheism I'm drawing attention to here integrates all the systems mentioned above and also other possible systems, but always transcends every system. God or Truth cannot be put into any system. It's essentially non-dualistic but functionally qualified non-dualistic and dualistic.

This monotheism doesn't exclude any mode of spirituality, but embraces all spiritual paths that help us to grow in our relationship with God, the Source of all, and with one another. The spiritual paths of wisdom (jnana), devotion (bhakthi) and action (karma) aren't seen as exclusive, but mutually complementary.

IDM is Dynamic: The relationship between us and God isn't static but dynamic. It's a process of ascending and descending (or vice versa). It is like climbing a hill and coming down again (or vice versa).

We could, for instance, grow in our relationship with God, from a dualistic consciousness to a qualified non-dualistic consciousness and from there to a non-dual consciousness. Then we could move in consciousness from a non-dual awareness to a qualified non-dual awareness and from there to dualistic awareness again, and thereafter, fluctuate from one consciousness to another as our life-experience unfolded.

One can live from these three types of consciousness at the same time without any contradiction. It's an essential unity of functional duality and non-duality. A useful metaphor could be a tree. The tree is essentially one, but functionally it has different parts such as leaves, branches, trunk and roots.

Growing into the Love of God and Love of Neighbour

In IDM, the focus is on growing into the love of God and love of neighbour. "The Father and I are one" and "whatever you do unto the least of my brothers and sisters, that, you do unto me" are the two pillars of this monotheism. One has to begin with the dualistic love of God and love of neighbour, and grow into the qualified non-dual love of God and love of neighbour and finally arrive at the non-dual love of God and love of neighbour.

In a dualistic love of God, a person says: 'God is my creator, I am a creature and my neibhbour is another creature of God.' In a qualified non-dual love, a person says: 'God is my Father, I am a manifestation of God and my neighbour is also another manifestation of God.' In a non-dual love of God, it is seen: 'Only God is. My Real self is God (aham brahma asmi) and the Real self of my neigbour is also God (tatvamasi).' -- It is God loving God.

In the first level, our knowledge (jnana) of God is dualistic, our relationship (bhakthi) with God and neighbour is dualistic and our actions (karma) towards our neighbours are dualistic.

In the second level, our knowledge of God is of a qualified non-dualistic kind and our relationship with God and neighbour is qualified non-dualistic and actions towards our neighbours are qualified non-dualistic.

In the third level, our knowledge of God is non-dual and our relationship with God is non-dual and our actions towards our neighbours are non-dual.

Grounded in IDM, our life-experience arises not only from deep wisdom or jnana, but from loving devotion or bhakthi and selfless service or karma.

The purpose of our human existence is to awaken and grow in consciousness -- Christ-consciousness -- thus to manifest holy love, energy and grace in all our relationships.

Christ-consciousness and unconditional love are really one and the same thing, so that St. Paul could just as easily have said ...

"Even if I can speak in all the tongues of earth ­- and those of the angels, too -­ but don't have the Christ-consciousness that Jesus had, I'm just a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal.

If I have the gift of prophesy such that I can comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge, or if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but don't have Christ-consciousness, I am nothing.

If I give away everything I own to feed those poorer than I, then hand over my body to be burned, but don't have Christ-consciousness, I gain nothing.

Christ-consciousness is patient and kind.

Christ-consciousness isn't jealous, it doesn't put on airs, and it isn't snobbish; it is never rude or self-seeking; it isn't prone to anger, nor does it brood over injuries.

Christ-consciousness doesn’t rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices in the truth.

There's no limit to Christ-consciousness -- to its forbearance, its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Christ-consciousness never ends." (1 Cor. 13:1-8)

Fully Human and Fully Divine

Prophetic monotheism and the Dvaita (dualistic) system of Hinduism place emphasis on our separateness as human beings. Qualified non-dual monotheism puts the emphasis on the close interconnection between God and human beings. Non-dual monotheism emphasizes our essential oneness with God.

The first two have to do mainly with our humanity and the third one has to do mainly with our divinity. Christianity holds that Jesus was/is fully human and fully divine. Jesus integrated these three levels of consciousness within himself. He was human in every sense, a true son of God and one with the Father.

He opened this possibility to every truth-seeker. Each of us, whether we are conscious of it or not, is fully human and fully divine. Divinity, we could say, is our source and essential nature and our human form is its manifestation or its vehicle. Divinity and humanity are intimately united in us all.

To realize our essential unity with God and live with wisdom and compassion in functional dualistic relationships in this world of time and space is perhaps, the greatest miracle of life.

May all beings in the world be happy.

  ~ Br. John Martin (aka, Swami Sahajananda)

----oOo----

NB: If you enjoyed this article, there is another by Bro. John Martin Sahajananda >>>HERE


Br. John Martin By Br. John Martin (aka, Swami Sahajananda), OSB Cam, now Spiritual Director at the Saccidananda Ashram, Shantivanam. He was a close disciple of the great Vedic Christian mystic, Bede Griffiths.

Br. John contributes immensely to Hindu-Christian dialogue and resides at Shantivanam, Thannirpalli, Karur. Dt., South India 639107. Some recent articles by him are:

Radical Love is Advaitic Love
The Teaching of Jesus in the Light of the Upanishads
Bulletin 82, January 2009

Mission without Conversion
An Open Letter to Christians
Bulletin 81, July 2008

His books include:

-- You Are the Light: Rediscovering the Eastern Jesus. ISBN 1903816300, Softcover, 224 pp. O Books, Ropley, Hants, United Kingdom, 2003.

-- The Hindu Christ: Jesus' Message Through Eastern Eyes. ISBN 190504755X, Softcover: 113 pp. O Books, Ropley, Hants, United Kingdom, 2006.

-- Truth Has No Boundaries: Proclaiming the Goodnews of Peace. Softcover: K. John Martin. Tamilnadu, Inda.

-- A New Vision of Christianity, Softcover: 68 pp, Shantivanam: Saccidananda Ashram, Tannirpalli P.O., Kulitthalai, Karur (Dt.), Tamil Nadu 639107, South India. 1998.