by Paramhansa Yogananda
East-West, March-April 1930
Jesus Christ was an Oriental. Therefore, his teachings were derived from Oriental environment and heredity. Truth is not a monopoly of the Orient or the Occident. The sunlight, though pure silver, appears to be red or blue when looked upon through red or blue glasses; so, also, does pure, undiluted truth appear to be different when expressed through Oriental or Occidental civilization. The original simple teachings of Jesus have undergone many changes, because of divers translations from language to language, and divers translations of translations. But all of the Great Ones have expressed Themselves simply, and I can find very little difference in the message of Jesus the Christ and the other Great Teachers.
Now, I want to tell you something in the beginning, lest there be any doubt in your minds: What I received from the Great Oriental Masters, that same have I received from the teachings of Jesus the Christ! The Great Ones, like waves, bathe in the Eternal Sea, and become One with It. Disciples make all the trouble and differences. They begin to create narrowness and bigotry. The pure Message becomes diluted with ignorance. Humanity drinks of the polluted waters and then cannot understand why the thirst
remains. Only pure water can quench thirst. The time has come to
separate truth from falsehood, knowledge from ignorance. All truth and knowledge must be used to combat the black doubts and superstitions hedging humanity in the prison of unhappiness, that the mighty flood of Truth may inundate the gathered darkness of the ages, setting the soul of humanity free. It amuses me when I hear my Western brothers say “Do you believe in Christ?” I always say “Jesus Christ.” And I picture Him in my mind as He really was–Oriental Christ. Many painters have tried to give Him blue eyes and light hair, but He was a pure Oriental. And you of the West have taken from an enslaved nation Jesus Christ as your Preceptor, and the greatest gift of all, spiritual freedom, taught by this great Oriental.